From King Andrew I to Old Hickory, Andrew Jackson had no shortage of nicknames symbolic of the opposing opinions of the president responsible for the forced removal of all Native peoples from the American South. While on its face the Indian Removal Act of 1830 appears to be little more than a racist executive order purporting large-scale land theft, the Act was also a manifestation of executive power and competing constitutional interpretations of sovereignty. In using his presidential authority to demand Indian removal, Jackson not only restructured national Indian policy, but further challenged both the power balance between state and federal government. Congressional opinions on the Act’s legality depended on opposing beliefs regarding proper constitutional reading of sovereignty. Jackson’s fickle enforcement of Indian laws further accentuated the ultimate authority of executive will. The Indian Removal Act’s narrow passage and enforcement in the face of judicial objection exemplified and aroused fundamental debates over sovereignty in American federalism and the actual ability of checks and balances between the branches of government.
Celano, Daniele. "The Indian Removal Act: Jackson, Sovereignty and Executive Will." The Purdue Historian 8, 1 (2017). https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/puhistorian/vol8/iss1/6