Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Timothy Hacsi

Second Advisor

Julie Winch

Third Advisor

Bonnie Miller


The US in the 1830s debated the relationship between the US and Indian Communities of North America. The principles calling for equal rights and political democracy were in contradiction with the principles calling for the US to follow colonial principles of the European empires that had begun to invade North America in the late 1400s. The colonies that had revolted against British rule in the late 1700s continued their expansion of settlements and political incorporation. The proposal of Indian Removal was a straightforward expression of that expansionism. There was a national campaign developed in support of the Indian resistance, particularly from the Cherokee. The opposition to Removal was advancing principles that in effect called for the US to develop practical policy that was in line with its past proclamations and treaty commitments. The proponents argued in support of the right of states to override treaty law, because the Indians were an inferior race. The principles of white supremacy and colonial rights of discovery and conquest won the day.