Essay Sample on Acceptance of Population Minority Groups

Published: 2023-01-29
Essay Sample on Acceptance of Population Minority Groups
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Race Discrimination
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 912 words
8 min read

America is a country founded on the principles of liberty, life, and pursuit of happiness. As Such, its inability to reconcile and abolish ideas of slavery was a dilemma. Again, the treatment of some people as the property of others contradicts its principles. In the 1840s, African Americans were offered treatment that depicted them as lesser persons implying their intellectual inferiority and a series of beliefs about them that forged the idea of racism (Harris, 2004). However, for decades, these aspects influence race relations to date.

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The 1840s were characterized by a heated-up debate on slavery, the proponents of black enslavement sought support from the increased cases of pseudoscientific racist ideas. However, the supreme court ruled out that African Americans should be free of slavery and be allowed to acquire citizenship (Harris, 2004). Again, racism was a common phenomenon during this time accompanied by civil war. All the territories where negroes were prohibited were no longer guarded. However, there was the freedom that came along with the civil war resulting from using black troops who were crucial for the preservation of the union. African Americans, as a result, acquired authority to claim equal citizenship.

Rights to citizenship for the African Americans was not easily granted until later in the years (Harris, 2004). When the national citizenship was granted, it was made available to everyone born in the United States irrespective of their race, but native Americans who were living in tribal communities did not obtain it. As such, during the 1840s, racial difference was an explicit basis for denial of political participation for African Americans.

The Indian removal act prompted to the infamous trail of tears which resulted in thousands of Indian groups be moved from the west of Mississippi River to present-day Oklahoma. Among the Indian groups that were relocated include the creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw (Padget, 2006). The United States government at this time, showed its preparedness to deal with tribes which Indians perceived as challenges of expansion. Indians barely had land to settle on. Besides, they did cattle ranching, farming, and mining, which was threatened by this initiative. The initiative was made possible since Indians were perceived to be a threat to the negotiation of a settlement. However, with time, chiefs of the tribes of the great plains came to a drawing board and established clear tribal borders; therefore, promoting a reservation system.

The interaction American Indians with the white settlers in the event of the western expansion movement was tough and traumatizing (Padget, 2006). Settlers believed in the idea of manifest destiny and empty lands. On the other hand, added a worrying aspect to an already dangerous environment. According to the Indians, the coming of settlers implied an end of their usual way of life. As such, Indians did not predict a positive impact which would emerge from cultural exchange. As a result, there was virtual damage to Indian culture and life (Nichols, 2014).

When antagonism erupted on both sides, the whites acted as the major perpetrators of atrocities. Since whites had superior weapons, and their number was quite high besides acquiring support from the government, they succeeded in fueling acts of violence. The extinction of the Indian way of life happened was facilitated by individuals who were thought to be reformers. Ownership of land individually, free worship, and perpetuation of elements of culture were curtailed (Ward, 1989). As a result, so much of their life was stripped away, making it difficult for them to maintain the integrity of their tribe.

In New York, there was a significant number of slaves that were found in the 1840s census, particularly in New Jersey. Right from the period of civil war, the economy of the Northern state continued to be attached to slavery, especially through textile manufacturing. Despite slavery being outlawed from the late 18th century, the North co-operated with the South providing room for slaves that had escaped to be captured and returned to the South. Before the civil war, the North was comfortable with the continuation of slavery, unlike the South. For instance, in Mississipi, many households owned slaves while in the South, few families owned slaves translating to a direct experience of owning another person belonging to a different race in the form of a slave.

Racial oppression of the African Americans was not promoted by the social environment in which they inhabited, but it was due to the daily routines that they actively participated. Slavery resulted in forms of racist believes which influence American culture up to date (Harris, 2004).

The period was characterized by radical political movements, especially for workers and small farmers. As a result, populists emerged in the South and mid-west. At this time, black tenant farmers, together with the small white farmers in the South, were not able to agree on land ownership. The period posed serious challenges to the dominant political parties. The wrangles experienced among the political class affected the dominant classes of the United States at the time. Ratio conflict emerged and distorted the agrarian unity that existed between the populists. The distortion resulted in the decline of the overall movement.


Harris, L. M. (2004). In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863. University of Chicago Press.

Nichols, R. L. (2014). American Indians in US history (Vol. 248). University of Oklahoma Press.

Padget, M. (2006). Indian Country: Travels in the American Southwest, 1840-1935. UNM Press.

Ward, D. (1989). Poverty, Ethnicity, and the American City, 1840-1925: Changing Conceptions of the Slum and Ghetto (Vol. 13). CUP Archive.

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