Presentation on theme: "Trail of Tears Lesson 1 in Westward Expansion: Native Americans."— Presentation transcript:
Trail of Tears Lesson 1 in Westward Expansion: Native Americans
Already There: The American Indians Four countless settlers, the American West was a place where they could go and make a new start in life. They could get some land of their own, start a farm, and perhaps even become wealthy. What could be better? Adapted from What Your Second Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsh, Jr.
Already There: The American Indians For one group of people, the arrival of tens of thousands of settlers was not good news at all. For the Native Americans, it was very bad new, indeed.
Out west there were many different tribes of American Indians. Sometimes we call these people Native Americans because they were already living in America at the time Christopher Columbus and the Europeans arrived.
Already There: The American Indians Each Tribe of Native Americans had its own way of life. Some were farmers, and they lived in houses they made of adobe… Another tribe the Apache, did not settle down and farm, but instead roamed the mountains and deserts and hunted for food.
How It Began All this was soon to change, though. When gold was found on Cherokee land, the whites wanted the Native Americans out so they could farm the rich land and dig for gold. One American leader who forced many Native American to move was President Andrew Jackson. He enforced a law called the Indian Removal Act ignoring the supreme court ruling saying the Cherokee people could stay on their land.
Indian Removal Act The law said that thousands of Native American had to leave their lands where they had lived for many generations and move many hundred miles away to Indian Territory, which was mostly dry, dusty land west of the Mississippi River.
Indian Removal Act One tribe refused to go. The Cherokee people did not want to leave their land and homes. So the American soldiers were sent in. They used rifles to threaten the Cherokee people. The soldiers forced them to get into railroads cars and steamboats.
Indian Removal Act There were still hundreds of miles to go. The Cherokee people were forced to walk the rest of the way. Many got very sick. Many starved. Many did not make it. It is estimated that 4 to 6 thousand of Cherokee men, woman, and children died along the way. Their journey was so terrible and so sad that it is now known as the “Trail of Tears.”