Many Indians also died while being forced to relocate, a sanitized way to refer to the ethnic cleansing of tribes which were formerly located in the area east of the Mississippi River. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 mandated the relocation of many tribes, predominantly the Cherokee Nation which allowed for a ‘whites only’ America in what constituted the majority of what was the U.S. at that time. The journey out of lands occupied by the Cherokee, comprising thousands of miles and known as the Trail of Tears, is but one example of the injustices suffered by the natives of America brought about by the U.S. government. This distressing episode in American history was not acknowledged by government officials and was not included in school books until somewhat recently. This discussion illuminates this despicable action by the U.S. government, the events leading up to the deadly, forced march, its effects on those driven from their homeland and the overall consequences of ethnic cleansing American style. Ethnic cleansing is an act that is now condemned by the U.S. when perpetrated in other regions of the world but is a morbid reality of American history, perpetrated and endorsed by the American government.
It may be hard to imagine the government seizing your home and forcing you, your family, relatives, neighbors and friends to walk halfway across the country in the dead of winter but that is what happened to thousands of native peoples 170 years ago. The American government, established by the people and for the people on the concept of justice for all, subjugated these men, women and children by forcing them off their lands. Those that survived the mass displacement found themselves in unfamiliar territory, a daunting proposition for a people whose survival was entirely dependent on understanding every aspect of familiar territory. Today, the Trail of Tears incident evokes sympathy from the general public but at that time,