Segregation and the Civil Rights.
The “Indian Problem”¯, the Dawes Act.
The immigration patterns of Hispanic Groups, the Chicano Movement.
Immigration patterns of Asian Americans.
“Yellow Peril”¯ and the Japanese Internment Camps.
White ethnic groups and Jewish immigrant experience.
Gender inequality, patriarchy and sexism in the US.
The significance of heterosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, and homosexuality, and the Gay Rights Movement.
Ā Abolishment of slavery did not resolve the problem of racism and discrimination. Intolerance of the people toward other people and feeling of superiority, where some believed that some definite group of people can be regarded as chosen and superior by birth, did no disappear in the United States after the abolishment of slavery. Race still created a big abyss in the relations between the black and white populations of the country. The slavery was cancelled but a new social model has not been built yet and African-Americans had to find their way to survive and their place in the social ladder. A lot of them had to do the same work as being slaves.
The slavery was cancelled but new social model wasn’t built yet and African-Americans had to find their way to survive and their place in the social ladder. A lot of them had to do the same work as being slaves. After 1877 the liberties of Black were restricted again. White Southern Democrats took control from Republicans and the achievements of the Reconstruction were deprived. And the Supreme Court was also involved in that. A black man was imprisoned in Louisiana in 1892 just for sitting the white section of the train car. Later in 1896 Jim Crow’s laws were legalized by the famous Plessy v. Ferguson case. Jim Crow is a name of the system of laws which fixed the racial discrimination and supreme attitude to the African-Americans. But it became more than a system of laws. It became a way of life. Jim Crow laws represented the legitimization of anti-Black racism and covered the period between 1877 and the mid-1960s. The Jim Crow system stated that the white race was superior to the black race, sexual relations between Blacks and Whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America. This system also demanded to keep the blacks on the bottom of the social stratification by any means and to use forth if necessary to keep this separation.Ā Jim Crow’s law excluded the black from the public transport, from the jobs, facilities and neighborhoods. “Equal but separate”¯ could be called the motto of this racial fight. All the citizens were claimed equals by the Constitution but some were separated in order not to say “discriminated”¯.
The 1860s are noticeable for the rise of the Civil Right Movement which had a lot of consequences. The period of Reconstruction included global changes in the political, social and economical structure of the society and the way the African-Americans fitted there now.
The term Indian wars usually represents the opposition and conflicts between the Europeans and the original inhabitants of North America. First settlements were met friendly by the Indians but newcomers were aggressive and didn’t want to cooperate. They wanted everything including the native lands of Indians. English settlers provoked conflicts when they began to occupy the Atlantic Coast. All the history of English settlements is full of tribal conflicts and wars. The outbreak in Virginia in 1622 was followed by the century and a half of wars. Ā After the American Revolution the new government faced the problem of the Indian tribes who didn’t want to leave the land of Ohio ”“ picturesque and very fertile lands.Ā They were finally made to move to Indiana in 1795.
The Dawes Act began a new period in the life of the Native Americans.Ā Approved in February, 1987, the Act fixed the reservations as the only place for the Indians and didn’t give them any chance to survive outside the reservations.
Theoretically the Dawes Act demanded to provide every Native America with the allotment of land for the personal use and his right would be protected by the state this way. It was hardly mentioned only what kind of lands were given to the Indians as instead of their fertile lands and woods where they could hunt they got bare pieces of land hardly enough to survive and meant to keep them in the reservations without the right to move out of them. The leaders of the tribes got the right to buy additional land for the tribes if they wished so but it wasn’t mentioned why they should have bought the lands of their ancestors which belonged to them by birth. The allotments given to the Indians by the government of the U.S. denied the right of them for the all lands they used to live centuries before.
A lot of effort was put to convert the Indians into Christianity and the government didn’t save the money on that as the difference in the religion meant the difference in the mentality and was dangerous. The schools were built in order to civilize the children and to teach them. The government in its wish to control all the aspects of life described even the hairdo for school children. It was prohibited to make the plaits as it was originally Indian hairdo.
The state took consequent steps to take the Native Americans under control and to become the enjoying full rights owner of all the lands and finally became rather successful in that. To my opinion the Dawes Act was one of those steps to take the Native Americans under control.
The Ghost Dance movement is a religions movement, which emerged in the 1890s in the U.S. This movement was based on the Native Americans belief system. The meaning of the Dancing ritual was transformed and popularized by Jack Wilson, known as Wovoka. He proclaimed a peaceful resolution of withstanding between Native Americans and white Americans. Political demands were combined with native rituals and beliefs in this system.
