The whites considered and chose removing the Cherokees from their native land to pave way for their settlement. The idea behind the removal was supported by some whites while others were of civilization. Cherokees had the options of either accepting to remain or move out of their native land. This paper seeks to discuss the alternatives made by the whites and Cherokees and the strengths and weaknesses of each in line with Discovering the American past, a look at the evidence by Wheeler and Glover.
With the coming of European into contact with the locals Cherokees many thing were bound to change in their life. The white people had in their disposal the alternatives of dealing with the natives to fall into their whims. Firstly the white men came with civilization as the first alternative to conquer the natives. Civilization brought with it many things in the life of Cherokees. President Andrew Jackson listed some of the benefits of civilization in his excerpt made to the Congress. For example the American natives came to embrace clothes and farm implements such as hoes. They also came to embrace the use of firearm, alcohol, hatchets and metals which all emerged with civilization. For the native to access these goods they had to trade with the skins of a deer implying that gaming became rampant and the deer population dwindles. As a result civilization many men gave up hunting and embraces white men ways of life .some Cherokees leaders recognizes the importance of civilization and one particular Eskaqua clarified to president Washington that game is going fast away from us. We must plant corn and raise cattle (Wheeler & Glover 180). Some of the weaknesses of this choices is that some native refused civilization led by the chief council leading to resistance and wars. Also with civilization coming up, the native ran out of choices and were deficient in many ways and they were now depending on the whites on many things. Wars were on the rise with the emergence of firearms. Wildlife was destroyed and even the land where they were living was increasingly becoming small. They also came to embrace the use of firearm, and alcohol which all emerged with civilization. Also Excerpt from Senator Theodore of New Jersey indicated that the other tribes of the world have melted away with the influence of the whites. The idea of removal as another alternative of Cherokees from their native lands was muted as a result of those who refused to embrace the white man culture. The removal of Cherokees was catalyzed by the appeal made by President Jackson after signing the passing of the bill by the senate and the house. Indian agent advocated for it after losing hope even though he continue to live among the Cherokees for the entirety of his life (182). However this idea had its own challenges as the native land was protected by the United States land policies. It was hard to intrude on the native lands without negotiations and signing of treaties. According to the excerpt of William Pen made on November 1829 he argued that it was a gross violations and cruel act to evict the Indian nation from their native land (191).
The Cherokees had two alternatives at their disposal. First they were to choose to be citizen of the United States .On choosing to stay as citizen the Cherokees was supposed to submit to the laws of the United States. Furthermore, those who chose to remain were treated equally, and they receives aids and patronage. The protest letter done to the honorable senate and House of representative (205) shared briefs of the benefits of the remnants Cherokees. However the treaty and agreement appears to have shortchanged them after choosing to remain and becoming subject to the united state laws .For example, upon the discovery of gold mines in their land the law was passed which incriminate the Indians from dealing with Gold in Georgia. This led to incarcerations of many Indians .This directly frankly disavowing any selfish or sinister motives towards them (206). Other acts of violations were passed by Georgia in continued violations of the agreement and as these continued many Cherokees were found to be in need of public assistance in Northern Carolina (211). With the emergence of tourism the Cherokees were not able to contain their culture.
Alternatively, some of the Cherokees chose to move out of their native land where they will enjoy their distinct life, and enjoy their own laws. Furthermore, they are going to get additional land from those acquired by their brothers in the West. They will be subject to their own culture and out of interference. John Ross in his argument towards removal gave a range of benefits associated with moving away from the residing with the Whites (204). However, it came to pass that the native Americans were not able to co-exist with the Whites unless they abandoned their culture for efficient growth and progress. Civilization is inevitable if change and progress are to be achieved. Thomas Jefferson before he died changed his mind to supporting civilization due to the slow progress associated with the native culture (211).
Wheeler, W. B. & Glover, L. (n.d.). Discovering the American past, a look at the evidence, volume one: to 1877.
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