Published on February 17, 2012 by Amy
The Native Americans were the first to live in the U.S. and the oldest of all are the Cherokee Indians. They arrived about A.D. 1000 in Tennessee of the Great Smoky Mountains. They have a relation to the Iroquois Indians. The Cherokee covered about most of the southeastern areas of the U.S. By the early 1800s the Cherokee people were an urban, Christian, agricultural, and intermarried society. During the gold rush they were forced to move west even though they lived in the southeast.
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One important Cherokee would be Chief John Ross. He was born in Alabama on October 3rd, 1790. He is mostly white, but is one eighth Cherokee. He was voted as the chief because he was the only one brave enough to stand up to the white man to keep the land they had all their lives. When Andrew Jackson was running for president, Jackson tried to make Indians give up their home lands, but John Ross fought for their rights so they could stay there.
John failed to save their land and the Cherokee were forced to move. Many white men came to kick them out of their homes and the Indians, not willing to move, were killed. The Cherokee weren’t the only ones having to deal with losing their land. Cherokee and other tribes walked for six months west. This was known as the Trail of Tears. Since they walked during the winter, around 4,000 of 18,000 Cherokee died. It was a hard time, but they managed to begin a new life up west. The Trail of Tears was said to be the hardest time in the Indian history.
The group connects to interactions between diverse people and cultures because in the past the people living in the United States were Indians and white men. The Indians were the first to live in the U.S. and then the white people came to live here. When the white people came, they kicked Indians off their land and made them move and start a new life. The white men would also make Indians slaves. First Spanish and later American missionaries began to make Indians Christian and turn them against their own cultures. It took time for the whites and Indians to get along and there is still bitterness and resentment among some Native Amercians for hardships of the past.