The Effects of the Trail of Tears

There were about 16,000 Cherokee before their eviction. They put up the biggest fight; enough to make them the last tribe to be forced from their homes. They were a stationary tribe, and not nomads like many others. They had their own system of writing based on Greek. Hebrew, and English. They also had their own constitution and a Republican system of government. The Cherokee had formed a treaty with the US. Government that protected their land in Tennessee and Georgia, but as soon as gold was discovered in Georgia, even/things changed, Georgians claimed that all treaties with the Indians were null and void, and tried to take the Cherokeeis land. A fierce legal battle ensued. and the Supreme Court sided With the Cherokee in that it was unconstitutional for Georgia to take the land.

Andrew Jackson. the president at the time, gave less heed to the Constitution ol these peoples than he would an insect landing on his coat. He merely brushed it aside and declared that the Indians would be moved, forcefully if necessary, to the West. Thus began the Trail of Tears, in which the sanctity and sanity, the hopes and dreams of these people were shredded and burned like endless sheets of paper. The Cherokee began to be moved under federal guard in May of 1838, The term Dguard“. was actually best described as a forced march at bayonet point. During the roundups, many Indians were forced to leave their homes with only the clothes they were wearing.

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Time and time again, Indians watched as soldiers confiscated their belongings and sold them to white men for next to nothing. Coincidentally, also in May the worst drought in the Southwest recorded history began, Over13,000 Cherokees were imprisoned in July, and around 1,500 died in confinement in the blistering heat with little water. Of 13 separate groups, the Army commanded some, the others were hired out to contractors. Each contractor received $65 from the government per person under his care for food and medical supplies, but often these funds were misused. Though this atrocity may not be on the scale of Adolph Hitler or Joseph Stalin. but it is certainly something for our country to be deeply ashamed of.

Socially, the Trail of Tears disrupted Cherokee families and communities. Families were torn apart, and many Cherokee people lost loved ones during the forced relocation. The journey was also marked by violence and abuse, with many Native Americans being beaten or killed by their captors. The trauma of the Trail of Tears had a lasting impact on the mental health and well-being of the Cherokee people. Culturally, the Trail of Tears had a profound impact on the Cherokee Nation. The forced relocation disrupted Cherokee traditions and customs, as many artifacts and cultural items were lost or destroyed during the journey. The Cherokee language and traditional ways of life were also threatened, as many young Cherokee people were forced to attend boarding schools that aimed to assimilate them into white American culture. Overall, the Trail of Tears had long-lasting effects on the Cherokee Nation and other Native American tribes. It was a traumatic event that had a profound impact on Native American culture, history, and identity. Today, it is remembered as a symbol of the injustices that Native American people have endured throughout American history.

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The Effects of the Trail of Tears. (2023, May 12). Retrieved from