The Trail of Tears refers to the forceful relocation and eventual movement of the Native American communities from the South Eastern regions of the U.S. as a result of the enactment of the Indian Removal Act in the year 1830. In the year 1838, in line with Andrew Jackson’s policy of the Indians’ removal, the Cherokee community was forced to surrender its land to the east of Mississippi River and migrate to the present day Oklahoma. This journey was referred to as the “Trail of Tears” mainly due to its devastating effects it had to the Indian people. The migrants faced extreme hunger, diseases and exhaustion due to the forced march while more than 50,000 people died (Cave, 2003). The Trail of Tears resulted in a devastating effect for the Indians such as extreme hunger, diseases and exhaustion due to long walk and massive injustices and abuse of fundamental human rights.
According to Perdue (2008), the Trail of Tears is regarded as one of the tragic eras in the U.S. history mainly due to the forceful relocation of the Indians. This is also considered as the beginning of the Indian extermination by the U.S. government even though they had lived in the country several centuries before the white settlers set their foot in America. After the American Revolution and the eventual creation of the U.S., the Indians were regarded as a separate nation within a sovereign country even though they were fully committed to a peaceful coexistence with the white settlers. However, the white settlers were mostly interested in the resources of rich and productive land under the occupation of the Indians. As a result, the U.S. government embarked on a long campaign – marked by false promises, broken and false treaties, and threats of military force and racist attitudes – to oust the Indians from their native territory.