The Removal of the Muscogee Nation

Discussion Questions

 

Introduction

  1. Why do you think the United States so desperately wanted American Indian lands east of the Mississippi River?
  2. Lillian Thomas stated in the video, “It was all because of Andrew Jackson. I know you’re supposed to respect and honor the leaders of your nation, but at that time, he was not the leader of our nation.”
    What does she mean by “not the leader of our nation”?

Before

  1. What was the environment like in the Muscogees’ traditional lands?
  2. Why do you think the Muscogee tried so hard to keep their traditional lands and live in peace with the Americans?
  3. What actions by the American government and citizens made it difficult for the Muscogee to stay on their traditional lands?

During

  1. How were Muscogee lives disrupted by the removal?
  2. Look at a map of the southeastern region of the United States. Locate the states that the Muscogee had to travel through (Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma). What geographical features might have posed as challenges to the forced removal of the Muscogee?
  3. What conditions made the removal extremely dangerous and deadly at times?

After

  1. The word assimilate means conforming or adjusting to the customs, attitudes, etc., of another group. How did the U.S. government try to force the Muscogee to assimilate? In other words, how did the government try to make the Muscogee more “American”?
  2. How was Muscogee culture affected by forced assimilation?
  3. How was the Muscogee community able to stay strong and continue once they established their new homes in Oklahoma?

Reflections

  1. What lessons can be learned from studying this historical event?
  2. How do the current members of the Muscogee Nation honor their ancestors?