The Europeans who came to the New World did not land upon a continent devoid of people. Yet to the Spanish, French, and English who traveled from their countries in search of gold and land, the native populations already living on the North American continent were an inferior race.
Enslavement, eradication, and imprisonment were the just fates, they felt, for any who could keep them from attaining the wealth they sought. The Seminole Wars, which took place in modern-day Florida in three different phases of the first half of the 19th century, were at first glance the battle between the Native Americans who lived in Florida and the settlers who wanted that land for themselves. However, the settlers from Georgia and the Carolinas were also furious because the Seminoles provided a haven for African-American slaves who sought freedom.
Andrew Jackson, the military leader and future president of the United States, supported the Indian Removal Act which would force the native peoples to leave their homes to live west of the Mississippi, in the Indian Territory that is now Oklahoma. The Seminoles refused to leave without resistance, and as a result, they were at war with the United States government. In the end, of course, most of them were relocated to the Indian Territory, but a remnant remained behind and their descendants had the hard-won satisfaction of being recognized, in 1957, as the Seminole Tribe of Florida by the US federal government.