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In the Name of Civilization : Jackson, Forsyth and the Indian Removal Act of 1830

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Newburg, Dave
Lang, Katherine H.
Jul 13, 2007
United States. Indian Removal Act of 1830.; Forsyth, Thomas, 1771-1833--Correspondence.; Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845--Views on Indians.; Indian Removal, 1813-1903.; Indians of North America--Relocation.
The intent of this paper is to discuss Andrew Jackson?s controversial actions and policies affecting Native Americans, most notably the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This act required all Native American tribes east of the Mississippi river to move west into designated frontier territories. The native migration would allow the white Americans to possess new farmlands to increase the union?s crop output. White settlers supported the act unanimously due to the promise of state improvement, but many natives would claim that the act was either a great shame or a declaration of war. This paper will examine Jackson?s rise to the presidency and how Jackson?s stance on the Native American issue increased his popularity amongst southern whites. This paper will also examine the correspondence of Fort Armstrong Indian Agent, Thomas Forsyth. The content of these letters help to provide a rationale for the Jackson?s course of action. Although it is unknown if Jackson ever met Forsyth, the information contained in Forsyth?s correspondence reflect contemporary concern with the ?Indian problem.? Confrontations from forcibly removed tribes and conflicts such as the Black Hawk War and the Second Seminole War will be addressed as well. Finally, this paper will examine contemporary praises and/or criticisms of Jackson?s Indian removal policies provided by contemporary historians.
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