Every year millions of people emigrate from one country to another, this process is one of the main reasons of population problems in most countries. Some reasons for immigration are famine, poverty, religion, revolution, unemployment, dictatorships, cholera, overpopulation, war, political repression and some others. People usually immigrate to countries where the standards of living are much higher than in their native and the U.S. definitely fits this category. To the USA immigrate people mostly from Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Italy, Israel, China, Japan, Jamaica, Vietnam, Haiti, Cuba and others.
Since the 1970s immigration became one of the main reasons of the Growth of Hispanic population in the U.S. These immigration resulted in the first generation of immigrants ”“ those, who were born outside the country. The second generation of immigrants consists of Hispanic people born in the U.S.
Immigrants bring with them part of their culture, language, religion and traditions and we cannot leave this factor without attention. They are confronted with numerous difficulties such as civil rights, education, work, social services and political participation. Job skills, legal status, educational background play an important role in social, cultural and political integration. The necessity of real foreign professionals who can develop ties with their native countries on the economical level and gives a possibility for a few people to realize themselves but for the majority the situation is very difficult.
The growth of Hispanic population resulted in the growth of their rights. At the same time there is a considerable difference between Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban immigrants.
In contrast to Puerto Rican and Cuban immigrants, those, who arrived from Mexico, show high level of self-consciousness and political activity.
The Chicano movement, which became a continuation of the Mexican Civil rights movement, became an important step in the expanding the rights of Hispanic population. The Chicano movement, which started in 1960s aimed to prove Mexican population to be an integral and equal part of the American society.
American immigration policy is usually defined as liberal and pluralist. The United States of America was founded as a multicultural country, which became the motherland for many immigrants and refugees. These qualities are reflected in the immigration policy of the country. The United States of America is called “melting pot”¯, as it consists of people of different nationalities and earlier it was easy to immigrate to the USA till the danger of overpopulation didn’t appear. So, in the 1920s were created first laws determining a quota of immigrants. In 1960s and 1970s large numbers of Asian refugees were admitted to the country under special laws. The law of 1965 weakened removed severe restriction for Asian immigration but in the 1990s the situation has changed a bit (Isaacs, 2000).
The first generation of Asian Americans were born not on the territory of the United States and it explains why Asian Ā culture is still very important in Asian communities. Practically all the traditions have been preserved. Such strong cultural ties with motherland distinguish Asian Diaspora from other minor groups such as Italians, English and Irish.
Close connection with native counties encouraged most Asian Americans to take jobs that were similar to those they had in their native country. Mostly it was fishing and it caused tolerant attitude of native population and other immigrants at first but soon the Asians began to succeed in their fishing business and to compete with native population. Attitude suddenly changed and a lot of cases of racial violent towards Asian Americans took place.
The existence of unique Asian culture in Diaspora in the USA does not mean that American culture was not adapted to the Asians. Most Asian Americans wear American clothes, listen to modern American music and eat American food. At the same time Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos and Vietnamese people have strong ties with their families and communities. It gives simple explanation to the existence of such communities as Orange Country in California, where Vietnamese and Asian population prevails.
Japanese attack on the U.S., which started December, 1941, had a big influence on the Japanese-American relations.
After these the term “Yellow Peril”¯ was now back in use and it was used to describe Asian threat, created by Japan.
The result of Pearl Harbour bombing became a war, which the U.S. declared to Japan. After these events American citizens of Japanese origin found themselves in a very difficult situation. The country, which became their new motherland, was in war with their native country.Ā Unfortunately, American citizens made little distinction between Japanese Americans and Federal Japanese army. People often turn to generalization and this way all Japanese people became enemies of the nation. These resulted in deportation of Japanese people from the United States and their internment. The interference of military forces turned comparatively peaceful internment into military incarceration. Japanese people were sent to so called Internment camps. In reality the term internment temp is an euphemism. In reality the places, where Japanese people were sent resembled real prisons. These actions of mass removal and incarcerations were accepted and even approved by the government. Some historians call these events shameful facts of American history.
Latest research shows that assimilation, which occurs to white minority groups usually require three or four generations. Whit ethnic groups, which exist in the U.S. easier assimilate in the U.S. Their cultural patters are very likely with those, which exist in the U.S. and that is one of the main reasons these groups adapt to changes better than other kind of immigrants.
