What was the Indian Removal Act

Analyze President Andrew Jackson’s Speech concerning the Indian removal Act.Take into consideration the following points:1. What was the Indian Removal Act?2. How does this fit in the greater context of “Manifest Destiny.”3. How was the Native American portrayed in this document?4. How is the European American portrayed?5. How does the ideal of progress fit in?6. What points of the text are directly connected to our discussions on nationalism, industrial revolution, and colonialism.7. What are your thoughts?8. Address other points of interest.THREE-FOUR PAGES, DOUBLE SPACE, 12 FONT, TIMES NEW ROMAN FONT, NO COVER PAGE, NAME IN TOP RIGHT CORNER AND PAPER MUST HAVE A TITLE

USE MLA FORMAT, THREE PAGES

Andrew Jackson’s  Speech  to  Congress  on Indian  Removal

 

“It gives  me  pleasure  to  announce  to  Congress  that the benevolent  policy  of  the  Government,  steadily

pursued  for  nearly  thirty  years,  in  relation  to  the  removal  of  the  Indians  beyond  the  white  settlements  is

approaching  to  a  happy  consummation.  Two  important  tribes  have  accepted  the  provision  made for

their  removal  at  the  last  session  of  Congress,  and  it  is  believed  that  their  example  will induce  the

remaining  tribes  also  to  seek  the  same  obvious  advantages.

 

The  consequences  of  a  speedy  removal  will  be  important  to  the  United  States,  to  individual  States,  and

to  the  Indians  themselves.  The  pecuniary  advantages  which  it  promises  to  the  Government  are  the  least

of  its  recommendations.  It  puts  an  end  to  all  possible  danger  of  collision  between  the  authorities  of  the

General  and  State  Governments  on  account  of the  Indians.  It will  place  a dense  and  civilized  population

in  large  tracts  of  country  now  occupied  by  a  few  savage  hunters.  By  opening  the whole  territory

between  Tennessee  on  the  north  and  Louisiana  on  the  south  to  the  settlement  of  the  whites  it  will

incalculably  strengthen  the  southwestern  frontier  and  render  the adjacent  States  strong  enough  to  repel

future  invasions  without  remote  aid.  It  will  relieve  the  whole  State of  Mississippi  and  the  western  part  of

Alabama  of  Indian  occupancy,  and  enable  those States  to  advance  rapidly  in  population,  wealth,  and

power.  It  will  separate  the Indians  from  immediate  contact with  settlements  of  whites;  free them  from

the  power  of the  States;  enable  them  to pursue  happiness  in  their  own  way  and  under  their  own  rude

institutions;  will  retard  the  progress  of  decay,  which is  lessening  their  numbers,  and  perhaps  cause  them

gradually,  under  the  protection  of  the  Government  and  through  the  influence  of good  counsels,  to  cast

off  their  savage  habits  and  become  an  interesting,  civilized, and  Christian  community.

 

What  good  man  would  prefer a country  covered  with  forests  and  ranged  by  a  few  thousand  savages  to

our  extensive  Republic,  studded  with  cities,  towns,  and prosperous  farms  embellished  with  all  the

improvements  which  art  can  devise  or  industry  execute,  occupied  by  more  than  12,000,000  happy

people,  and  filled  with all  the  blessings  of  liberty,  civilization  and religion?

 

The  present  policy  of  the  Government  is  but  a  continuation  of the  same  progressive  change  by a  milder

process.  The  tribes  which  occupied  the  countries  now  constituting  the  Eastern  States  were  annihilated

or  have  melted  away  to  make  room  for  the  whites.  The  waves  of population  and  civilization  are  rolling

to  the  westward,  and we  now  propose  to  acquire  the  countries  occupied  by the  red  men  of  the  South

and  West  by  a  fair  exchange,  and, at  the  expense  of  the  United  States,  to  send  them  to  land  where  their

existence  may  be  prolonged  and  perhaps  made  perpetual.  Doubtless it  will  be  painful  to  leave  the

graves  of their  fathers;  but  what  do  they  more  than  our  ancestors  did  or  than  our  children  are  now

doing?  To  better  their condition  in  an  unknown  land  our  forefathers  left  all  that  was dear  in  earthly

objects.  Our  children  by  thousands  yearly  leave the  land  of  their  birth to  seek  new  homes  in  distant

regions.  Does  Humanity  weep  at  these  painful  separations  from  everything,  animate  and  inanimate,

with  which  the  young  heart  has  become  entwined?  Far  from  it.  It  is  rather  a source  of  joy  that  our

country  affords  scope  where  our  young  population  may  range  unconstrained  in  body  or  in  mind,

developing  the  power  and facilities  of  man  in  their  highest  perfection.  These  remove  hundreds  and

almost  thousands  of  miles  at  their  own  expense,  purchase  the  lands  they  occupy,  and support

themselves  at  their  new homes  from  the  moment  of  their  arrival.  Can  it  be  cruel  in this  Government

when,  by  events  which  it  cannot  control,  the  Indian  is  made  discontented  in  his  ancient  home  to

purchase  his  lands,  to  give  him  a new  and  extensive  territory,  to  pay  the  expense  of  his  removal,  and

support  him  a year  in  his  new  abode?  How  many  thousands  of  our  own  people  would  gladly  embrace   the opportunity  of  removing  to the  West  on  such  conditions!  If  the  offers  made  to  the  Indians  were

extended  to  them,  they  would  be hailed  with  gratitude  and joy.

 

And  is it  supposed  that  the  wandering  savage  has  a  stronger  attachment  to  his  home  than  the  settled,

civilized  Christian?  Is  it  more  afflicting  to  him  to leave  the  graves  of his  fathers  than  it  is  to  our  brothers

and  children?  Rightly  considered,  the  policy  of  the  General  Government  toward  the  red  man  is  not  only

liberal,  but  generous.  He  is  unwilling  to  submit  to the  laws  of  the  States  and  mingle  with  their

population.  To  save  him  from  this  alternative,  or  perhaps  utter  annihilation,  the  General  Government

kindly  offers  him  a new  home,  and  proposes  to  pay  the whole  expense  of  his  removal  and  settlement.”

Citation: President  Jackson’s  Message  to  Congress  “On  Indian  Removal”,  December  6,  1830;  Records  of  the  United  States

Senate,  1789 ‐1990;  Record  Group  46;  Records  of  the  United  States  Senate,  1789 ‐1990;  National  Archives  and Records

Administration   (NARA]

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