What was Andrew Jackson's position on Indian Removal?

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President Andrew Jackson was a strong supporter of Indian Removal.  He was not necessarily anti-Indian, at least not in the sense of wanting to kill them all.  Instead, he felt that he was supporting a policy that was best for the Indians as well as for the white people.  However,...

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President Andrew Jackson was a strong supporter of Indian Removal.  He was not necessarily anti-Indian, at least not in the sense of wanting to kill them all.  Instead, he felt that he was supporting a policy that was best for the Indians as well as for the white people.  However, this opinion sprang from attitudes that we would see as racist.

President Jackson did not believe that the Indians were the equals of white people.  He felt that they could not truly be civilized and he believed that they could not be assimilated into American society.  Therefore, he wanted them removed.  He argued that it would be better for them to live West of the Mississippi where, he thought, Americans would never live.  He believed that the Indians could live in peace in the West whereas they would come into conflict with, and be destroyed by, whites if they stayed in the Southeast.

Because of these beliefs, Jackson supported Indian Removal. He famously opposed a Supreme Court decision that prohibited Indian Removal.  The decision was handed down, but the state of Georgia refused to obey it and Jackson did not do anything to enforce the decision.

Jackson is seen as the president “of the common man.” His attitude towards Indian Removal reflected this.  He wanted what was best for common white people (more land) and he was happy to evict the Indians from their native lands in order to get it.

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