Jewish Diaspora makes an exception because nationality becomes that distinctive feature, which unites these people together. Jewish Diaspora exists in many countries of the world and Judaism; the dominant religion of Jews, supported and developed there. Only in 1948 Israel became an independent state again but conflicts with Palestine last till now. Jewish communities still exist all over the world. The USA, where the second biggest Jewish community is situated, numbers more and 5 million people. More than 14 million people all over the world identify themselves as Jewish.
The role and position of immigrants greatly changed during the recent time. Originally, when first immigrants arrived to the country they were necessary to strengthen the economy of the country, especially in America. Most of immigrants are cheap man labour. Some American politicians are trying to simplify immigration laws, as scientists predict the labour demand in nearest future. From the other side the situation has changed at the present moment.
Industrial revolution and development of technology reduced the need for physical labour. At the present moment the United States is interested not in primitive physical labour. The government welcomes talented and intelligent people from abroad, who can bring the country new technological ideas and advances.
In the recent times the terms “gender”¯ and “race”¯ are used with a new meaning to refer to social organization of the relations between sexes and races. These terms are widely spread in the USA and other countries to emphasize different attitude and social discrimination of sexes and races. These problems being crucial are analyzed by many scholars in their works.
From time immemorial men used to took the superior position in practically all spheres of life, especially in businesses and organizations. Gender problems are on the stage of solving nowadays but it’s rather difficult to come over all the consequences of the past. When one gender has all the power and unlimited possibilities, for example, occupying high-paid jobs and taking up elite posts, another gender may be inadvertently excluded. Such suppression was the part of human history and as a result even now women, in comparison with men, are devalued in status, pays and promotions. Ā«The dangers of using stereotypes like these should be clear to generations of women who have had to prove their unfeminine ability and had to fight for the right to exercise power overtly outside the home, as well as covertly within itĀ» (Heilman, 2004). Gender discrimination in organizations can be of two types: formal and informal. Formal discrimination is based on the fact that there are male gender-typed jobs. This fact means that women receive fever promotions that a man in these jobs and qualifications doesn’t matter. Informal discrimination is based on bad expectations of woman’s abilities and professional qualities. Despite the proven fact that in some spheres women are better than men, the problem of women’s discriminations in organizations takes place. Very often women face difficulties to their professional acceptance and success. In the 1970s women stated their movement to demonstrate the mankind that women as well as men are able to think and be successful. Today there isn’t such a barrier between women and men in the workforce as it used to be thirty years ago. The twentieth century used to be the century of feminism and poststructuralism and their collaboration. Being the most influential movements they attracted attention millions of people and became the main point of discussion of French philosopher Michel Foucault. This work is dedicated just to this theme.
An attitude towards homosexuality has changed during recent time. It became more tolerant and understanding. The problem of homosexuality became on object of research in many sciences. Researchers, doctors and scientists try to find out the origins of homosexuality, influence it has on different aspects of human life.
There are three different approach to homosexuality. First approach treats homosexuality as a personal choice of people and it states that they decide themselves to change their sexual orientation. There are a lot of factors, which influence this decision and it can be influenced by weather conscious or subconscious motives. Another approach treats homosexuality like decease, which can or cannot be cured. Such an approach was very popular till the 70s of the last century. The change in attitude towards homosexuality gave birth to another approach, which became very popular during recent time. Those who turn to this approach regard homosexuality as natural phenomenon and biological condition people are born with.
Sexuality is not only personal affair. It’s also social phenomenon society has to deal with. Woodhorse talks about the fortification of gender roles and restrictions to these roles brought to the social culture by transvestites. He believes that cross-dressing and transvestites make a potential danger for the society as it can lead to the displacement of gender categories and gender roles. “On a social and cultural level the two groups (male and female) are equally restricted.”¯ (Woodhouse, p. 117). Homosexual relations usually are thought to be not traditional ones and talking about sexuality in this type of relations is difficult due to the multiple variations of these relations. For centuries the marriage was considered just between the people of the opposite sex and by now the marriage of the people of the same sex can be wrong on an evolutionary scale (Coolidge, 1997). The Gay Rights Movement had an intention to prove the homosexual people have same rights as other people. The members of this movement fought for civil rights of homosexuals. At the present time the situation changes. Gradually the United States joins the lists of the counties, where these marriages are allowed. Same sex couples can get married in San Francisco since February 12 of the 2004, because of an action by their mayor. More tolerant attitude of the society gives people opportunity to perceive their sexuality and enjoy different types of relations.