I chose my topic, “The Trail of Tears” because I am interested in Native American history. I also believe the rights of the Cherokee people were violated with the Indian Removal Act of 1830. My project will prove that the Trail of Tears was a violation of Cherokee rights and established a pattern of unjust removal of Native Americans from their lands.
I researched my project by visiting the school and public libraries. Both libraries had a wealth of information about Native American history. I had to use many different books to gain information about the Cherokee people and the Trail of Tears. There were few books devoted to just the Trail of Tears. I also used the Internet and the On-Line databases at our school. Finally, I visited the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. in order to find primary sources of information.
My topic relates to the theme, “Rights and Responsibilities in History” because the rights of the Cherokee nation were violated when they were forced from their homes in Georgia. The Cherokee won their court case, the Supreme Court ruled in their favor against the state of Georgia. However, President Andrew Jackson, who became famous as an “Indian fighter”, refused to enforce the Supreme Court ruling. Andrew Jackson did not live up to his responsibilities of making sure the Supreme Court ruling was enforced. By not fulfilling his responsibilities he failed to protect the rights of the Cherokee and other tribes who were forced to leave their homes.
This topic is important today because many Americans do not know of the hardships of the Cherokee people. Their forced removal to Oklahoma lead to the death of over 4,000 Cherokee. This event also lead to the government policy of Indian Removal, pushing the various tribes further and further west. For many their final destination later became the reservation lands in the Far West. These reservations tended to be the poorest and driest land. For this reason, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment...