The history of Native American land dispossession is as old as the story of colonization. European colonists came to the Americas, and the Caribbean, wanting land for farms and settlement so they found ways to acquire lands from indigenous peoples by the means of negotiation, bad-faith dealing, war, and violence.
The Indian Removal Act of 1830 is deeply rooted in early American history.
Claudio Saunt, a scholar of Native American history at the University of Georgia, and author of the book Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory, joins us to discuss the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and how Native Americans in the southeastern part of the United States were removed from their homelands and resettled in areas of southeastern Kansas and Oklahoma.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Claudio Saunt, a scholar of Native American history at the University of Georgia, and the author of the book Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory, joins us to discuss the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and how Native Americans in the southeastern part of the United States were removed from their homelands and resettled in areas of what is now southeastern Kansas and Oklahoma.
As we investigate Indian removal in the early United States, Claudio reveals the origins of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and what the act meant for Native Americans living in the southeastern United States; Information about how the act passed Congress amid much opposition; And details about the lands the United States traded dispossessed Native Americans and the migrations Native Americans made to their new homes in present-day Kansas and Oklahoma.
What You’ll Discover
- Origins of the Indian Removal Act of 1830
- Why the government desired to trade western lands for eastern lands
- Why the mass expulsion of Native Americans wasn’t inevitable
- The Cherokee People
- Native American life amidst white encroachment
- Native American cultural and governmental accommodations to the United States
- Native American slaveholding
- Treaties between the United States & Native peoples
- White northern resistance to Native American dispossession
- Who pushed for and profited from the Indian Removal Act
- International dimensions of Indian Removal
- Andrew Jackson’s role in Indian Removal
- Politicking for the Indian Removal Act of 1830
- Native American efforts to block the Indian Removal Act
- State laws for forced removal
- Western lands offered to southern Native Americans
- Removal of the Choctaw
- What migration was like for Native peoples
- What it was like for eastern Native Americans to live in new western areas
- Lost generational knowledge
- The importance of the history of Native American land dispossession
Links to People, Places, and Publications
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- Episode 034: Mark Cheatham, Andrew Jackson, Southerner
- Episode 158: The Revolutionaries’ Army
- Episode 162: Dunmore’s World
- Episode 163: The American Revolution in North America
- Episode 286: Elections in Early America: Native Sovereignty
Time Warp Question
In your opinion, what might have happened if Congress had not passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830? How might the physical and social landscape of the eastern United States have looked differently today? And what would the world of Native America look like today, if thousands of native ancestors had not been forced to migrate west?
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