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Promises, Preponderance, Politics, and Provisions: Understanding the Forced Relocation of the Cherokee

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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The events surrounding the 1836 forced relocation of the Cherokee continue to be surrounded by questions 180 years later. The ethical, legal, political, and social issues encountered in this mass movement of people has current relevance in todays recurrent dealings with displaced populations. Through review of the driving forces and contextual sociopolitical climate of this event, the question, Could understanding how planning impacted survival in the forced relocation of the Cherokee from the state of Georgia to the territory west of the Mississippi in 1838 be useful in current dealings with relocation of displaced populations is answered yes. This work provides an objective review of each of the stakeholder positions President Jackson and staff, U.S. Military officers and enlisted soldiers responsible for movement order execution, Chief John Ross, the U.S. Supreme Court, Settlers, Native Cherokee and associates, and Clergy of the day as recorded in historical documents, treaties and official communications. The maps add context in their document the lanes of travel and the modes of transportation westward. The use of clear evaluation criteria aids in obtaining an objective answer to specific questions.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Government and Political Science

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