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‘Established Legitimacy’ is a term used to describe the normalization of violence within a society. Westward expansion, fronted by President Andrew Jackson, prompted the use of ‘Established Legitimacy’. A primary example of this method is the forced assimilation of the Five Civilized Tribes of North America in the early 1800’s. In Steve Inskeep’s Jacksonland, Inskeep examines methods of involuntary whitewashing of the Cherokee people. The goal, separating the Cherokee from their valued land, and, as a consequence, their way of life. The lens Inskeep uses is predominantly powered by individual letters, analyzed in chronological order. Inskeep begins as early as the War of 1812, and ends with the finalization of Indian Removal in the late 1830’s. Through the eyes of both Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief representative John Ross, acts of Americanization are characterized as not only forced upon the Cherokee nation, but accepted methods of survival for a nation under attack. This article aims to break down the stages ultimately leading to Cherokee Indian Removal, known as the Trail of Tears, from a post-colonial lens. Inskeep’s slow and steady development of events leading to the court case between Andrew Jackson and Chief John Ross reminds readers that the Cherokee did not leave quietly, and did everything they could as a nation to keep their home among the wave of settlers moving west. Supported by a series of primary source news articles, one of which written by John Ross himself, ‘Established Legitimacy’ can be analyzed first hand.


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  • Subject
    • English

  • Institution
    • Oconee

  • Event location
    • MPR 1

  • Event date
    • 22 March 2019

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Derek Thiess