President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. There followed the almost entirely involuntary displacement to the West of Native Americans with homelands ‘east of the Mississippi River’. Their passage westward became termed the ‘Trail of Tears’. The resettlement areas were in unorganized territory in a band traversing present-day Texas, northwards to Iowa. First to be removed were the Choctaw in 1831; they were followed by the Creeks, Chickasaw and Cherokee. The most sustained resistance came from the Seminole of Florida. After a succession of rebellions lasting until 1842, the few surviving Seminole were allowed to remain in their swampland refuge. Further north, the Sauk and Fox were also forced out of their homelands, first from Illinois territory, then Iowa, before ending up on Kickapoo Indian territory in Oklahoma. Jackson saw the removals in part as reprisal for Indian support for the British in the War of 1812.
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