3. Gender Roles and Cherokee Removal[4]

Jacksonian America
Nineteenth-century writers proclaimed history to be the biography of great men. Most early
historians searched the past for heroes. Today we generally see biography as an outdated
definition of history. The question then is in what ways might biography remain a good way
to learn about the past in general? And to learn about Jacksonian American in particular? Do
we need to understand the personalities of individuals like Andrew Jackson to understand the
past or is it most useful to look at the past from the bottom up? Did Jackson’s background
manifest itself in his actions and policies? If so, how?
Assessing Andrew Jackson’s Indian Policy: Two Views
1. Some historians seem to argue that Andrew Jackson was at heart an “Indian-hater.” This
simplistic view of Jackson’s Indian policy is unacceptable. As a military man, his
dominant goal in the decades before he became President was to preserve the security and
well-being of the United States and its Indian and white inhabitants. He was concerned
about foreign invasion, specifically, British invasion. At the same time it is clear that he
did not consider the Indians to be noble savages. He argued it was necessary to operate
upon their fears, rather than on higher motive. He was also convinced that the Indians did
not constitute sovereign nations who could be dealt with in formal treaties as though they
were foreign powers. Jackson saw removal as a means of protecting the process of
civilization, as well as providing land for white settlers, security from foreign invasion,
and a quieting of the clamors of Georgia against the federal government.1
2. Most historians have focused on the removal process rather than the legislation passed in
1830. But we need to devote more attention to the discrepancy between the law’s
provisions and the administration’s actions. The Indian Removal Act neither authorized
the unilateral abrogation of treaties guaranteeing Native American land rights within the
states, nor the forced relocation of the eastern Indians. Significantly there was no
provision in the bill authorizing the seizure of land that Indians declined to cede by treaty.
The Jacksonians’ insistence on the voluntary nature of their removal program was a
political ploy aimed at winning badly needed votes in the House of Representatives.
While the removal bill passed easily in the Senate, with 28 votes in favor and 19 opposed,
the House voted for the Act by a narrow margin of 102 to 97. The vote was sectional:
Northeastern representatives were overwhelmingly opposed, with 79 voting against the
bill and 42 in favor. 27 western congressmen supported the bill and 17 opposed it; 60 out
of 75 southern representatives voted for the Act.2
Choose one of the following documents or excerpts
1. The Indian Removal Act
2. President Jackson's Message to Congress 'On Indian Removal' (December 6, 1830)
3. Gender roles and Cherokee Removal
4. Cherokee Constitution, 1827 (excerpts)
Paraphrased, and adapted from F.P. Prucha, Andrew Jackson’s Indian Policy: A Reassessment,” Journal
of American History 566 (December 1969): 527-39.
Paraphrase and adapted from Alfred Cave, “Abuse of Power: Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal
Act of 1830,” Historian 65 (Winter 2003): 1330-53.
1. The Removal Act 28 May 1830
An Act to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the states or
territories, and for their removal west of the river Mississippi.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in
Congress assembled, That it shall and may be lawful for the President of the United States to
cause so much of any territory belonging to the United States, west of the river Mississippi, not
included in any state or organized territory, and to which the Indian title has been extinguished,
as he may judge necessary, to be divided into a suitable number of districts, for the reception of
such tribes or nations of Indians as may choose to exchange the lands where they now reside, and
remove there; and to cause each of said districts to be so described by natural or artificial marks,
as to be easily distinguished from every other.
And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President to exchange any or all
of such districts, so to be laid off and described, with any tribe or nation of Indians now residing
within the limits of any of the states or territories, and with which the United States have existing
treaties, for the whole or any part or portion of the territory claimed and occupied by such tribe
or nation, within the bounds of any one or more of the states or territories, where the land
claimed and occupied by the Indians, is owned by the United States, or the United States are
bound to the state within which it lies to extinguish the Indian claim thereto.
