Indian Removal Under President Jackson And His Politics

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Indian Removal under President Jackson and his politics

On May 26, 1830, the Indian Removal Act legally allowed state and federal agencies to facilitate the removal of all Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River to various locations situated in the West. During the years preceding 1830, tribes were moved to various lands in Arkansas and Tennessee, but by 1830 this land was also coveted by white settlers pushing west. Instead, the territory of Oklahoma was designated for the Indians, without concern for their lifestyles, background, or livelihood (Davidson, 58). The act, which was signed by President Andrew Jackson almost immediately after being passed, was lobbied for heavily on behalf of the Southern states. Georgia, the state that stood to gain the most if Indian tribes vacated its land, led the charge for the removal act. The Senate passed the bill with 28 votes in favor of and 19 opposed, and the House of Representatives split even more closely, with 102 voting in favor of the bill and 97 against. Although it was named the Indian Removal Act, the actual bill did not immediately demand the vacation of tribes from the east. Instead, the president of the United States was given the power (meaning the financial means and ability) to directly negotiate with Indian tribes to obtain all lands that lay within the boundaries of an existing state. In return, lands lying to the west and not part of an existing state would be given back to the Indians(Meacham, 69).

President Jackson was a heavy proponent of this bill from its inception into Congress and did not try to hide his thoughts. He did, indeed, favor a plan to move the Indians west, but for reasons concerning both national security and for the security of the Indians themselves. According to Jackson's own ...
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