In 1835 the United States government decided that the Cherokee Indians in the state of Georgia had to be moved. This was not done to protect the white people of the area from a “hostile” or “savage” tribe of Indians, but as a way to open up the land for future sale.
The Cherokee people were actually considered to be quite “civilized” at the time. Many of whom had adopted the traditions and customs of the white settlers. Their women wore gowns, they built schools, roads and churches. They even had there own written language. In fact, they were becoming farmers and cattle ranchers at this time.
Nonetheless, they were labeled as “savages”, rounded up and marched off to Oklahoma. The Cherokee, a proud and noble people, did not take this lying down. No, they did not take up arms and massacre entire settlements, what they did was take there case to the Supreme Court and attempt to establish an independent Cherokee Nation. If you’re wondering how this turned out….. check any map and see if you can find it.
Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much about History : Everything You Need to Know about American History but Never Learned. New York: HarperCollins, 2004.