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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 life anew.

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 Nation



62. Mooney, 124.
63. Ibid., 127.
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