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Creek Country: The Creek Indians and Their World Essay

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Abraham Lincoln

South Carolina together with other six states seceded from the United States federal government (Union) with the election of President Lincoln in 1860 as a result of failure to solve the “Tariff of Abomination” which was a threat to the South Carolina’s economy and the Union. This secession would lead to civil war. Lincohn views would be considered moderate during the nomination and his election but he shared the feeling of the Republican Party that the South was becoming too powerful, and was opposed to extension of slavery in the territories or states that were added to the Union.

Lincoln led the defeat of the secession in the civil war but was assassinated shortly before the end of the war. The secession of 11 states from the United States to form the Confederate States of America took place but was opposed by the U.S federal government (“Union”) as unconstitutional. This had been against the United States Constitution which had replaced the Articles of the Confederation. Andrew Jackson and James Madison had been opposed to secession. There was fierce battle over whether the individual states were free to secede from the Union, rights that were not covered by the constitution. The secession was defeated in the convention of 1860 through a slight majority vote (Faulkner). However, they failed to surrender and finally succeeded.

Whether or not the states seceding were bound by the adoption of the United States Constitution may have remained controversial, but the secession should not have occurred even if declaration of independence in 1775 would have given them a strong argument to claim freedom. The fight of South Carolina was against the unity of the country.

Civilization Program

The Civilization program of eighteenth century America wanted to create a public figure of training the Creek Indians on farming and clothing to become self-sufficient and sell surpluses in the market. However, the ultimate motivation and goal was to peacefully drive them out of their own vast land through settling them on small pieces. The federal and state governments which wanted more lands for settlement would make the Indians abandon their hunting on the fast lands and acquire it through treaty. However, the American Indians had been civilized before and had learned to make clothes, diversify market endeavors with cattle and hog ranching after the declining of the deerskin trade after the American Revolution, and they were practicing agriculture already.

The lands were bought through cessions and the money used by the Creeks to purchase spinning wheels, blacksmith tools, cotton gins among other things. It carried advantages like letting them free from purchasing European-manufactured clothes because they could make their own. The plan was opposed by people because it resisted them from going on with hunting, although women generally accepted the idea. The program led to tension arising from the fact that some viewed it as necessary for their cultural survival, while some though it was suicidal. These tensions contributed to the Creek War of 1813 to 1814. The government switched to the alternative of forcing the relocation of the Indians to the Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma) after the Red Sticks (Creek Rebels) were defeated at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 August after Andrew Jackson sent troops to engage them. The plan of relocation was accomplished by the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Removal of the Indians

Removal of the West Indians from the east of Mississippi River on lands desired by the whites was commissioned by the Indian Removal Act. The New Echota treaty was signed by only a few Cherokees who were opposed to the plan to remove the Indians from Georgia. The removal was stamped by the signing of the Indian Removal Act after its passage in 1830. The signing was done by a few for exchange of money (like John Ridge) but some others refused and wanted the treaty declared void claiming that it was not properly ratified. The group that opposed after signing of the treaty was led by Ross, but were forcefully removed from Georgia through the War Department in the Trail of Tears where they lost a quarter of them.

Nullification Crisis

The nullification crisis centered on opposition to tariffs introduced in 1828. During the summer of 1832, the Congress reduced tariff, the decision which was argued by the SC to convince that such an unconstitutional act was not so bad. During the period 1832-1833, a Nullification Convention was held by the SC and ordinance (Ordinance of Nullification which was the idea of John Calhoun) declaring the United States tariff law null and void within state boundaries was passed. The law passed provided for the arresting of those collecting taxes within taxes. In 1932, the SC was required to submit to the federal law through issuance of the Force Proclamation by the then president Jackson who was elected in a landslide victory for a second term. The president threatened through the proclamation that SC would be invaded by the US troops. The president did not solve the problem of the opponents to the Tariff of Abominations” as they expected and thus they threatened to secede in 1850. Recession was a direct cause of the civil war. The crisis led to fear of creation of civil war out of a perception that federal troops would invade SC and kill American citizens over constitutional matters. The Compromise of 1833 led to the reduction of the tariffs and the crisis was hence solved. The Compromise of 1850 allowed for the payment of fine for any federal official who didn’t arrest a runaway slave. The controversial issue which made abolitionists increase efforts against slavery, led to the civil war (Kelly)

Work Cited

Braund, Kathryn E. Holland. Deerskins and Duffels: The Creek Indian Trade with Anglo-America, 1685–1815. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993

Ethridge, Robbie. Creek Country: The Creek Indians and Their World. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003

Faulkner Ronnie. Secession. 2009. Web.

Hawkins, Benjamin. The Collected Works of Benjamin Hawkins, 1796–1810, edited by H. Thomas Foster, II. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2004

History 141-United States to 1877: The Jacksonian Era: 1820-1850. Web.

Kelly Martin. Top 9 Events that led to civil war. 2009. Web.

Martin, Joel W. Sacred Revolt: The Muskogee’s Struggle for a New World. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991.

Saunt, Claudio. A New Order of Things: Property, Power, and the Transformation of the Creek Indians, 1733–1816. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Treaty of New Echota (1835) Cherokee Indians. Web.

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