The Constitutionality Involved In The Removal Of

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The Constitutionality Involved In The Removal Of T Essay, Research Paper U.S. Constitution The Constitutionality involved in the Removal of the Cherokee Indians The debate over the legality of sovereignty and acquired lands from the native Americans (specifically the Cherokee) has long been debated. The issues involved have included treaties, land sold or ceded, and the right of the Government to physically enforce their rules on Indian land (i.e. sovereignty). This paper will examine the tactics used by the Federal Governments, the State Governments as well as those of the Cherokee on these same issues. Was the way that these lands acquired prove that justice had been served, fairly and in a humane fashion? What Constitutional basis did each side have in defending their

position and what has since happened to the Cherokee peoples along this journey? Who was right and who was wrong? These and other questions will be answered as the three-way relationship between the Federal Government, the Sate Government and the Indians is examined. As well as the previous issues; also being examined will be how the interpretation of the Constitution will change as society redirects it course prior to the year of 1840. The Cherokee Nation, was the largest of Five Civilized Tribes of the southeast. They are a people of Iroquois dissent. The Cherokee who were known as Ani -Yun wiya or principal people migrated to the southeast from the Great Lakes region. They held more than 40,000 square miles of land in the south by 1650 with a population estimated at well over

30,000. Similar to other Native Americans of the southeast, their nation was a confederacy of towns each under the rule of a supreme chief. In short, the Cherokee culture and society thrived and prospered in the Americas prior to contact with the Europeans. No Society has ever made a more dramatic cultural shift then that of the Cherokee. This, a culture that had suffered pronounced side effects of Europe even prior to the introduction to European man. With the introduction of man onto the Americas so came something unknown to them, Disease. Unable to counter these viruses many of the Cherokee were wiped out. Reports state that between 40 and 50% of their culture died from diseases such as: smallpox, typhus, and measles. With the sudden lose of population, there is no doubt that

this population also lost leadership and knowledge through these deaths. Once the obstacle of disease had been passed came the addition of a new opponent: the European man. In 1783 after a long fought American Revolution the Americans and the British signed the Peace of Paris to officially end the war. The United States approach to dealing with the problems of the Cherokee rested on the theories formulated in Europe. Which were according to international law, England had owned the American colonies by right of discovery which also gave right to the claiming of land currently occupied by non-Christian and uncivilized peoples, by the right of conquest. What this would convey is that the British Government would accept and recognize colonists and Indians the right to own and use

lands, govern amongst themselves and develop their own economies but authority was always given to the sovereign authority of England. So when the British government had lost the Revolutionary war, by right of conquest the United States won all of England s authority, which included rule over all of the people and land in the Americas. This is the same logic, which was extended to the Indians that were in fact living on their land. But rather then defend (by another fight) the right of conquest against the Indians, Congress wanted to conduct peaceful negotiations with them instead. This brought about the treaty of Hopewell in 1785 which historically was the very first treaty between the United States and the Cherokee people. The treaty was in fact one of courtesy, which was to