The Indian Removal Act
The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was approved and enforced by President Andrew Jackson. This act enabled the forced removal of Native American Tribes from their already claimed lands to land west of the Mississippi River. The reason for this forced removal was to make westward expansion for Americans easier. Those who believed in Manifest Destiny felt that Native Americans were stopping them from moving westward. In the years leading up to the approval of the Indian Removal Act, Andrew Jackson was a main advocate for the cause. He successfully negotiated nine out of the eleven main treaties that forced relocation.
Whe drafting the act, Jackson included incentives for the Indians to make relocation seem more appeasing. Financial compensation and protection by the federal government were promised.
Once the act was in place, Jackson would do whatever it took to move tribes into their newly assigned land. Some tribes resisted, but many realized that they were no match for the government.
The Cherokees were among the tribes that initially resisted. One Cherokee Chief signed the Treaty of New Echota, but the majority of the tribe did not agree to removal. They resisted, but were then forced by troops to travel to their newly assigned land. The path that they traveled became the infamous Trail of Tears. An estimated 1/4 of the Cherokee died while traveling the Trail of Tears.
By the 1840s, only one tribe was still resisting: The Seminoles.