Should the Indian Removal Act be passed? Arguments For Removal

Should the Indian Removal Act be passed?
Arguments For Removal
Farmers and plantation owners wanted the fertile land for growing cash crops and extend slavery into
this area – this would benefit the national economy, both the North and South
Cotton cultivation exhausts the soil, so after a number of years, the land is not as productive as it once
was – new land was needed to grow cotton
Jackson won his election because of the support of poor farmers, he wants to continue to have their
The Seminole Indians in Florida have taken in escaped slaves and even raided plantations in order to
free slaves – they are a threat to the whole plantation system of the South – Indian Removal would fix
this problem
Many believed Native Americans were “savages” who had no rights in America – they could not testify
in court, could not vote, and even though many treaties said otherwise, had no rights to American land
Removing Native Americans from the areas white settlers want to occupy will lessen the number of
Native Americans and settlers that will be killed from conflict that will ultimately arise
If Native Americans want to keep their cultural traditions alive and resist full assimilation they need to
be moved to another region so that they have the freedom to live as they want
Arguments Against Removal
The Cherokee Nation won rights to their land as early as 1785 and were recognized as part of an
independent country, therefore, not subject to the laws of the United States
1791 treaty (Hopewell Treaty) said “The United States solemnly guarantee to the Cherokee nation all
their lands not hereby ceded” in other words, the US government agreed not to push the Cherokee out
of the land where they were presently living
Very few Native people wanted to leave their land, thousands sign petitions not to leave
The Cherokee and many other tribes were already assimilating – they had converted to Christianity,
wore American style clothing, owned well cultivated farms, plows, spinning wheels, saw mills, had
schools, some even owned slaves. The Cherokee had their own newspaper – the Cherokee Phoenix,
and they had a written Constitution very similar to the US Constitution
Sequoya, a brilliant Cherokee, invented an 85 character alphabet and most Cherokee could
read and write – in fact it was said that more Cherokee people were literate than whites living
in Georgia!
Tribes are expected to go to a land they have never seen with very different resources than they are
used to
If Natives are removed, they will have to walk to their new home – this march will be long and difficult
especially for the very young and the very old – death and disease will likely come to many who make
the move
Name____________________________________________________Period____ Date_______
Making an argument:
1 – Should the Indian Removal Act be passed? (CLAIM)
2 – Choose 3 pieces of evidence from the handout to argue your point (EVIDENCE YOU
3 – Write your argument (COMBINE 1 and 2 to create your analysis). This statement
should be one sentence and contain your claim and three pieces of evidence.
4 – List one argument from the other side and provide a counter-argument that could
be used in response.