What Legal Rights Did the Cherokee Have

Wirt reminded the court that the Cherokees had undeniable rights to land in Georgia: Imagine you`re an adviser to President Andrew Jackson. Since George Washington, American presidents have struggled with the development of Native American policies. Here are six policy proposals. Which ones do you think the U.S. should adopt? Under so much pressure – from the state of Georgia, the federal government, and a flood of settlers – the tribe began to disintegrate. Some Cherokees — including Ross` brother, Andrew — traveled to Washington to negotiate their own deals. John Ridge quietly continued to recruit members for the Treaty Party and tried to approach Jackson. When Ross learned of these efforts, he tried to get ahead of them by offering to cede Cherokee lands in Georgia and let the Cherokees become American citizens in other states. In the spring of 1833, the Cherokees were divided between a national party that opposed impeachment and a party that opposed it.

As factional violence erupted, some of the most influential Cherokees signed a letter to Ross saying their ongoing “course of politics” “would not lead to the restoration of the rights” that had been taken away from them. When signing the letter, Ridge admitted that he had relaxed during his withdrawal. In closed session, the chiefs gave Ross until the fall to break the deadlock with the government before publishing the letter. The Cherokee Indians originally inhabited much of the southeast coast of the Americas. Im 17. und 18. In the nineteenth century, European settlers expelled the Cherokee from many of their lands. However, unlike most Indians, the Cherokee were able to resist white encroachments by adapting to white paths. After the American Revolution, the Cherokee copied white farming methods and other aspects of the white economy. The Cherokees sent some of their children to American schools and allowed mixed marriages. In addition, they signed a series of treaties with the federal government that appeared to protect what was left of their lands. However, the legal victory proved to be of little benefit to the Cherokee Nation.

Demand for land in Georgia intensified after the discovery of gold on Cherokee lands. Even more worrisome, President Andrew Jackson, who advocated the removal of the Cherokee Nation and other Native American tribes, refused to implement the court`s decision. Its refusal illustrates the problem that arises when one branch of government refuses to respect the decision of another branch. During Jackson`s tenure (1829-37), 94 deportation treaties were negotiated, demonstrating his determination to move Native American tribes westward. But other problems were on the way: gold had been discovered on tribal lands in Georgia, attracting a new wave of settlers, and President Jackson was not about to stop them. In February 1830, the tribe exercised its legal right to evict squatters; Ridge, then 60, led a two-day raid in which Cherokes burned down settlers` homes and outbuildings. After Georgian authorities sent a troop to the Cherokees, shots were fired across North Georgia. Cherokee territory has proven vulnerable to the illegal entry of Georgians. Violations intensified with the discovery of gold in 1829. Federal border defense was useless.

The state became aggressive and enacted laws for Cherokee lands as if it were Georgia. The president withdrew the troops. Congress voted to eliminate the tribes. The Cherokees hired a famous lawyer, William Wirt, to represent them. Wirt filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court. Cherokee Nation v. Georgia asked the court to prohibit the application of state law on the territory of the country. Law and morality favoured the Cherokes; Congress and the President sided with Georgia. A court order against the state could lead to a major constitutional crisis if the president refuses to enforce it. The court avoided political risk without abandoning the law. Although the Cherokee were entitled to their lands, the chief justice said, the court did not have the power to act because the constitution allowed the Cherokee Nation to sue Georgia only if it was a “foreign nation.” Rather, since it was what he called a “national and dependent nation,” the court had no jurisdiction. The words “treaty” and “nation” are words of our own language, chosen by ourselves in our diplomatic and legislative procedures, each with a specific and well-understood meaning.

We applied them to the Indians, just as we applied them to the other nations on earth. They apply to everyone in the same sense. Jackson had served as India`s federal commissioner when he made his first attempt to eliminate the Cherokee en masse. .