Land greed was the reason cited for the The Indian Removal Act of 1830. It began with the forceable removal of The Cherokee Indians in the state of Georgia, and The Seminole tribe land disputes in the state of Florida. The Creek Indians fought battles against the federal army to keep their land in Georgia and Alabama, and the Chickasaw and Choctaw had disputes of territory in the state of Mississippi. These five tribes were collectively referred to as the ‘Five Civilized Tribes”. The government’s strategy to maintain peace was to remove the Native Indian tribes who have lived many generations on their lands and relocate them to land given to them in Oklahoma.
Almost all of Oklahoma, except the panhandle, was given to the natives because it was believed that the land was virtually worthless, unlike the valuable gold resources found in Georgia. Despite the promise from the government promising this land “for as long as the grass shall grow and rivers run”, the Native Indians were again forced to move to other reservations. This period of forceable removal was called the “Trail of Tears” in which many Indians died along the way on the long, arduous terrain and difficult winter conditions. Sound familiar? If we ignore history, we are destined to repeat it. The message here is “Don’t let it happen”.
Copy of this act can be found here: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs143_024047.pdf
Links to Army Corp of Engineers announcement:
Link to “Trail of Tears” history on Cherokee Nation website: