Friday, February 6, 2009

Victorian Era Racism in the US

In the USA, there was the famous (infamous?) Trail of Tears in 1838 occurring with the Native American population.

From Wikipedia:

The Trail of Tears was the forced relocation and movement of Native Americans from their homelands to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) in the Western United States. The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their destinations, and many died, including, for example, 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee. Thousands of enslaved and free African-Americans (as slaves accompanying their Native American slaveowners and as former runaway slaves that were assisted by, assimilated by, or married to members of the tribes) accompanied the removed nations on the Trail of Tears.

In 1831, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole (sometimes collectively referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes) were living as autonomous nations in what would be called the American Deep South. The process of cultural transformation (proposed by George Washington and Henry Knox) was gaining momentum, especially among the Cherokee and Choctaw. Andrew Jackson was the first U.S. President to implement removal of the Native Americans with the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. In 1831 the Choctaw were the first to be removed, and they became the model for all other removals. After the Choctaw, the Seminole were removed in 1832, the Creek in 1834, then the Chickasaw in 1837, and finally the Cherokee in 1838.