How did Andrew Jackson's background influence his treatment of the Indians?

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Andrew Jackson was the first American president who was a real backwoods person.  He grew up on the frontier in an area that would have had contact with Indians.  Once he was older, he became a militia leader whose major actions came in wars against various groups of Indians.  Because of this, we can surmise that he had no great love for Indians.  He would have seen them as a potential source of danger or at least of competition for land and resources ever since he was a child.  It is likely that this background made him less likely to support the efforts of, for example, the Cherokee to stay on their native lands.  In this way, we can argue that his background made him unsympathetic to Indian claims and Indian needs and thus made him more likely to mistreat them.

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How did Andrew Jackson mistreat the Indians?

There are two major ways in which Andrew Jackson can be said to have mistreated the Indians.  First, he was an Indian fighter as a militia leader.  In this capacity, he went to war to move Indians off of the lands that they claimed and to make those lands available to white settlers.  Second, as president, he was involved in the policy of Indian Removal.  This involved taking the "Five Civilized Tribes" from their lands in the Southeast and forcing them to move to the area of what is now Oklahoma.  The most well-known episode in this period is the movement of the Cherokees, which is known as the "Trail of Tears."

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