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Shaping the Nation and the Presidency
1838 - 1839 The Trail of Tears

The Louisiana Purchase

The Trail of Tears

The Fugitive Slave Law

Gettysburg Address &
Emancipation Proclamation

18th Amendment Repealed

First Televised Presidential

Civil Rights Act

Persian Gulf

Make the connection between President Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears.

Andrew Jackson
from American Presidents

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Andrew Jackson supported a policy of Indian removal. Among his reasons: Native Americans were a threat to the national security and at the same time it was the federal government's responsibility to "save them" from extermination. In 1830, during Jackson's first administration, Congress passed the Indian Removal bill. It was the government's stated intention that it be carried out in a humane way, but in 1938-39 the Cherokee were forced to migrate eight hundred miles from Georgia to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in severe winter weather. Four thousand people died along what is now known as The Trail of Tears.

James Fenimore Cooper
from American Writers

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James Fenimore Cooper wrote novels that included American Indian characters. Last of the Mohicans was published in 1826, at the same time some political and military leaders were setting out a policy enforcing Indian removal. Because Cooper's works elicited some sympathy toward Indians, there was a strong political attempt to silence and discredit Cooper.

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