And be it further enacted, That in the making of any such exchange or exchanges, it shall and
may be lawful for the President solemnly to assure the tribe or nation with which the exchange is
made, that the United States will forever secure and guaranty to them, and their heirs or
successors, the country so exchanged with them; and if they prefer it, that the United States will
cause a patent or grant to be made and executed to them for the same: Provided always, That
such lands shall revert to the United States, if the Indians become extinct, or abandon the same.
And be it further enacted, That if, upon any of the lands now occupied by the Indians, and to be
exchanged for, there should be such improvements as add value to the land claimed by any
individual or individuals of such tribes or nations, it shall and may be lawful for the President to
cause such value to be ascertained by appraisement or otherwise, and to cause such ascertained
value to be paid to the person or persons rightfully claiming such improvements. And upon the
payment of such valuation, the improvements so valued and paid for, shall pass to the United
States, and possession shall not afterwards be permitted to any of the same tribe.
And be it further enacted, That upon the making of any such exchange as is contemplated by this
act, it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such aid and assistance to be furnished
to the emigrants as may be necessary and proper to enable them to remove to, and settle in, the
country for which they may have exchanged; and also, to give them such aid and assistance as
may be necessary for their support and subsistence for the first year after their removal.
And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such tribe or
nation to be protected, at their new residence, against all interruption or disturbance from any
other tribe or nation of Indians, or from any other person or persons whatever.
And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President to have the same
superintendence and care over any tribe or nation in the country to which they may remove, as
contemplated by this act, that he is now authorized to have over them at their present places of
residence: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed as authorizing or
directing the violation of any existing treaty between the United States and any of the Indian
And be it further enacted, That for the purpose of giving effect to the Provisions of this act, the
sum of five hundred thousand dollars is hereby appropriated, to be paid out of any money in the
treasury, not otherwise appropriated…
1. Examine the language used in the Removal Act; does it seem that the government is
about to force Native Americans to give up their land? Point to specific passages or terms
2. Consider the caveat included in the third section of the Act. What possibility does the
Act consider and what might this tell us about the place of Native Americans in U.S.
society in general in 1830 and white Americans’ vision of Native Americans’ future?
2. President Andrew Jackson's Message to Congress 'On Indian Removal' (December 6,
It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the
Government, steadily pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians
beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation. ….
By opening the whole territory between Tennessee on the north and Louisiana on the
south to the settlement of the whites it will incalculably strengthen the southwestern frontier and
render the adjacent States strong enough to repel future invasions without remote aid. It will
relieve the whole State of Mississippi and the western part of Alabama of Indian occupancy, and
enable those States to advance rapidly in population, wealth, and power. It will separate the
Indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; free them from the power of the
States; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions;
will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their numbers, and perhaps cause them
gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good counsels, to
cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community….
Doubtless it will be painful to leave the graves of their fathers; but what do they do more
than our ancestors did or than our children are now doing? To better their condition in an
unknown land our forefathers left all that was dear in earthly objects. Our children by thousands
yearly leave the land of their birth to seek new homes in distant regions. Does Humanity weep at
these painful separations from everything, animate and inanimate, with which the young heart
has become entwined? Far from it. It is rather a source of joy that our country affords scope
where our young population may range unconstrained in body or in mind, developing the power
and facilities of man in their highest perfection. These remove hundreds and almost thousands of
miles at their own expense, purchase the lands they occupy, and support themselves at their new
homes from the moment of their arrival. Can it be cruel in this Government when, by events
which it can not control, the Indian is made discontented in his ancient home to purchase his
lands, to give him a new and extensive territory, to pay the expense of his removal, and support
him a year in his new abode? How many thousands of our own people would gladly embrace the
opportunity of removing to the West on such conditions! If the offers made to the Indians were
extended to them, they would be hailed with gratitude and joy….
And is it supposed that the wandering savage has a stronger attachment to his home than the
settled, civilized Christian? Is it more afflicting to him to leave the graves of his fathers than it is
to our brothers and children? Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward
the red man is not only liberal, but generous. He is unwilling to submit to the laws of the States
and mingle with their population. To save him from this alternative, or perhaps utter annihilation,
the General Government kindly offers him a new home, and proposes to pay the whole expense
of his removal and settlement…
1. In what terms is Jackson describing Indian Removal?
2. How does he characterize Indians? Why will Indian Removal “enable…States to
advance rapidly in population, wealth, and power” and Indians “to pursue happiness in
their own way and under their own rude institutions.”
