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Conflicting Policies toward Minorities Essay

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Updated: Apr 17th, 2019

At the end of the nineteenth century, the American government pursued different policies toward various minority groups, even though the representatives of these groups were considered to be distinct from the Anglo-Saxon population.

Some of them were forced to assimilate into the mainstream culture, while others were excluded or segregated from the community. To a great extent, these conflicting policies can be explained by the fact that at that time, racial ideology played an important role and profoundly influenced the views of many individuals.

Some minorities, especially African-Americans were denied the right to integrate into the society only because they had a different color of the skin.

In contrast, white people had more opportunity to participate in social activities because they were not considered to be different from a racial point of view. On the whole, the former history of slavery and racism also affected the attitudes of the officials and public.

In order to illustrate these arguments, one should first look at the policies of the state toward African-Americans. In particular, one can speak about the legal doctrine Separate but equal that emerged in the late nineteenth century.

According to it, black people allegedly had the civic rights guaranteed by the Constitution. However, they were not able to attend many educational institutions or occupy positions in the government.

Thus, they were excluded from the mainstream culture only because it was unacceptable to many individuals that black people could have the same opportunities in American society.

To a great extent, these attitudes of the state can be explained by the long history of slavery and unwillingness of people to see former slaves as full-right citizens. The effects of this doctrine are palpable even nowadays, when many black people are economically-disadvantaged.

In their turn, the immigrants, who came from India and China, were frequently prevented from integrating into the society. For instance, in many cases, it was extremely difficult for them to find employment.

This is one of the reasons why they settled in separate communities. Nevertheless, they soon acquired the label of whiteness. This is one of the reasons why they successfully integrated into the mainstream culture.

Finally, one can speak about Native Americans because the state had a very peculiar attitude toward them. Unlike African-Americans, this minority group was not associated with slavery and inferior position within a society.

However, they were also deemed to be distinct from the majority of American population. They could interact with the mainstream America in different ways. For instance, they could either completely assimilate into the society without retaining their cultural distinctions.

The second option available to them was to live in segregation. However, they were viewed as an inferior race by the state. Thus, one can say that one can say that the rhetoric of race profoundly affected the life of many minority groups.

On the whole, these examples indicate that that at the end of the nineteenth century, minority groups faced different challenges. Some of them were deprived of the opportunity to integrate into the community. Other people were enabled to become a part of the mainstream culture, but in some cases, they had to abandon their cultural heritage.

Nevertheless, the legacies of slavery and racial view of the world had a strong influence on the state. This is one of the main issues that one can identify.

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