While some contemporary political discussion calls for a “color blind” society, other voices argue that race remains the central issue in American life and Slavery is the defining element in American history. How would you trace issues of race in America from the 17th through the 19th century? What organizing strategy might you bring to bear on this question in American history?
American history is defined by slavery. The founding fathers of America, in the 17th and 18th centuries, grew the economy through slave labor. During this time, slavery and the slave trade were thought to be normal activities. Institutional discrimination and oppression were rife. For that reason, the Whites believed that blacks were inferior to them. Black people were, thus, treated as items of trade.
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Worse is the fact that the Whites tried to legislate their supremacy over the blacks through anti-miscegenation laws in the 18th century. However, in the 19th century, as the Northern society started to develop, anti-slavery crusaders emerged. Subsequently, the debate around slavery led to a civil war between 1861 and 1865 that culminated in modern-day America. When the North triumphed over the South, the ‘American Dream’ was born. This dream was molded into a free society.
The storm surrounding race makes it an uncomfortable topic to discuss. For that reason, a number of ideas have been devised to deal with racial discrimination and profiling. One of the most recent approaches is the notion of a color-blind society. According to this ideology, discrimination can be eradicated by treating all races and cultures equally. However, a society gets rid of something by talking about it and exposing its flaws. Color blindness cannot, thus, solely eradicate problems related to racial discrimination as it treats race as a taboo topic. Racism can only be resolved by agreeing that discrimination and racial profiling persists in American society. Moreover, a sure way of managing racial problems is avoiding generalizations and conclusions. Accordingly, ethnic groups cannot perpetuate this issue by posing as victims.
How would you explain the origins of the civil war? What specific factors played a part in bringing the nation to war in 1860? Was the war inevitable? In your discussions be sure to consider the ultimate “meaning” of the war. In other words, why is it so significant?
The American civil war took place between 1861 and 1865. This conflict claimed over 618,000 lives. Its foundation can be traced to the anxiety that occurred in the early phases of the US’s history. The economic and social disparity between the south and the North, slavery, states versus federal rights, and the election of Abraham Lincoln are some of the factors that shaped this war. Therefore, this war was inevitable.
Initially, the Southern economy was based on cotton while the North was supported by industry. Northern society, thus, developed much quicker than Southern society. Whereas the South stuck to its social order, the North embraced equality. This disparity led to the acrimony between the North and the South. Moreover, some people called for more state rights while others maintained that the federal government should have more control.
Consequently, after the creation of the US constitution, some states fought for nullification. In addition, some states had banned the slave trade in their territory. However, pro-slavery states and individuals started forcing these states to endorse slavery. These misdeeds led to violence. Lastly, the election of Abraham Lincoln did not make things any easier. For instance, pro-slavery states such as South Carolina seceded from the federation as they viewed Lincoln as an anti-slavery crusader and a defender of Northern interests.
The American civil benefited American society a great deal. To many, it was a way of correcting the wrongs done by Britain and other colonial masters. Most importantly, the war resulted in the unification of the entire United States as the Southern states were reconstructed. In addition, slavery was abolished. On top, states acquired more rights. This gave them more autonomy in conducting their affairs.
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