In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed into law "The Indian Removal Act" which allowed or authorized the removal of the "Five Civilized Tribes" (Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw and Seminole) to "Indian Territory" (modern day Oklahoma).
In 1831 combined army, militia, and volunteer forces began to move these tribes along one of several routes to two forts located in Indian Territory: Fort Gibson and Fort Townson. The last tribe moved were the Cherokee in 1838. It should be noted that some tribes accepted bribes of money and or lands, while others did not and were forced under the threat of death - some of these rebelled resulting in armed conflict. During the move there were several way stations along the route, but not all had proper provisioning. For various reasons (from bad planning or indifference to intentional lack of concern, to malfeasant action), many Indians were not allowed or given access to proper food, medical supplies, warm clothing, nor allowed to rest for any significant period of time, which resulted in the deaths of many tribal members. These deaths were exacerbated by the untended dead left along the trail.
The native Americans began to call this trail or series of trails, the "Trail where they Wept / Cried" and it has been changed a little to "The Trail of Tears" by modern translation. The Arkansas Gazette quoted Thomas Harkins (a Choctaw) as saying "[it was] a trail of tears and death"
There were approximately 11 of these trails, taken by different tribes based upon location. They ranged in distance from 200 to 900 miles and went through 14 states (These distances do not include oversea travel):
a belief in personal responsibility for salvation
They connected the middle of the country with the coastal cities.
The laws allowed the Indians to be treated badly.
An early temperance movement began during the American Revolution in advocating temperance rather than abstinence and taking positions on moral issues.
Slave families were split up.
The Cherokee had already "refused" to move but they were forcefully moved to Oklahoma. Jackson was already out of presidency but he is held responsible for starting the further intentions for this trail of tears.
it brought in alot of money
They hunted game to eat (Apex 2020)
One of the things the Treaty of New Echota did was that it divided the Cherokee.
they feared more mistreatment
needed their political support
it decreased (APEX)
The further downriver, the more brutal the slave-drivers. Hence the menacing threat that you would be 'sold down the river'.
Jefferson Davis was an exception, that he farmed in Mississippi (although born in Kentucky), and treated his slaves so well that they didn't want their freedom.
All of the above
The overall message of a story is called the theme - it's what the author is trying to tell the readers.
they continued to lose land promised to them
Encouraged worldwide industrial development