Trail of Tears
Origin of the Term 'Manifest Destiny'
The term Manifest Destiny was first used in an essay written by John L. O'Sullivan when referring to Native American culture, an American columnist and editor, promoting the annexation of the territory of Texas and Oregon to the United States in 1845. In Manifest Destiny vs Native American Culture the author will explore why this term was used to justify the extermination of the Native American culture and why it was such a threat to the Powers That Be!
A popular advocate of the Democratic Party, O'Sullivan believed that America through divine providence had the right to expand their territory throughout North America and possess the 'Whole Continent in order to develop the great experiment of liberty and federated self government entrusted to the United States.
In 1845, he published a piece entitled Annexation in the Democratic Review, in which he urged the U.S. to annex the Republic of Texas, not only because Texas desired this, but because it was "our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions"
Although O'Sullivan was 150 years ahead of his times in terms of philosophical beliefs, his use of the term Manifest Destiny took on a life of it's own, as politicians from all parties used it to encourage the expansion of the United States in North America.
His original concept was that God had given the United States a mission to spread a 'higher law' to all native cultures on the North American continent that superseded their rights and disregarded any treaties.
Although his article did not advocate the use of force to accomplish this, it was no doubt influenced heavily by President Jackson's treatment of the Native American cultures removal to the Oklahoma territory.
To give credit where credit is due the philosophy of Manifest Destiny is essentially just a continuation of the Monroe Doctrine and John Quincy Adams influence on U.S. expansionists ideas. Adams helped the U.S. purchase Florida from Spain, formulate the Monroe Doctrine, establish borders with Mexico and Canada and negotiate the Transcontinental Treaty in 1819.
While I could spend the whole of this article writing about Americas expansionist history and ideas, the main emphasis is to show how these ideas affected the Native American culture and lead to the almost complete extermination of a race of people. The very way of life of the Native Americans threatened the ideals of the United States, even though Americans claimed to be setting an example that they hoped the rest of the World should follow.
From the mountains to the sun, Life has only just begun.
We wed this land and pledge our souls to meet its end,
Life has only just begun
Here my people roam the earth, in the kingdom of our birth,
Where the dust of all our horses hides the sun
We are mighty on the earth, on the earth
You have come to move me, take me from my ancient home,
Land of my fathers I can't leave you now
We will share it with you, no man owns this earth we're on
Now the wheels are rolling hear the howling winds of war
It's my destiny to fight and die
Is there no solution, can we find no other way, Lord let me stay
Under the endless sky and the earth below
Here I was born to live and I will never go, oh no
But we cannot endure like the earth and the mountains
Life is not ours to keep, for a new sun is rising
Soon these days shall pass away, for our freedom we must pay
All our words and deeds are carried on the wind,
In the ground our bodies lay, here we lay . . .
Lyrics by Kansas (which means people of the south wind)
Trail Of Tears Map
Native American Feathers
Trail of Tears
No article can fully described the horror of the American Holocaust that resulted from the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and so I won't even try. Suffice to say that after many broken treaties by our Government a final solution was created to allow for American expansion to take place.
The five civilized tribes of Native Americans the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminole, Choctaw and Muskogee (Creek) were removed from their homelands of the deep South to the eastern section of what is now the state of Oklahoma.
This forced removal is known as the Trail of Tears because of the many atrocities that took place during this process. Many Native Americans died from the treatment they received from the American people while being forced from their ancestor-al homes and marched in the winter to their new home.
The Choctaw Nation was the first to go in 1831, and a young member of this nation, George W. Harkins sent a farewell letter to the American people which said in part . . .
" . . . We as Choctaws rather chose to suffer and be free, than live under the degrading influence of laws, which our voice could not be heard in their formation."
We are a country that deplores the abuse of civil rights of other nations and yet we created our own nation on the abuse of these same civil rights on the Native American people and culture that lived here for ten thousand years before our arrival.
Many of the people in the Five Civilized Tribes were considered American citizens, yet chose to suffer the fate with their families, rather than abandon them. Of the 17,000 Choctaws that left their ancestral homes in the Winter 1831, 6,000 died on the Trail of Tears.
Many of the Seminole tribe refused to move and fought a ten year battle with the U.S. Government, known as the Seminole Wars, which ended in 1842. Some of the Seminole Nation was removed to Oklahoma while others retreated into the Florida Everglades.
Although the Creek Nation was considered a valuable ally in the War of 1812, they ended up fighting the American Government for their lands in what is known as the Creek War of 1836. They were forcible removed to Oklahoma later that year.
The Chickasaw Nation sold their claim to the land surrounded the Duck River Valley in 1837 and took all their possessions west of the Mississippi to merge with the Choctaw Nation.
The Cherokee Nation suffered the most from their forcible removal by President Jackson in 1838 in what can only be called for what it was a Death March. Of the 13,000 Cherokee's rounded up, over a third would die (over 4,000) from the thousand mile march west from starvation, disease, exposure to the elements and murder.
“I fought through the Civil War and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by thousands, but the Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.”
