Indian Removal

Jackson's second important move was to resettle all the Native American tribes who lived east of the Mississippi River. He wanted them to move to "reservations" west of the Mississippi River. Even though federal treaties guaranteed the Indians their lands, America settlers were determined to take them away.

Georgia, for example, sought to expel the powerful Cherokee nation. The Cherokee took their case to the United States Supreme Court. The Court, still headed by Chief Justice John Marshall, declared Georgia's actions against the Cherokee to be unconstitutional. But President Jackson refused to protect the Cherokee. He is reported to have said, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it."

Jackson believed that the Indians would have to make way for the white settlers sooner or later. Because of that, he thought the government should move them out before trouble started. During the next few years, he persuaded or forced almost one hundred tribes, including the Cherokee, to move to the western side of the Mississippi. They suffered greatly as a result.