The Indian Removal Act of 1830  appropriated funds for and gave the President the power negotiate removal treaties, by force if needed, with Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi for relocation to lands west of the Mississippi (Faragher et al, 2002, pp. 279-280).

This policy was fraught with problems. It was seen as a divisive policy measure by a number of legislators. It was received negatively by missionaries who have been working peacefully with the eastern tribes, the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole) and helping them in integrating themselves with the white community.  Most of the eastern tribes obviously resisted relinquishing their lands and so enforcement of the policy was met with violence and destruction. Those who resisted were forcibly removed by the military and marched off to their new lands. The most destructive of which was the Trail of Tears (Faragher et al, 2002, pp. 280).

The effects of the Indian Removal Act on Native Americans were quite negative. Native Americans lost their ancestral lands that were of spiritual importance to them. Those who have assimilated themselves into the white culture, like the Cherokees, lost their homes, crops, livestock and livelihoods that went with their lands. This policy also strengthened the distrust that Native Americans have of white Americans with unjust compensation for the lands they had to relinquish. The Native Americans also lost a huge number of their people in their forcible removal and relocation. The most infamous of this is the Trail of Tears where the Cherokees were forcibly evicted from their lands and were forced to march to their new lands through bad weather. Many of them died from outbreaks of diseases like cholera, insufficient supplies, the deathly cold, starvation and exhaustion (Faragher et al, 2002, pp. 280-281).

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