3. What is Jackson’s view on Indians’ progress toward becoming “civilized”?
Excerpted from The Cherokee Removal: A Brief History with Documents, Theda Purdue and
Michael Green, eds. (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1995), 119-120.
3. Gender Roles and Cherokee Removal4
Traditionally women had a voice in Cherokee government. They spoke freely in council and the
War Woman (or Beloved Woman) decided the fate of captives. A late as 1787 a Cherokee
woman wrote Benjamin Franklin that she had delivered an address to her people urging them to
maintain peace with the new American nation. She had filled the peace pipe for the warriors, and
she enclosed comes of the same tobacco for the United States Congress in order to unite
symbolically her people and his in peace. She continued:
I am in hopes that if you Rightly consider that woman is the mother of All – and the
Woman does not pull Children out of Trees or Stumps nor out of old Logs, but out of
their Bodies, so that they ought to mind that a woman says.
The Cherokees were traditionally a matrilineal society; children belonged to the clan of their
mother and their only relatives were those who could be traced through her. The Cherokees were
not only matrilineal, they were also matrilocal. That is, a man lived with his wife in a house
which belonged to her, or perhaps more accurately, to her family. According to the naturalist
William Bartram, ‘Marriage gives no right to the husband over the property of his wife; and
when they part she keeps the children and property belonging to them.’ The property that women
kept included agricultural produce – corn, squash, beans, sunflowers, and pumpkins- stored in
the household’s crib. Produce belonged to women because they were the principal farmers. …
Similarly, the fields belonged to the women who tended them, or rather to the women’s lineages.
… While the Cherokees technically held land in common and anyone could use unoccupied land,
improved fields belonged to specific matrilineal households.
Perhaps this explains why women signed early deeds conveying land titles to the
Proprietors of Carolina. Agents who made these transactions offered little explanations for the
signatures of women on these documents…
As late as 1785 women still played some role in the negotiation of land transactions.
Nancy Ward, the Beloved Woman of Chota, spoke to the treaty conference held at Hopewell,
South Carolina to clarify and extend land cessions stemming from Cherokee support of the
British in the American Revolution. She addressed the assembly as the “mother of warriors” and
promoted a peaceful resolution to land disputes between the Cherokees and the United States.
Under the terms of the Treaty of Hopewell, the Cherokees ceded large tracts of land south of the
Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North
Carolina. Nancy Ward and the other Cherokee delegates to the conference agreed to the cession
not because they believed it to be just but because the United States dictated the terms of the
The conference at Hopewell was the last treaty negotiation in which women played an
official role, and Nancy Ward’s participation in that conference was somewhat anachronistic. In
the eighteenth century the English as well as other Europeans had dealt politically and
commercially with men since men were the hunters and warriors in Cherokee society and
Europeans were interested primarily in military alliances and deerskins. As relations with the
English grew increasingly important to tribal welfare, women became less significant in the
Cherokee economy and government. Conditions in the Cherokee Nation following the American
Revolution accelerated the trend. In their defeat the Cherokees had to cope with the destruction
of villages, fields, corncribs, and orchards which had occurred during the war and the cession of
Theda Purdue, “Cherokee Women and the Trail of Tears,” excerpts from The American Indian: Past
and Present, 1992.
hunting grounds which accompanied the peace. In desperation they turned to the United States
government, which proposed to convert the Cherokees into replicas of white pioneer farmers in
the anticipation that they would then cede additional territory (presumably hunting grounds they
no longer needed). While the government’s so-called “civilization” program brought some
economic relief, it also helped produce a transformation of gender roles and social organization.
