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American Indian Life American Indian life has been base

American Indian life has been based on endurance, on the ability to survive and adapt. At one time, the Native American population was much larger than it is today and ruled the entire continent. The coming of Europeans also meant the beginning of a policy of extermination, a genocidal war against a people because they had a different worldview, a different religion, and were in possession of vast tracts of land whose resources the Europeans wanted to exploit. There was a fundamental difference between the way Europeans viewed the world and its relationship to the human community and the way Native Americans viewed these issues. Europeans believed God had given them dominion over nature, while Native Americans believed that humanity had links to the chain of being of living nature and were part of it instead of rulers over it. The settlers and the Indians fought numerous times early in American history, but the new American government after 1789 generally attempted to institute a sort of paternalistic policy with reference to the Indians. The Cherokee in 1828 were under the protection of the United States, and the people had adopted republican institutions and an agrarian mode of life. Most of the lands the Cherokee still had was within the boundaries of the state of Georgia, and Georgia wanted to exercise its sovereignty. In 1832, Supreme Court Justice John Marshall tried to prevent Georgia from extending its laws throughout the Cherokee territory, but he was unsuccessful. In 1838, the remainder of the Cherokee Nation was gathered up by General Winfield Scott and marched westward along what would come to be known as "The Trail of Tears."

A policy of removal of the Indians from these lands was undertaken by the Jackson administration, which came into office in 1829:

Jacksonian Indian policy was a blending of hypocrisy, cant, and rapaciousness, seemingly shot through with contradictions. Inconsistencies however are pr...

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