President Andrew Jackson's personal background, military career, political considerations, and assertive character all shaped his view of Native Americans. Moreover, he was—like most white Americans—racist in his attitude toward Indians.
Jackson's personal experience on America's frontier helped shape his hostile view of Indians. On the frontier, the Indians were viewed as a perpetual menace. They also occupied land that settlers wanted to develop, so the Indians stood in the way of progress.
As a distinguished battlefield commander, Jackson won some of his most impressive victories against the Indians. He annihilated the Creeks at the battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. His triumphal experience on the battlefield contributed to his view of Indians as vanquished enemies.
As a president, Jackson's support was strongest in the west, and frontiersmen were belligerent to the Indians. Southeastern states were determined to deny Indians their rights and move them west of the Mississippi River. The Cherokee tribe challenged Georgia in court; Chief Justice John Marshall ruled in favor of the Indians in a 1831 Supreme Court decision.
Jackson viewed Marshall's ruling as a personal affront and ignored it. Although the Seminoles resisted in Florida for many years, the Indian tribes were doomed as they were forced to relocate west of the Mississippi on the Trail of Tears.