On March 28, 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, beginning the forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans in what became known as the Trail of Tears.Not all members of Congress supported the Indian Removal Act. Tennessee Rep. Davey Crockett was a vocal opponent, for instance. Native Americans opposed removal from their ancestral lands, resulting in a long series of battles with local white settlers. But the forced relocation proved popular with voters. It freed more than 25 million acres of fertile, lucrative farmland to mostly white settlement in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas.More than 46,000 Native Americans were forced—sometimes by the U.S. military—to abandon their homes and relocate to “Indian Territory” that eventually became the state of Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died on the journey—of disease, starvation, and exposure to extreme weather.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry abandon Verb
to desert or leave entirely.
having to do with ancestors or historical background.
to bring out of a savage or uneducated state.
legislative branch of the government, responsible for making laws. The U.S. Congress has two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
small, designated part of a larger group.
a harmful condition of a body part or organ.
at some point in the future.
extreme weather Noun
rare and severe events in the Earth's atmosphere, such as heat waves or powerful cyclones.
area used for agriculture.
able to produce crops or sustain agriculture.
forced relocation Noun
migration of people from one place to another, as ordered by the government or international authority.
meaning or effect.
profitable or money-making.
Native American Noun
person whose ancestors were native inhabitants of North or South America. Native American usually does not include Eskimo or Hawaiian people.
dying from lack of food.
community made of one or several family groups sharing a common culture.