They were given smallpox infected blankets to begin the march west, mostly on foot. They were charged the equivalent of twenty dollars a person to cross the Mississippi and many died from exposure waiting to cross. This sad chapter in American history can only be described as genocidal indifference.
It has been estimated that over 10 million Native Americans lived on the North American continent before the arrival of the white man, now less than a million remain scattered but not broken. The Native American Culture vs Manifest Destiny eventually lost but did not perish completely and is a testimony to the will and pride of a great people.
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Native American Culture/Origins
While there is much controversy surrounding the origins of Native Americans, their culture demonstrated an advanced form of democracy that worked, while respecting nature and embracing all it had to offer.
Their lifestyle and government was truly a free form of democracy without the need for money, prisons, written language and land ownership. Most of the tribes allowed equal rights for women, leadership based on merit rather than inherited title or wealth. They had no institutions for the mentally ill or weak minded members of their tribe. Their laws were just and swift and all council was welcome by both sexes.
Ten million people lived on the North American continent when Columbus 'discovered' America and yet there was not one prison.
Without any outside influences they evolved this social democracy to a higher moral standard while allowing the freedom of religion, the freedom of divorce and to embrace all members of the tribe whether born out of wedlock or not.
Their philosophy of life mirrored nature and had learn to live in harmony with it, instead of trying to control it. What is not widely known is that most Indian tribes lived in wooden structures, only the plain Indians were those that lived in teepees, for easier travel. They felt no need to dam their rivers or pave their roads and were great farmers.
While many of the tribes were interbred with those humans that migrated over the land bridge from Siberia, the original North American Indians had arrived on this continent long before that migration ever took place. Perhaps my readers will require proof for this amazing statement, I however do not and know in my heart that this is true.
Their advanced concepts on death and the journey of the soul shows that they had a greater understanding of the spiritual orientation of mankind. I suspect that they were the descendants of a far greater culture, much like the Aztecs and Incas had descended from even more advanced cultures.
Only now in our society is a greater balance for harmony with nature being recognized as a way in which to relieve the pollution of our planet and reduce the stressful nature that our culture has created. The Native American culture learned this lesson thousands of years ago and had adapted their lifestyles to create a better social paradigm.
American Democracy was adopted from this social structure however they never moved beyond their capitalistic nature and this is what twisted American Democracy into its present form. While our Founding Fathers embraced the Native American Culture's social morals and form of Government, they were unable to let go of the greed in their hearts and adopt this way of living fully.
"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, British Columbia, Canada
That and the fact that Native Americans cultures were living in a land almost completely unblemished from any modern structures, roads, fences, large farms and cities and boundaries helped to create a philosophy in the white man of expansion, greed and want. This philosophy lead to the Monroe Doctrine and ultimately Manifest Destiny vs Native American Culture, what is not recognized is that this philosophy was a direct result of fear.
The self reliance and higher moral standards of the Native American scared the Powers That Be and lead to their almost complete annihilation. Manifest Destiny vs Native American Culture is the first in a series of articles I will write about the Native American Culture and how it will manifest itself again as a direct result of the Polar Shift.
Trail of Tears
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Gosh Blue, on November 30, 2017:
Wow just Wow~ Incredible Pros and the beginnings of the massive write-over that is sorely needed for all Sheeples and Sleepers' and Conspiracy Theorists along with the Flat Earthers' Cabal Disinfo Trolls who are espousing yet brand another new set of Lies for Humanity to keep us as Slaves to TPTB sadly.. Good news we have made it to a new vibration woohooo!
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 18, 2013:
Americans also understood them but it didn't stop them from killing them and taking their land.
Marquis from Ann Arbor, MI on March 18, 2013:
One of the hubsters said something about the Scots seeking to only understand the Indian culture.
He forgot about the French.
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on October 30, 2012:
Agreed and it deserves to be singled out and remembered so that it may not happen again.
Howard Schneider from Parsippany, New Jersey on October 30, 2012:
Excellent Hub, Somethgblue. The Manifest Destiny policy of the United States led to the almost total destruction of the Native American peoples and is a terrible blight on our history. It ranks right up their with slavery as a human abomination.
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on September 20, 2012:
Thank you Mr. Happy, I doubt America has apologized but I know that I would like to for the behavior of my YT ancestors.
Perhaps that would be a good way to write another article about the genocide that occurred making this nation I live in.
However many of the western tribes such as the Apache, Shoshone and I believe Hopi or maybe it was Navajo have stories about how the white man's rule will be short lived and that North America will be returned to the human beings.
Nibiru and the Pole Shift may soon make that a reality!
We must form a new paradigm closer to the heart in our thoughts and prayers and send it out to the universe so that we will be ready.
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on September 20, 2012:
"We are a country that deplores the abuse of civil rights of other nations and yet we created our own nation on the abuse of these same civil rights on the Native American people and culture that lived here for ten thousand years before our arrival." - Not many people think about history and not many people actually know their history. Has the United States government ever officially apologize for the genocide of the people of the First Nations? Just curious - I know the Canadian Government did so just a few years ago.
"Most of the tribes allowed equal rights for women, leadership based on merit rather than inherited title or wealth." - Actually for many of the tribes from the plains, the hunting and gathering ones, the women held the patriarch role. The men were often out hunting or gathering resources and the women for the most part, were left with running the household, taking care of the children and so on.
