Cheech And Chongs Up In Smoke

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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The Trail of Tears"¦.everyone learns it in high school, but what does it actually mean? Why were the Native Americans forced from their land? Why did so many people hate the Native Americans, who did nothing to them? In the spring of 1838, the Cherokees were forcefully removed from their land in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. General Winfield Scott took several units, including artillery, and began to force the Cherokees off of their land. Who ever resisted, or could not understand what the whites were saying, were put in stockades. Based on the tribal census of 1835, at least 2,000 of the Cherokees died in the stockade. The whites main goal was to push the Cherokees west of the Mississippi River, to Indain Territory, now Oklahoma. They hired bilingual Cherokees to speak for them and paid them a wage of $2.50 a day for their services.

An estimated total of 13,000 Cherokees were forced to move in what was called the Trail of Tears. Some were sent by boat, others by foot, causing much confusion and lose of families. It is estimated that 4,000 Cherokees died in the stockades and along the march, They are not sure of the actually number, because of the shoddy record keeping. When they reached their new land, battered and tired, many more Cherokees died of an epidemic spreading through the tribes. The newly arrive tribes also had to worry about the tribes who already settled the land, since they started conflicts with the tribes passing by their new land.

President Jackson was probily the most prominent person who stood against then Native Americans. He was not an avid speaker, and could hardly spell better than George Washington, but he pushed the idea of removing the Native Americans every time he spoke. He said that they should be moved west because of expansion. They were taking up good land that could be used by whites, aid many people in Washington. So, on August 23, 1838, the infamous Trail of Tears began to whites pleasure, and Native Americans horror.

We have done many things over the years that we could be ashamed of, but I think that this one reaches the top of the list. We took people who were living in the same country as us, made them leave all their belongs, and force them to move to a new land, so that we could have room for whites to settle on their old land. I embarrassed by the fact that my country has done this, and I wish i could cut this part out of our history.