The society envisioned for the Cherokees, one which government agents and Protestant
missionaries zealously tried to implement was one in which a man farmed and headed a
household composed only of his wife and children. The men who gained power in eighteenthcentury Cherokee society – hunters, warriors, and descendants of traders – took immediate
advantage of this program in order to maintain their status in the face of a declining deerskin
trade and pacification and then diverted their energy, ambition, and aggression into economic
channels. As agriculture became more commercially viable, these men began to farm or to
acquire African slaves to cultivate their fields for them. They also began to dominate Cherokee
society, and by example and legislation they altered fundamental relationships.
In 1808 a Council of headmen (there is not evidence of women participating) from
Cherokee towns established a national police force to safeguard a person’s holdings during life
and “to give protection to children as heirs to their father’s property, and to the widow’s share,”
thereby changing inheritance patterns and officially recognizing the patriarchal family as the
norm. Two years later a council representing all seven matrilineal clans, but once again
apparently including no women, abolished the practice of blood vengeance. This action ended
one of the major functions of clans and shifted responsibility for punishing wrongdoers to the
national police force and tribal courts. Matrilineal kinship clearly did not have a place in the new
Cherokee order.
We have no record of women objecting to such legislation. In fact, we know very little
about most Cherokee women…. The one subject on which women did speak on two occasions
was land. In 1817 the United States sought a large cession of Cherokee territory and removal of
those who lived on the land in question. A group of Indian women met in their own council, and
thirteen of them signed a message which was delivered to the National Council. They advised the
The Cherokee ladys now being present at the meeting of the Chiefs and warriors in
council have thought it their duties as mothers to address their beloved Chiefs and
warriors now assembled. Our beloved children and head men of the Cherokee nation we
address you warriors in council. We have raised all of you on the land which we now
have, which God gave us to inhabit and raise provisions. We know that our country has
once been extensive but by repeated sales has become circumscribed to a small tract and
never have thought it our duty to interfere in the disposition of it till now, if a father or
mother was to sell all their lands which they had to depend on, which their children had
to raise their living on, which would be bad indeed and to be removed to another country.
We do not wish to go to an unknown country which we have understood some of our
children wish to go over the Mississippi but this act of our children would be like
destroying your mothers. Your mother and sisters ask and beg of you not to part with any
more of our lands.
The next year, the National Council met again to discuss the possibility of allotting Cherokee
land to individuals, an action the United States government encouraged…. Once again Cherokee
women reacted:
We have heard with painful feelings that the bunds of the land we now possess are to be
drawn into very narrow limits. The land was given to us by the Great Spirit above as out
common right, to raise our children upon, & to make support for our rising generations.
We therefore humbly petition our beloved children, the head men and warriors, to hold
out to the last in support of our common rights, as the Cherokee nation has been the first
settlers of this land; we therefore claim the right of the soil…. We therefore unanimously
join in our meeting to hold our country in common as hitherto…..
The effects of the women’s protests in 1817 and 1818 are difficult to determine. In 1817 the
Cherokees ceded tracts of land in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, and in 1819 they made an
even larger cession. Nevertheless, they rejected individual allotments and strengthened
restrictions on alienation of improvements. Furthermore, the Cherokee Nation gave notice that
they would negotiate no additional cessions – a resolution so strongly supported that the United
States ultimately had to turn to a small unauthorized faction in order to obtain the minority treaty
of 1835. ...
The protests of the women to the National Council in 1817 and 1818 were, however, the
last time women presented a collective position to the Cherokee governing body. Structural
changes in Cherokee government more narrowly defined participation on the National
Council….As the Cherokee government became more centralized, political and economic power
rested increasingly in the hands of a few elite men who adopted the planter lifestyle of the white
antebellum South. A significant part of the ideological basis for this lifestyle was the cult of
domesticity in which the ideal woman confined herself to home and hearth while men contended
with the corrupt world of government and business. The elite adopted the tenets of the cult of
domesticity, particularly after 1817, when the number of Protestant missionaries… increased
significantly and their influence on Cherokee society broadened.
