Sovereignty: An Analysis of the Cherokee Nation
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Prior to coming into contact with a foreign state, the Cherokee Nation existed for thousands of years as a rich Native American culture. However, after hundreds of years of interaction with the United States, its traditional ways have drastically changed. In looking at the relationship between these two political entities, the Cherokee people have been given a variety of labels by the United States, including savages, nuisances, and wards. The United States has viewed them as a people to be alternatively exterminated, acculturated, removed, and babysat, and has attempted to influence their way of life accordingly. Therefore, in looking at their relationship, has the United States ever recognized the Cherokee Nation as sovereign, and if not, is it possible for the Cherokee Nation to eventually be accorded sovereignty? In response to these questions, a definition of sovereignty will be provided along with the rights a sovereign nation has both internally and in their relations with other sovereign states. This will establish the general parameters used in the later analysis. Next, a history of the Cherokee Nation will be provided in order to show the amount of interference the United States has historically practiced as well as the gradual progression of changes the Cherokee Nation has been compelled to make due to the westward expansion of the United States across Native American territory. After presenting the history, contrasting arguments of other authors will be presented in regards to Cherokee sovereignty, followed by an analysis of the interactions between the Cherokee Nation and the United States. Evidenced by the fact that the United States has not granted the Cherokee Nation the right to noninterference, the right to remain the supreme legal authority within its borders, and the right of choice, the Cherokee Nation has not been recognized as sovereign by the United states, and never will be due to its lack of military strength and the fact that the United States would gain nothing from its recognition.