- from Westward Expansion
The elders of your Cherokee tribe are holding a big meeting. The mood is very serious. You and your best friend are outside listening. You hear your father speaking. He says, “The Americans are going to make us go west.” But your people already have homes here, in the place the Americans call Georgia. Some of your friends even learn English in their schools! Why would Americans want you to leave?
The U.S. government had promised to respect American Indians’ rights. But more settlers began moving to land east of the Mississippi, and many of them didn’t like being around native people. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act. This law broke many earlier treaties. It said Indians east of the Mississippi River had to trade their land for land west of the river. This area was known as “Indian Territory.” It took up most of what is now Oklahoma. What if tribes refused to go? Then the government forced them to leave.