Betrayal of Tears
Many factors were involved that threatened the sovereignty of the Cherokee people in the 19th century. Ethnocentrism on behalf of the American people, racism and prejudice on behalf of the states and the inability of the President and government of the United States to implement or support the very rules and acts they created to protect and honor the Cherokees and their land. However, the greatest threat to the Cherokee's right to their own land, as well as their right to their own culture, rules and lifestyle, came from within the people. The inability of the Cherokee people to band together and agree to oppose outside insistence, forces and threats proved to be the biggest threat to their sovereignty over their land, because it cause disaccord among the tribe, weakened the opposition and allowed for the outside forces to use the divide and conquer method to dwindle the opposers.
Initially, the Cherokee's wholeheartedly embraced the American government's programs designed the "civilize" the Cherokee people. The programs came at a time when the deerskin trading economy dwindled and the Indians desperately needed an alternative solution. Allowing for missions to be established provided the Cherokee people with missionaries that taught the children how to read, write, pray, dress, eat, keep house, cook and farm. They provided models for traditional European male and female roles. It also provided the Cherokee's with "guides" on how to emulate the Anglo-American way of life.
The Cherokee's enthusiasm to "civilize" themselves redefined the entire way the Cherokees operated under. In their "uncivilized" state, Cherokee women farmed, men hunted, Cherokee clans were matrilineal and the Cherokee law had been informal. In order to "civilize" themselves, the Cherokees adopted the European/American culture; women were subservient, tended to the house and their husband and children, men farmed and bought African American slaves, and laws...