Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Racism in the Antebellum Period

Today's blog will be discussing Jackson's Native American Policy and its relation to racism. 

Andrew Jackson oversaw a harsh policy with regard to Native Americans. This policy resulted in the usurpation of land, attempts to destroy tribal culture, and the forcible removal of Native Americans from the southeastern United States to a designated territory west of the Mississippi River. 

Jackson, of course, was not always so indulgent of states' rights, as is shown by his famous threat later on to use military force against South Carolina if that state acted on John Calhoun's doctrine of nullification. 

While most historians are in agreement with the details of Jackson's Indian removal policy, there is significant debate with respect to his motivation. Did Jackson's racist antipathy to the Indians pave the way for the “Trail of Tears”? Or did he support this policy out of a humanitarian desire to protect Native Americans from the impending wrath of white settlers and their state governments who refused to negotiate with the southern tribes as sovereign nations?

I came across an article (link) where Jillian Keenan argues why she believes that Jackson shouldn't be on the representing the $20 bill. In her defense, she wouldn't want someone who engineered a genocide to be honored. I agree with her on that behalf.

Also, i read about an interesting incident at a high school in Ohio where the cheerleaders recall the trial of tears in a racist attempt to taunt the opposing team nicknamed the Indians. The cheerleaders, representing Greenfield’s McClain High School, held up a banner after traveling to the game against the Hillsborough Indians that read, “Hey Indians, Get ready for a Trail of Tears Part 2.” 

I'm white and i found that extremely hurtful and shocking then what about the Indians that heard about this?!

History always repeats itself...

1 comment:

  1. Precisely, history surely does repeat itself and it will continue to in the future. It was very interesting to learn about how harsh the situation was for Indians during this time period.