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What Was the Indian Removal Act?

The Indian removal act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson in 1830. It just passed through congress with a single vote. The Indian removal act was very controversial because while this act was supposed to be voluntary, great pressure was placed on Native American leaders to sign removal treaties. The Native Americans in the southeastern United States were to trade their lands for the land in the west to vacate the lands in the southeast for settlement. The Indian removal act states the terms of compensation for improvements such as homes for those who relocated.

Although the terms of the Indian Removal Act sound reasonable, it was part of an informal larger government policy known as the Indian Removal. This was designed to push the Native Americans off their lands. The Cherokees are one of the tribes greatly affected by the Indian Removal Act for they were the richest and most advanced of all Indian tribes. Their lands have grown 40,000 acres worth of crops which made the white settlers want to take over their lands. The Native Americans were forced and manipulated into giving up their lands.

For those tribes who voluntarily gave up their lands to follow the Indian Removal Act, surprise hit them when they found out that in exchange of their lands were poor quality and that has nothing to compare to their rich and fertile land. In the 20th century, some attempts were made to protect the Native Americans when the government realized that more harm was done due to Indian Removal although the damages caused are impossible to repair.

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