The extend to which a man’s wife and daughters conformed to the idea quickly came to
be one measure of his status. In 1818 Charles Hicks, who later served as Principal Chief,
described the most prominent men in the Nation as “those who have for the last 10 or 20 years
been pursuing agriculture & kept their women and children at home & in comfortable
1. What was the basis of Cherokee women’s traditional position of political, economic and social
power? How and why did this position erode after the American Revolution?
2. Why do we know so little about the lives of Cherokee women? (Think about the kinds of sources
we can use to learn about the lives of European-American women; why might those not be
available for Cherokee women?)
3. Why did the U.S. government encourage the Cherokees and other Indian nations to move toward
individual land ownership? Why would Cherokee women especially oppose individual
4. Do you think that the exclusion of women from politics in Cherokee society produced the
removal crisis?
4. Constitution of the Cherokee Nation, 18275
WE THE REPRESENTATIVES of the people of the CHEROKEE NATION in Convention
assembled, in order to establish justice, ensure tranquility, promote our common welfare, and
secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with humility and
gratitude the goodness of the sovereign Ruler of the Universe, in offering as an opportunity so
favorable to the design, and imploring his aid and direction in its accomplishment, do ordain and
establish this Constitution for the Government of the Cherokee Nation.
Article I
Sec. 1. The Boundaries of this nation, embracing lands solemnly guaranteed and reserved forever
to the Cherokee Nation by the Treaties concluded with the United States, are as follows; and
shall forever hereafter remain unalterably the same-to wit…[lengthy outline of the geographic
Sec. 2. The Sovereignty and Jurisdiction of this Government shall extend over the country within
the boundaries above described, and the lands therein are, and shall remain the common property
of the Nation; but the improvements made thereon, and in the possession of the citizens of the
Nation, are the exclusive and indefeasible property of the citizens respectively who made, or may
rightfully be in possession of them; Provided, That the citizens of the Nation, possessing
exclusive and indefeasible right to their respective improvements,… shall possess no right nor
power to dispose of their improvements in any manner whatever to the United States, individual
states, nor to individual citizens thereof; and that, whenever any such citizen or citizens shall
remove with their effects out of the limits of this Nation, and become citizens of any other
government, all their rights and privileges as citizens of this nation shall cease…..
Article II
Sec. 1. The Power of this Government, shall be divided into three distinct departments; the
Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial.
Sec. 2. No Person or persons, belonging to one of these Departments, shall exercise any of the
powers properly belonging to either of the others, except in the cases hereinafter expressly
directed or permitted.
Article III
Sec. 1. THE LEGISLATIVE POWER shall be vested in two distinct branches; a Committee, and
a Council; each to have a negative on the other, and both to be styled, the General Council of the
Cherokee Nation;…
Sec. 2. The Cherokee Nation, as laid off into eight Districts shall so remain.
Sec. 3. The Committee shall consist of two members from each district, and the Council shall
consist of three members from each District, to be chosen by the qualified electors of their
respective Districts for two years; and the elections to be held in every District on the first
Monday in August for the year 1828, and every succeeding two years hereafter; and the General
Council shall be held once a year, to be convened on the second Monday of October in each
year, at New Echota.
Sec. 4. No person shall be eligible to a seat on the General Council, but a free Cherokee Male
citizen, who shall have attained to the age of twenty-five ears. The descendants of Cherokee
men by all free women, except the African race, whose parents may be or have been living
together as man and wife, according to the customs and laws of this Nation, shall be entitled to
As quoted in David Heidler and Jeanne Heidler, eds. Indian Removal (W.W. Norton, 2007),
tall the rights and privileges of this Nation, as well as the posterity of Cherokee women by all
free men. No person who is of negro or mulatto parentage, either by the father or mother side,
shall be eligible to hold any office of profit, honor, or trust under this Government….
Sec. 6. In all elections by the people, the electors shall vote viva voce. [“with living voice” or
“by word of mouth”]….
Sec. 7. All free male citizens (except negroes, and the descendants of white and Indian men by
negro women, who may have been set free,) who shall have attained the age of eighteen years,
shall be equally entitled in vote at all public elections….
