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This part of history has always been a brutal and sad one. The Cherokee tribe have always been a main tribe that faced discrimination from the Americans and The Trail of Tears has always been an ugly part of our history. What is interesting about this part of our history was the fact that two groups of people wanted to be sovereign. One group gained it while the other continued to but never gained it.
When watching the episode, the one thing that stuck out to me the most was how much the Cherokee nation and the Americans were interacting. I never knew that they had that kind of alliance and I never knew how much the Cherokee Nation adapted to the style of living outside of their own. The Cherokee’s started to build towns, practice religion, and they started to inter-marry with each other. While the Native Americans were fighting for their freedom, so were the Americans. I noticed that the Americans were so concerned about trying to force the Native Americans, The Cherokees to adjust and adapt to their way of life. Isn’t that the reason why the left England in the first place? Isn’t that the reason why they fought for independence? I can never fully wrap my head around the fact that they turned around to escape persecution but they inflicted that same pain and suffering on the Cherokees and many other Native Americans.
What surprised me the most while watching the video was the interaction between the two different people. The intermarriage between Cherokee and American people was very common and almost expected. The marriage of an American man to a Cherokee woman was deemed appropriate but, as soon as John Ridge, a Cherokee man, married Sarah Bird Northrup, an American woman, it was deemed not appropriate. Once something was performed not in the American eyes that was deemed correct, hostility increased and the relationship went under. I am not surprised by this reaction because throughout all of the readings it always seemed to end up that way.
The Trail of Tears has always been a sad part of our history, it caused an emotional reaction that wasn’t extreme, but it harder to home after learning about the details leading up to the removal. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 by Andrew Jackson I think was not an appropriate action the United States government. I think that it is considered an inhumane act on our part of the government. Why would you need to force the tribes of the area to give up their tribe customs, become U.S. citizens in order to stay in their homes and lives they built for themselves. The Cherokee had to sign a treaty to make sure that they would be forcibly (or some voluntarily) to reservations. By 1838 rolled around and they were being forced to move to the Reservations, they endured the worst conditions.
What I learned from this video were the two points in the paragraphs above. I never knew that the alliance between not only the Cherokee’s but the Five civilized tribes and how it operated and functioned. The intermarriage, schooling, and the way of life the Cherokee adopted to fit in the American mold was interesting. I also learned that each separate tribe had their own different way they were removed from their home and to Oklahoma. I also learned that it took a while before the removal even happened for the Cherokee’s. In 1831 the first tribe was removed and the years following until 1838 when the Cherokee were forced to leave.
I think something that would have been more helpful was to touch more on the specifics of why the Cherokee’s wanted to act like the Americans. I can understand it to help them survive post Civil War era with the Americans new found freedom. Was it a part of their way of coping so they could also gain independence?
This We Shall Remain video to me was the most eye opening and really gave me new information that I am glad now to know. It helped me understand the Native American history better and it helped give me a well rounded understanding that I didn’t have before.
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