Q:

What was Andrew Jackson's attitude toward Native Americans?

A:

Quick Answer

Andrew Jackson very publicly took action to remove native Americans from land that they occupied and forced them west in favor of white settlers. He signed these ideas into law with the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

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Full Answer

Andrew Jackson's legal efforts were an extension of earlier rulings by the Supreme Court that native Americans could not own the title to the land that they occupied. Some native American tribes had been cooperative in the effort, but others had not. The Cherokee nation fought the Supreme Court's ruling through legal means prior to Jackson's Indian Removal Act, but they lost. The political motivation behind removing the native Americans from their land was rooted in expansionism. Jackson wanted the native Americans removed, so that lands they occupied could be freed up for white settlers.

Jackson's actions during his presidency resulted in the displacement of more than 46,000 native Americans. Numerous treaties were signed between Jackson's cabinet and some native American nations, in which they purportedly voluntarily surrendered their land. More than 25 million acres of land were obtained as the result of such treaties, opening the way for white settlers and slavery. Jackson's efforts as president were an extension of earlier military action he had taken against the Creeks.

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