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The Trail of Tears was an event that changed the Native Americans, and the relationship with the Americans forever. The Trail of Tears occurred when the Natives were forced to relocate, due to the Indian Removal Act. The American president, Andrew Jackson, created this plan, in order to gain more land, and achieve the Manifest Destiny. In 1830, he signed the Indian Act of Removal, giving the power to relocate the Native Americans.
In the early 1820’s, many Native Americans were living all across America. The American settlers desperately wanted the land. They wanted to expand America and be able to occupy the land, in order to make money. The Native Americans also seemed strange and different. They had different customs, clothes, and food. At first, the goal of the American settlers was to get them to assimilate.
In order to get the Native Americans to behave and act like the American settlers, they had to threaten the Natives. The logic behind this was, that the Natives will be too scared to refuse, and eventually they will become part of the American Nation. To the Americans, their aim was to get them to become one great nation.
Many of the tribes agreed to the ‘civilized’ ways of life, and began to follow these conditions. The tribes among them were the famous Choctaw, Cherokee, Seminole, and many others. They started to participate in this, in order that their land would not get taken away by the settlers.
The problem with the Native Americans soon turned into a matter of their land, and not their assimilation. The American settlers wanted to inhabit all of the land, in order to make money, and receive more resources. To get the Natives to give them their land, relocation was the ideal solution.
It was decided that many tribes were to relocate to specific ‘Indian Territory’. On the journey to their ‘territory’, the Native Americans were not provided with any food, supplies, or government help. Many of the Natives died from disease, starvation, lack of shelter, and protection. This event was called ‘The Trail of Tears’ because it was a journey full of death and tears.
The impact that Trail of Tears left behind was tremendous. More than a quarter of all the Native Americans that had been relocation died. The small remainder of trust that had existed before the event was now crushed. During the relocation, the Native Americans were deprived of their land, possessions, and their own identity. To the Natives, the land in which they dwelled defined them. To the Natives, you were part of your land, and your land was part of you.
The land represented the Native Americans, and had been their home for thousand of years. Being forced to relocate from their home, was striping their identity from them. By the American settlers forcing them out of their land, they were ultimately destroying the trust and friendship that they had between each other.
The effect that the Trail of Tears had on the relationship between the Native Americans, and settlers were irreversible. The bonds of friendship had forever been destroyed between them. This event had killed thousand of Native Americans, and left the survivors in complete despair. The event left a permanent mark on the relationship between them forever.
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