How did European colonization negatively affect the Choctaw Indians?

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Generally speaking, European colonization negatively affected the Choctaws in similar ways to other Native populations. Europeans increasingly burdened the natural resources that the Choctaw relied upon, making it more difficult for them to hunt and survive in the ways that had worked well for them historically. Europeans also claimed land...

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Generally speaking, European colonization negatively affected the Choctaws in similar ways to other Native populations. Europeans increasingly burdened the natural resources that the Choctaw relied upon, making it more difficult for them to hunt and survive in the ways that had worked well for them historically. Europeans also claimed land for private property, which was counterintuitive to the way Natives such as Choctaws had always envisioned the availability of land. Tribes who had once moved around to follow the best resources, which varied with seasonal changes, now found that they were locked out of resources due to a European view of sole ownership of the land's resources.

In the early 1800s, the Choctaw found themselves victimized by English slave raiders who captured thousands of Choctaw and sold them into slavery. Thomas Jefferson pressured the Choctaw to "relocate" themselves west of the Mississippi River, and President Andrew Jackson finally forced this relocation in 1830. When the effort began in earnest, over 2,500 Choctaw perished during the forced, brutal winter relocation; the United States army attempted to keep the costs of the relocation low by severely restricting food and blankets during the effort. When the Choctaw began starving and attempted to purchase additional food, the US Army responded by raising the prices of goods.

The Choctaw therefore lost their land, many of their people, and the right to preserve their culture. Increasingly, Europeans insisted that the Choctaw assimilate their language, traditions, and worldviews in ways that reflected a more European influence.

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