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DBQ Indian Removal The 1830s removal of the Cherokee Indians from their ancestral land to distant reservations in Oklahoma known as the Trail of Tears represented a marked divergence from American national policy The decision made by the Jackson administration differed in two conspicuous ways the removal proceeded from a gross breach of treaty and sovereignty rather than a coerced Teformulation of a treaty it defied the entire Judicial branch of government by going against the Supreme Court Although the historical trend was building up to greater and greater clashes between Indians the national policy had not overtly changed until Jackson proposed the Indian Removal Act Beginning in 1721 the colonies had made treaties with Native Americans Doc A Successive US Treaties took away successive amounts of land Doc A Although coerced these treaties were superficially legal Henry Knox secretary of war under Washingtons administration and negotiator of the Cherokee Treaty of Holston summarized the possibilities for the United States as follows two modes present themselves the first of which is by raising an army and destroying the resisting tribes entirely or 2ndly by forming treaties of peace with them Doc B America did in fact employ both options taking away increasing amounts of lands from Indians via treaties and outright conquering the lands of Indians who resisted However Knox further observed An inquiry would arise whether the United States have a clear right to proceed with the destruction or expulsion of the savages The Indians being the prior occupants possess the right of the soil It cannot be taken from them unless by their free consent or by the right of conquest of a just war Doc B As this is the national policy existing under Washington it can clearly be seen to be contrary to Jackson who removed the Cherokee by passage of a law in Congress
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