Gloria Jahoda, the author of The Trail of Tears talks about how Indian populations dropped and how white people are the ones responsible for the drop of their population.
The white men are not responsible for the drop of the Indian population. Johoda makes all Indians sound like defenseless children. Johoda is making excuses for Indians because Indians let the white man take over their lives and lifestyle. Indians would do everything that was asked of them by the white man instead of standing up for themselves. The Choctaws were granted citizenship in the exception of them not living their everyday lifestyle.
Under citizenship, the tribal government of the Choctaws was abolished. Choctaws were given heavy fines and even jail time if the Choctaws dishonored the demands of the white man for their citizenship. Chief Moshulatubbee was shocked so he decided to run for congress. Mississippians took Moshulatubbee wanting to run for congress as a joke. Moshulatubbee lost. The lost started a civil war among the Choctaws.
No matter what the Choctaws did they did not get their way. When leaving Mississippi some of the Choctaws died of diseases and of hunger. So the Choctaws gave in and again let the white man take control of them. One of the presidents of the United States, Andrew Jackson went to war with Indians hopping to get rid of the Indians. Black Hawk was a 62-year-old Indian who hated Americans. Black Hawk says that American promises are empty.
Whenever Americans told Black Hawk that they would do something for the Indians the Americans would never do what they promised. Black Hawk decided to take the side of the British. Whenever the British said they would do something for the Indians the British would always do what they promised. Black Hawk always carried a British medal around his neck he respected the British a great deal. Andrew Jackson the president of the United States at the time came face to face with Black Hawk. The president asked Black Hawk, “why did you go to war,” Black Hawk did not answer.
It was said that maybe the sac chief did not understand the question, but I say it’s just another excuse for Indians being naive and letting the Americans do what they would like with the Indians. This book educates the audience on how there were brave Indians. Black Hawk was one of the very brave Indians, he tried not to let the Americans do what they would like with the Indians but he was unsuccessful. It would have taken a lot more brave Indians than just Black Hawk to survive.
Jahoda makes a lot of excuses for the fall of the population of Indians but it was all up to the Indians to survive. If the Indians would have not allowed the white man to step foot in there land, then they would still have control of their territory. The United States is the Indians territory, but the Americans stole it right in front of their face and they let the white man do it. We can’t feel sorry for the Indians; they should have been harder on the white man and fought from the start. Americans would outsmart the Indians.
Americans arrested Indians by surprise they would surround a house and take its inhabitants by surprise. If the Indians would resist they would be hit with a rifle sometimes they would be struck by the sharp bayonets of the rifles. Indians did what the Americans wanted, to avoid any kind of punishment. Page 231 talks about how Indians were arrested. Indians should’ve rebelled more so that they could have kept what is there’s.