The United States government relocated many Native American tribes by force to Oklahoma. - FactzPedia

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The United States government relocated many Native American tribes by force to Oklahoma.

 

The United States government relocated many Native American tribes by force to Oklahoma.



Much of the central region of the modern-day US was initially left alone by US settlers due to treaties between the ancestral owners of the land and the US government.

As the US settlement of North America spread west, the treaties were consistently broken as they pushed out most of these original inhabitants.

By 1854, this region, known as the Indian Territory, had been reduced to the state of Oklahoma.

Most Native Americans whose ancestral homes were within the southeast of the US were relocated by force to this region.

In 1890, this region was reduced even further to allow Oklahoma Territory to form.

On March 28, 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, beginning the forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans in what became known as the Trail of Tears. Not all members of Congress supported the Indian Removal Act. Tennessee Rep. Davey Crockett was a vocal opponent, for instance. Native Americans opposed removal from their ancestral lands, resulting in a long series of battles with local white settlers. But the forced relocation proved popular with voters. It freed more than 25 million acres of fertile, lucrative farmland to mostly white settlement in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. More than 46,000 Native Americans were forced—sometimes by the U.S. military—to abandon their homes and relocate to “Indian Territory” that eventually became the state of Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died on the journey—of diseasestarvation, and exposure to extreme weather. Today, the Trail of Tears is a National Historic Trail stretching from Tennessee to Oklahoma. It specifically chronicles the removal of the Cherokee in 1838-1839, the largest contingent on the Trail of Tears.


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