IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/exehis/v49y2012i4p423-442.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The price of Cherokee removal

Author

Listed:
  • Gregg, Matthew T.
  • Wishart, David M.

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the social costs and income transfers of Cherokee removal, i.e., “The Trail of Tears.” Our cost estimates provide several new insights into this extensively studied topic. First, our estimate of the number of removal-related fatalities is considerably lower than the commonly accepted figure of 4000. Second, the uncompensated value of ceded Cherokee land in the southeast was the largest cost borne by the Cherokees, followed in magnitude by the value of lost agricultural output due to removal. Third, American taxpayers paid for roughly 44% of the total social costs of removal. Also, the cost burden of Cherokee removal, as a share of 1year's GDP, was greater for the Cherokees than the cost burden of any major war for the American population.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregg, Matthew T. & Wishart, David M., 2012. "The price of Cherokee removal," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 423-442.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:49:y:2012:i:4:p:423-442
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2012.07.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014498312000447
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marvin Towne & Wayne Rasmussen, 1960. "Farm Gross Product and Gross Investment in the Nineteenth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Trends in the American Economy in the Nineteenth Century, pages 255-316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Steckel, Richard H., 2010. "Inequality Amidst Nutritional Abundance: Native Americans on the Great Plains," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 265-286, June.
    3. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2004. "Changes in the Value of Life, 1940--1980," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 159-180, September.
    4. Joseph M. Prince & Richard H. Steckel, 2001. "Tallest in the World: Native Americans of the Great Plains in the Nineteenth Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 287-294, March.
    5. Weiman, David F., 1987. "Farmers and the Market in Antebellum America: A View from the Georgia Upcountry," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 627-647, September.
    6. Wishart, David M., 1995. "Evidence of Surplus Production in the Cherokee Nation Prior to Removal," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 120-138, March.
    7. Goldin, Claudia D. & Lewis, Frank D., 1975. "The Economic Cost of the American Civil War: Estimates and Implications," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 299-326, June.
    8. Carlson, Leonard A., 1978. "The Dawes Act and the Decline of Indian Farming," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 274-276, March.
    9. Hutchinson, William. K. & Williamson, Samuel, 1971. "The Self-Sufficiency of the Antebellum South: Estimates of the Food Supply," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(3), pages 591-612, September.
    10. repec:eme:rehizz:s0363-3268(2014)0000030003 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Aimee Chin, 2005. "Long-Run Labor Market Effects of Japanese American Internment during World War II on Working-Age Male Internees," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 491-526, July.
    12. Ford, Lacy K., 1985. "Self-Sufficiency, Cotton, and Economic Development in the South Carolina Upcountry, 1800–1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(2), pages 261-267, June.
    13. Thomas Weiss, 1993. "Long-term changes in US agricultural output per worker, 1800-1800," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 46(2), pages 324-341, May.
    14. Edwards, Ryan D., 2014. "U.S. war costs: Two parts temporary, one part permanent," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 54-66.
    15. Fogel, Robert W & Engerman, Stanley L, 1977. "Explaining the Relative Efficiency of Slave Agriculture in the Antebellum South," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 275-296, June.
    16. John Komlos & Leonard Carlson, 2014. "The anthropometric history of Native Americans, C.1820–1890," Research in Economic History, in: Christopher Hanes & Susan Wolcott (ed.), Research in economic history, volume 30, pages 135-161, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    17. Mancall, Peter C. & Weiss, Thomas, 1999. "Was Ecomomic Growth Likely in Colonial British North America?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 17-40, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    American Indians; Cherokee removal; Trail of tears; Economic costs; Cost accounting; Transaction costs;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:49:y:2012:i:4:p:423-442. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.