Worcester v. Georgia

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Worcester v. Georgia 

31 U.S. 515 (1832), affirmed the federal government's exclusive right to treat “the Indian nations…as distinct, independent, political communities” outside the reach of the states. The case involved a missionary (Worcester) to the Cherokees who failed to obtain a license as required by a Georgia statute. The Supreme Court ruled that, since the Cherokees must be regarded as an independent nation, the Georgia law violated the commerce clauses of the Constitution. The state, however, with President Andrew Jackson's endorsement, ultimately refused to acknowledge the ruling and proceeded forcibly to remove Cherokees from their territory under the umbrella of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Learn More about Worcester v. Georgia

Share Worcester v. Georgia

Comments on Worcester v. Georgia

What made you want to look up Worcester v. Georgia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!