Sec. 11. The members of the committee shall each receive from the public Treasury a
compensation for their services, which shall be two dollars and fifty cents per day during their
attendance at the General Council; and the members of the Council shall each receive two dollars
per day, for their services attendance at the General Councils Provided, That the same may be
increased or diminished by law, but no alteration shall take effect during the period of service of
the members of the General Council, by whom such alteration shall have been made. ….
Sec. 14. No person who may be convicted of felony before any court of this Nation shall be
eligible to any office or appointment of honor, profit, or trust, within this Nation.
Sec. 19. The Legislature shall have power to make laws for laying and collecting taxes, for the
purpose of raising revenue.
Sec. 20. All bills making appropriations shall originate in the Committee, but the Council may
propose amendments or reject the same.
Sec. 24. –26: address impeachment of officials
Article IV
Sec. 1. The Supreme Executive power of this Nation shall be bested in a Principal Chief, who
shall be chosen by the General Council, and shall hold his office four years; to be elected as
follows. – The General Council, by a joint vote, shall, at their second annual session, after the
rising of this Convention, and at every fourth annual session thereafter, on the second day after
the Houses shall be organized, and competent to proceed to business, elect a Principal Chief.
Sec. 2. No person except a natural born citizen shall be eligible to the office of Principal Chief;
neither shall any person be eligible to that office, who shall not have attained to the age of thirtyfive years.
Sec. 3. There shall also be chosen at the same time, by the General Council, in the same manner,
for four years, an assistant Principal Chief.
Sec. 4. In case of the removal of the Principal Chief from office, or of his death, resignation or
inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the
Assistant Principal Chief, until the inability be removed or the vacancy filled by the General
Sec. 14. Every Bill which shall have passed both Houses of the General Council shall, before it
becomes a law, be presented to the Principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. If he approves, he
shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it, with his objections to that house in which it shall have
originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journals, and precede to reconsider it.
If, after such reconsideration, two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent,
together with the objections to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if
approved by two thirds of that house, it shall become law…..
Article V
Sec. 1. The Judicial Powers shall be vested in the Supreme Court, and such Circuit and Inferior
Courts, as the General Council may, from time to time, ordain and establish.
Sec. 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of three Judges, any two of whom shall be a quorum.
Sec. 3. The two Judges of each shall hold their Commission four years, but any of them may be
removed from office on the address of two thirds of each house of the General Council to the
Principal Chief, for that purpose.
Sec. 5. No person shall be appointed a Judge of any of the Courts before he shall have attained to
the age of thirty years, nor shall any person continue to execute the duties of any of the said
offices after he shall have attained to the age of seventy years.
Sec. 14. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right of being heard, of
demanding the nature and cause of the accusation against him, of meeting the witnesses face to
face, …..a seedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; nor shall he be compelled to
give evidence against himself.
Sec. 15. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions from
unreasonable seizures, and searches, ….All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities,
unless for capital offenses, where the proof is evident, or presumption great.
Article VI
Sec. 1….. no minister of the Gospel, or public preacher, of any religious persuasion whilst he
continues in the exercises of his pastoral functions, shall be eligible to the office of Principal
Chief, r a seat in either house of the General Council.
Sec. 2. No person who denies the being of a God, or a future state of rewards & punishments
shall hold any office in the civil department of this Nation.
Sec. 3. The free exercise of religious worship, and serving God without distinction, shall forever
be allowed within this Nation Provided, that his liberty of conscience shall not be so construed as
to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this
Sec. 8. No person shall for the same offence be twice put in jeopardy of life, or limb, nor shall
any person’s property be taken or applied to public use without his consent; Provided, that
nothing in this clause shall be so construed as to impair the right and power of the General
council to lay and hold Taxes. All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him
in his property, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law.
Sec. 9. The right to trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
Sec. 10. Religion, mortality and knowledge being necessary to good Government, the
preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind, Schools and the means of education shall
forever be encouraged in this Nation.
1. What constitutional issues are addressed in the sections you read? How do the provisions
compare to the U.S. Constitution? What are the differences, what are the similarities?