Native American Politics Philosophy

Timeline created by bmsmith
  • Major Ridge was Born

    Major Ridge was born in Tennessee in 1771. His mother was of mixed ancestry, and his father was full-blooded Cherokee. Thus Ridge was brought up in the traditional Cherokee ways.
  • Murder of Doublehead

    Major Ridge Participated in the killing of an accused traitor named Doublehead.
  • Cherokee And The Promise To Start Civilized Life

    Major Ridge and a delegation of Cherokee leaders travel to Washington, D.C. to dialogue with President Thomas Jefferson. The Cherokee delegation rejects government proposals to relocate west of the Mississippi River but promises to continue on the path toward "civilized life" by developing "fixed laws and regular government."
  • Skirmish At Tippecanoe

    General William Henry Harrison leads a force of 1000 men against an Indian encampment on the Tippecanoe River in Indiana Territory. In the battle, Harrison's men defeat a coalition of northwestern tribes forged by Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa, or The Prophet, in an effort to resist the expansion of white Americans into Indian lands.
  • Law Against Land Sales

    Cherokee leader Major Ridge authors a law that made it a capital offense to sell Cherokee land without the consent of the national council.
  • Period: to

    Cherokee Government-Building Expands

    Ridge was among the most influential leaders driving this process of government-building among the Cherokees. Early on they also convinced the federal government to grant the Cherokee council more control over the roads, mills, and trading stations on their territories. But during the 1820s, institution-building proceeded rapidly, and by 1825, the Cherokees had established a bicameral legislature and a judicial system.
  • Cherokees Take Final Step In Government Reforms

    In 1827, the Cherokees took a final step in this nation-building process by drafting a constitution formalizing the governmental reforms of the previous years.
  • Period: to

    The Cherokees And Georgia

    Georgia's attempts to expand into Cherokee lands before the Indian nation became stronger led to a series of legal battles between 1828 and 1832. These ended in a victory for the Cherokees in Worcester v. Georgia, a landmark Supreme Court case. Although the Cherokees won the case, they were unable to enjoy victory because even their former supporters in the white community abandoned them.
  • Georgia Sovereignty Law

    A bill is introduced to the Georgia state legislature asserting the sovereignty of state government over all land and people within its geographical boundaries, including the Cherokees who maintain that they enjoy territorial and legal autonomy through treaties negotiated with the federal government.
  • Removal Act

    Congress passes the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the president to pursue ownership of all Indian lands east of the Mississippi River. Under the act, the Indians will be compensated with new lands drawn from the public domain west of the Mississippi River.
  • Test Case Against Georgia

    Missionary Samuel Worcester and several other missionaries are arrested when they refuse to obtain a license to reside among the Cherokees as required by a recently passed Georgia law. In September they will be convicted and sentenced to four years in the state prison.
  • Worchester Is Pardoned

    Samuel Worcester and the other missionaries imprisoned by Georgia accepts a pardon from the governor of Georgia and are released from jail. Even though they had prevailed in their case before the Supreme Court the previous March, they refuse to pursue further litigation in fear that it will exacerbate a growing crisis over states' rights and nullification.
  • The Treaty of New Echota Signed

    The Treaty of New Echota Signed
    John Ridge, his father Major Ridge, and their relative Elias Boudinot signed the Treaty of New Echota at the "Treaty Party," and caused them to lose favor in their Cherokee community, because they had sold off their ancestral to the Federal Government for five million dollars.
  • Government Forcibly Removes Cherokees

    Government Forcibly Removes Cherokees
    Most of the Cherokees protested against the Treaty of New Echota, and refused to leave their lands even when the Government not only offered them money, but also land in Oklahoma. In 1838 the Government ended the dispute by dislodging them at gunpoint. The Cherokees denounced the treaty and went down "The Trail of Tears." Almost a quarter of the original group died during the journey.
  • Dawed Severalty Act

    Congress enacts the Indian General Allotment Act, or Dawes Severalty Act, authorizing the president of the United States to carve existing Indians lands into 160 acre parcels to be distributed to individual Native American heads of households. "Surplus lands" are to be purchased by the federal government and sold to Anglo-American homesteaders. Proceeds from these sales are to underwrite the "education and civilization" of the former Indian owners.
  • Bibliography

    Shmoop Editorial Team. "Politics in Native American History" Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.