Andrew Jackson Letter To The Indians Summary Essay

One man can have the ability to change history. Many leaders have come and gone but Americans have never seen a one like Andrew Jackson. Unafraid of his rivals, Jackson was a fierce individual that was not to be reckoned with. His upbringing had a lot to do with the person he developed into. A fire was lit within him after being taken by the British army and then assaulted. He then made it his mission to defeat the British for good. He created an army out of an untrained local militia, slaves, and Indians.

After the demise of the British army, America was considering the expansion of its borders. And so, the talks of Indian removal began to rise. (notes) As John Quincy Adams’ successor, Jackson made it his goal to remove the Indians after Georgia expressed its feels about them being in the state. In his message to congress, Jackson views the Indians to be nothing but savages. The equivalent to a vicious animal. These views are ironic since Jackson did have many of the same Indians fight along his side when came to the battles of the British.

They did their best to adapt the costumes of the white settlers while keeping their traditions intact. Nothing they did seemed to be enough for them to gain the respect of the whites. In their memorial, they argue that the laws Georgia has in place for them are oppressive and violate them in every way. These laws were similar to the Jim crow laws that were put in place in the late 1870s. Indians could congregate, dig for gold and testify in court. They go into details of how they are treated as anything but a human beings and how they refuse to move to another land which they are unfamiliar with.

Which in all prospects it is fair to say that moving individuals to an unknown place is just inhumane to say the least. (Indian video) (Memorial of the Cherokee nation) (Jackson to congress 1) When speaking to people often times word choice can be a way to display the amount of respect you may have for someone. This too can demonstrate the true intentions of someone’s actions. In his letter to the Indians, Jackson refers to them as “Friends”. Friend’s true definition is a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile.

Now by definition, Jackson is in no position to call the Indians friends. It just another tactic in showing how much actual respect he has for the Indians. Also in this article, it is visible president Jackson lacks the understanding of the culture of the Indians. He then claims that he is removing them for their own good, otherwise they will fall to their demise. Jackson is referring to this as a mild threat. Comparing this article to the one from congress Jackson’s choice in words vary greatly.

He refers to them as savages and then turns around and pretends as if the removal is in their best interest. It is clear that he wants the removal to occur as fast as possible so that The United States can start expanding its borders further west. In the note to the Indians, he proceeds to give them a list of “stipulations” which are nothing more than ultimatums. And if the Indians do not comply with them they shall be punished. Jackson also mocks their culture by stating “May the Great Spirit teach you how to choose”.

This further extends the lack of actual empathy that Jackson has for these people. He lacks the ability to emphasize with the Indians on any kind of level. The most troubling part of this letter is the fact that he refers to it as advice. (Jackson to Indians)(Jackson to Congress) Having to move is a stressful event anyone can relate to, but being forced out of your own home with a gun to your head is a little tough to imagine. Although the removal did not happen until May 13th 1835, many Indians were not prepared to leave their homes for forever.

And with no surprise many white settlers were upset that there was even a law in congress that wanted to remove the Indians. Many of them had become part of the white community. They were friends and neighbors to many white settlers. One by the name of Ralph Emerson, wrote to president Van Buren and expressed his thoughts about the process and how it was not right for the American government to be doing such a thing. They adopted Christianity in order to be embraced by the whirw that were their neighbors.

The Indians did everything they could to stay on their land that it began to create division among the tribes. They separated into half-bloods and full bloods. But the government could not see that the actual division. Emerson makes a valid point that, no part of the government has crossed paths with any of the Indians that are in the process of removal. No one had made the effort to empathize with the Indians on what they would be forced to experience. Many of the Indians also felt that Georgia and The United States had no right to remove them from their ancestral lands.

Lands they have owned for centuries before the white settlers came to The United States. (Emerson 1) In conclusion Jackson’s already had his mind set to removing the Indians. He did not have any compassion for what he would be doing to the Indians. Jackson viewed the removal equivalent to the settlers first moving to United states. This viewpoint only clouded the judgement of what he was truly doing to the Indians. Although the Indians initially refused to leave their ancestral lands, The United States ultimately won the battle.