In the 1830’s, the official U.S. policy toward American Indians was the removal of them from their land. This was Accompanied by the rationalization that this was inevitable, that the Indians were not advanced enough in the new world, and that the Indians were savage animals. The Indian Removal Act gave legal merit to this policy of removal. Although those who rationalize in a vague and shallow attempt to justify this slaughter say that this was inevitable, there were indeed other ways of dealing with this issue, and throughout the history of this event there were many proposals that were simply thrown aside; thrown aside as simply as the lives of the American Indians.

In a fictional scenario, this could have been avoided through the process of simply making a peaceful treaty with the American Indians, and letting them keep their land. Andrew Jackson did not need to, and had no good reasoning behind the passing of the Indian Removal Act, and the thousands of people who did not agree with this decision had thousands of ideas that could have saved the lives of thousands of American Indians. Groups such as the Whigs and Presbyterians realized how sacred these lands were to the Indians, that these were the lands of their ancestors, and told the story of their heritage. These religious groups fought for the Indians, tried to give them a chance. Say that these attempts had worked:

The Whigs and the Presbyterians successful campaign for Indian’s land is finally over. They have convinced a frugal nation and Congress passed a law yesterday known as the Indian Land Agreement. This gives the Indians custody to any lands in which they already inhabit, and confirms peace between the settlers and Indians. It is now illegal for anyone to buy, sell, build on, or trespass on Indian property. This new Indian Property will be a series of small and large nations, owned base upon the tribes that cultivate the determined area. This said area will be determined through a process of the U.S. occupying all land they currently own, and allowing the Indians to measure out what land is theirs. The U.S. can then proceed to expand around these lands if it wishes.

If this had really happened, the United States and the Indian territories could have been two separate nations, and been peaceful, resourceful neighbors. Unfortunately, however, with the passing of the IRA the Indians lost their land and became enemies of the United States. Luckily our modern government saw our past mistakes and made an attempt to correct them, which brought at least some relations between the U.S. and the Indians again, but there is still a lot of tension. There were many good ideas, and only a few bad ones; unfortunately for the U.S. we chose one of the bad ones, which killed many Indians, extinct many Indian cultures, and in the long run, cost the U.S. a chance at a valuable partner.

By Dylan Wright