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Precedent

Reader comment on item: Ariel Sharon's Folly

Submitted by Dan (United States), Apr 15, 2005 at 12:36

I believe that the US uprooted many Native Ameicans from their homes in Georgia, and marched them across the US to Oklahoma. This was an activity which was deemed illegal by the US Supreme Court, but done anyway.

See Indian Removal ACt of 1830:
In 1823 the Supreme Court handed down a decision which stated that Indians could occupy lands within the United States, but could not hold title to those lands. This was because their "right of occupancy" was subordinate to the United States' "right of discovery." In response to the great threat this posed, the Creeks, Cherokee, and Chicasaw instituted policies of restricting land sales to the government. They wanted to protect what remained of their land before it was too late.

This act affected not only the southeastern nations, but many others further north. The removal was supposed to be voluntary and peaceful, and it was that way for the tribes that agreed to the conditions. But the southeastern nations resisted, and Jackson forced them to leave.
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