The attended course is dedicated to the examination of United States history from the formation of colonies to the present day. It identifies the issues that address government formation and American citizenship, the development of the national consciousness, and longstanding American racial exclusion. The students were studying the country’s transformation from a colony to a world leader, American principles of justice, the periods of Reconstruction, recessions, and reforms. In this work, I identify and elaborate on the lesson which I have learned during this course and give helpful advice to incoming students.
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During the study of United States history, I have learned that particular historical episodes are eventually repeating from the colonies’ formation time to the present decade. In the context of American history, racial exclusion is defined as a continued social phenomenon that is firmly embedded in a legacy from the 17th century. The English settled on the territory of the Powhatan Empire, the union of thirty native groups (OpenStax, 2019). The refusal of the English to follow the customs of the Powhatan resulted in three Anglo-Powhatan Wars that lasted for approximately forty years (OpenStax, 2019). The resistance of indigenous people to English intrusion illustrates early racial confrontation in United States history.
At the end of the 18th century, racial discrimination could be observed through the definition of American citizenship. According to the 1790 Naturalization Act, specifically “free white” immigrants of “good character” could claim American citizenship; slaves, Indians, free Africans, and Asians were excluded (as cited in OpenStax, 2019, 8.1). In 1830, President Andrew Jackson, supported by the Americans’ belief that Indians “had no place in the white republic” presented the Indian Removal Act to relocate native communities beyond America’s boundaries (as cited in OpenStax, 2019, 10.4). At the same time, the 19th century was marked by the massive immigration of Chinese and Hispanic populations.
Chinese immigrants extensively entered the United States; they built the first transcontinental railroad and labored on cotton plantations and in mines. Nevertheless, the Asian community faced aggression and discrimination from native citizens based on two dominant factors: economic confrontation and the nativists’ belief in the inability of the Chinese to assimilate (Young, 2017). In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act, which restricted Asian immigration to the United States, was signed (Young, 2017). Assimilated Hispanic Americans faced discrimination as well, regardless of full rights as citizens (OpenStax, 2019). Local governments and employing companies disregarded them in land disputes and adequate working conditions. Before the beginning of the Great Depression, European and African American immigrants who entered the country for new opportunities faced racial exclusion from the American society as well (OpenStax, 2019). Racial and ethnic discrimination is currently represented by Donald Trump’s political course, dedicated to Mexican and Muslim immigration limitation.
Advice to Incoming Students
This course exerted a significant influence on my daily life and work as a detailed study of the United States history provides with a deep understanding of political, economic, and social processes in modern America. Regarding this class, incoming students should accept and learn historical facts dispassionately as a part of an American legacy; there should be no personal opinion in a history review, all historical events lead to the current state of our country.
During the course, I used the strategy of selected study when the material is divided into parts according to periods or spheres of life (politics, economics, or social sciences). For the historical dates’ memorizing I used the strategy of stickers; I put dates on a large number of stickers to attach them in the entire room. Since the dates were frequently in front of my eyes, I memorized them quickly. I believe that other students may find these strategies useful.
To help students earn an A, I can advise referring to the additional information concerning United States history, world history, and history of other countries to investigate this subject more thoroughly. The organization of the educational process plays an essential role as well; students can make a plan of studying history with a schedule of themes to examine every day.
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OpenStax. (2019). U.S. history. OpenStax CNX. Web.
Young, J. G. (2017). Making America 1920 again? Nativism and US immigration, past and present. Journal on Migration and Human Security, 5(1), 217-235. Web.