The Indian Removal act of 1830

Background on Andrew Jackson

             Jackson’s Presidency is the beginning of the modern Presidency, one in which the powers vested in the office of the President grew greatly. Jackson believed in a strong presidency and he vetoed a dozen pieces of legislation, more than the first six presidents put together. Jackson also believed in a strong Union and this belief brought him into open opposition with Southern legislators, especially those from South Carolina. South Carolina thought the 1832 tariff signed by President Jackson was much too high. In retaliation, the South Carolina legislature passed an Ordinance of Nullification, which rejected the tariff and declared the tariff invalid in South Carolina. Jackson , always a strong Unionist, issued a presidential proclamation against South Carolina. On the whole Congress supported Jackson’s position on the issue and a compromise tariff was passed in 1833. The immediate crisis passed, but the incident was a predecessor of the positions that would lead almost thirty years later to the War Between the States.  




Indian removal: 1814-1855

       On May 26, 1830, the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was passed by the Twenty-First Congress of the United states of America. After several months of strong debate, Andrew Jackson signed the bill. The era of indian  removal began when conflict started to form between the Cherokee tribe and Georgia.  In 1802, the Georgia legislature signed a compact giving the federal government all of her claims to western lands in exchange for the government’s pledge to eliminate all Indian titles to land within the state. But by the mid-1820′s Georgians began to doubt that the government would withhold its side of the deal. The Cherokee Indian tribes had a large portion of land in Georgia that they had had for many generations. They were worried about losing their land so they forced the issue by adopting a written constitution. This document proclaimed that the Cherokee nation had complete jurisdiction over its own territory. But by then indian removal was part of the states rights. Because of this the indians had to make their claims in court. When the Cherokee nation sought aid from newly elected president Andrew Jackson, he informed them that he would not interfere with the lawful rights of the state of Georgia. Jackson saw the solution of the problem with the removal of the Cherokee tribes to lands west. This would keep contact between Indians and colonists rare. He suggested that laws be past so that the Indians would have to move west of the Mississippi river and feform their territory there. Following this several other incidents occured with conflict between Native Americans and white men. Many incidents of conflict occured in Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Andrew Jackson gave these tribes land in Oklaoma to occupy.  Andrew Jackson was quoted as saying that this was a way of protecting them and allowing them time to adjust to the white culture. This land in Oklahoma was thinly settled and was thought to have little value. Within 10 years of the Indian Removal Act, more than 70,000 Indians had moved across the Mississippi. Many Indians died on this journey.