*Party division totals are based on election day results.
The 21st Congress (1829–1831) signaled the beginning of Jacksonian Democracy in America, in which the general public took on a more pronounced role in government affairs. The clamor for more land and new resources led Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act, which forced American Indians from the southeast to leave their ancestral homes and resettle west of the Mississippi River. Poor planning and a lack of funding made for terrible conditions during the trek westward. The path those refugees followed became infamous as the “Trail of Tears.”