Measles, flu, accidents, fighting, malnutrition, and dysentery resulted
in a great number of deaths. Six months later the Cherokee met up
with their brethren in the Arkansas territory and attempted to begin
This spring the state of Georgia apologized to the Cherokee Nation
for the Trail of Tears.
Decomposing Leaves/Fertilizer: Conclusions
The assimilation process of the Cherokee was an unprecedented, widespread,
problematic, enigmatic, and phenomenal undergoing. It was undertaken
by the Cherokee with the purpose of assimilating Western civilization
in order to save their own lands and cultural sovereignty. This presents
an interesting enigma: assimilation for the sake of cultural survival.
In light of the situation facing the Cherokee at the turn of the century,
with their economy dissolved and white encroachment becoming a larger
and larger threat, this enigma becomes less foreign and more comprehensible.
While the Cherokee did not universally accept the assimilation process,
it was the only widespread Cherokee resistance to the American threat
that emerged in this time period. The assimilation process took many
forms, and changed nearly all aspects of Cherokee life.
The assimilation of the Cherokee both hindered and accelerated the
removal process. An underlying fear is evident in the actions of both
the state of Georgia and the Jackson administration, a fear that an
independent sovereign Cherokee Nation would emerge victorious over
the will of the state and federal governments, and would do so legally
and constitutionally. This fear, the fertility of Cherokee lands,
and the discovery of gold within their territory were all motivations
behind the eventual removal. When the Cherokee emerged victorious
after Worcester v. Georgia, the Jackson administration pursued subversive
means in an all-out bid to remove the Cherokee, and finally won.
The two halves of this paper are thus linked by the steady current
of assimilation, for the sake of cultural survival, that flowed over
the Cherokee Nation between the turn of the century and removal in
1838. The battle of removal highlights the development of the Cherokee