"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - Beautiful quote. The White Wolf thanks You.
I shall share this article.
May Wakan Tanka guide your path.
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 10, 2012:
Yeah I know they took slaves and some tribes were incredible diabolical in their torture of prisoners however I suspect they were trying to send a message that wasn't getting through to the YT's . . . the slaves were as much as increasing tribal numbers and breeding stock as anything of course getting others to do your manuel labor is always nice just ask all the illegal aliens in this country . . . You don't think Bush let them in for any other reason, do you?
Civil War Bob from Glenside, Pennsylvania on March 10, 2012:
Voted up, useful, and interesting hub, somethgblue. You missed one small detail about Native American societies... they all kept slaves of other tribes they defeated in battle as well as black and white slaves when those folks finally encroached on their lands. I also learned in my Civil War research that the Trail of Tears would have been worse if Christian General Winfield Scott had not ordered his men to go easy on the folks, since he hated what he was ordered to do. Also, if you trace the Three Trails, many Civil War battles were fought along those lines...I say as paybacks from God to the whites responsible. Excellent writing on your part!
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 08, 2012:
If you think about it and this is very David Ickish you don't really ever purchase and own anything you just rent it, even land you end up paying taxes on . . . the Native Americans had the right idea no one owned anything.
Look how miserable people are all they do from the beginning of their lives to the end is work work work for absolutely nothing, it is no wonder people go insane.
I hope I'm right to cause this SUCKS!
RobSchneider on March 08, 2012:
Alas, I just read that a Chinese company just bought up a huge slice of virgin rainforest to build a city-sized resort/casino. That could have been an area my wife passed through when she lived in the jungle. I just hate what the disease of greed has done to the world. I hope you're right about the polar shift and raising of consciousness.
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 07, 2012:
Thanks Phoebe, it is always tough for me to read books about Native Americans knowing the outcome and inevitability of their situation.
Phoebe Pike on March 07, 2012:
Interesting hub, as always.
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 07, 2012:
Rob, your recent article https://robschneider.hubpages.com/hub/How-Expat-Li... inspired me to write this piece as it was a really good article.
Gregas, even the scouts knew the inevitable conclusion and although I envy their lives to be able to live in their communities and learn from some truly ancient souls, I don't envy the sorrow they must have felt to witness the atrocities our ancestors provided by their Manifest Destiny!
Greg Schweizer from Corona, California. on March 06, 2012:
If you ask me, we didn't try to understand anything about the Native Americans. They scared us so we had to use brute strength. The only ones that ever tried to understand them were the scouts that led so many settlers west. Greg
RobSchneider on March 06, 2012:
Well done somethgblue. You condensed it all in a short piece anyone can digest. The same thing was done to the aboriginals in Australia and Tasmania has the distinction of being the one place where every single aborigine died after European settlement. The only excuse the government gives is, "Well, some of them died from diseases we introduced to Tasmania. Sorry about that."
We have so much blood on our white hands, the only possible absolution is to admit it and make amends. No number of cowboys and injuns movies can completely cover up what our forefathers did and what most of us conveniently sweep under the carpet. And no, it's not just past history. We're doing it again in the Middle East and elsewhere. I say "we" in hopes we'll all take some responsibility as you have done to change things for the better.
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 06, 2012:
Gregas and Time Traveler2, their ways scared capitalist although we did try to copy their democracy without their moral standards we fell way short.
The Pole Shift may bring this way of life back to the forefront . . . we shall see!
Greg Schweizer from Corona, California. on March 06, 2012:
Hi Blue, The more I read and hear about the Native Americans in whole, the more I believe we should have a Chief and council instead of the crap we have today. As I have presented in a couple of my hubs, rheir ways were, and still are, a lot better in many ways than our ways today. Great hub and well written. Greg
Sondra Rochelle from USA on March 06, 2012:
This article brought me to the brink of tears. I love the Native American culture and have always felt terrible about how we have treated these wonderful people. Years ago I met a Native American woman in Nevada who told me about the Indian Schools. The US decided that they wanted to "culturalize" Native American children so that they would take on our values. They ripped them away from their parents and placed them in dormitory schools where they were taught "the white way". These schools are now empty, but I visited one while I was in Nevada. It was like a prison. We could learn a lot from Native Americans, and we had better start paying attention. Beautiful hub. Voted up and awesome.
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 06, 2012:
I agree Tammy, we need to own it, accept and make concessions before making any demands on other countries.
Tammy from North Carolina on March 05, 2012:
Wow somethgblue! This is truly one of the best articles I have ever read on Hubpages. It is an atrocity how the Native Americans were treated by the settlers and THEY were called savages. I think if the United States is going to liberate other countries.. ect.. it needs to own this and make concessions to the Native Americans. This is exceptionally written!
somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 05, 2012:
I reckon your link will do just fine, and thank you for the link and for stopping by!
zzron from Houston, TX. on March 05, 2012:
Great hub. You should add this link to it. Fattburger, Trail of Tears. Awesome tune.