When Andrew Jackson became president of the United States in 1829, his government took a hard line. Jackson abandoned the policy of his predecessors of treating different Indian groups as separate nations.
Instead, he aggressively pursued plans against all Indian tribes which claimed constitutional sovereignty and independence from state laws, and which were based east of the Mississippi River.
They were to be removed to reservations in Indian Territory west of the Mississippi (now Oklahoma), where their laws could be sovereign without any state interference.
At Jackson’s request, the United States Congress opened a debate on an Indian Removal Bill. After fierce disagreements the Senate passed the measure 28–19, the House 102–97. Jackson signed the legislation into law May 30, 1830.
In 1830, the majority of the “Five Civilized Tribes”:
- the Chickasaw
- and Cherokee
were living east of the Mississippi as they had for thousands of years. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 implemented the U.S. government policy towards the Indian populations, which called for moving Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river. While it did not authorize the forced removal of the indigenous tribes, it authorized the President to negotiate land exchange treaties with tribes located in lands of the United States.
All articles on Digital Alabama that refer to Native Americans in Alabama will be accesable from this category.