There is no use denying the fact that society of any state is not homogenous. It is comprised of a great number of different people who have their mentalities and beliefs. However, there is one thing which unites all these people. It is the national idea, the notion which determines the appearance of certain values and priorities within the nation. That is why, it is extremely vital to create the basis for beneficial and efficient coexistence of different groups of people for a multicultural state. Thus, a great number of different countries have a period in their history which can be characterized by the process of accepting certain laws, which create legal basis for collaboration between different groups of people under the influence of great number of various factors. The USA is not an exception. Being the country of immigrants, it is now able to continue its existence and development due to the acceptance of laws which regulate the rights of immigrants and other minorities.
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First of all, it should be said that throughout all the history of its development the USA has been a multicultural state where a great number of representatives of different nationalities and cultures resided. Since the discovery of this continent, thousands of Europeans started to colonize this land. They brought their customs and beliefs, creating a unique society which was formed under the influence of different European values. Moreover, millions of black people, who were brought here as slaves, also contributed to the development of mentality greatly, adding a great number of certain peculiarities. Besides, no one should forget about
Indians, who had lived here long before Europeans came to these lands. That is why, the combination of all these people, their beliefs and points of view led to the appearance of a great number of approaches towards the issue of human rights and the main idea which should be the most important one in the American society. Under these conditions, the necessity of laws which could solve this problem became obvious.
With this in mind, it is no wonder that since 1790 till the 20th century a great number of laws, which deal with the rights of immigrants and minorities, have been created and enacted. It should also be said that the main basis for the appearance of these laws were the American ideals of life which supposed liberty, pursuit and happiness for all people, no matter what their gender or color of skin was. That is why, in the course of development of human thought and society people realized that existence of their country would be impossible without the laws which could take into account the needs of all people. Under these conditions, immigration laws became an important step towards the development of the country. The thing is, that immigrants became a very important phenomenon in the life of the USA (Behrens para. 5).
Especially significant this question became at the beginning of the 20th century when millions of people arrived in the country every year (Waters 1736). That is why, respond from the government to regulate this very process became quite logical and immigration laws, which main aim was to satisfy the needs of people, appeared. Moreover, Naturalization act of 1790 and some other acts were created in order to outline conditions under which a person could obtain the American citizenship (“First Congress. Sess. II. Ch.3” para.4).
These laws became the important step in the development of the issue of citizenship in the USA. Finally, voting laws also influenced American society greatly. For decades only white men were allowed to vote, while slaves and women were deprived of this possibility (Field 114). However, abolitionist and women rights movements, which appeared as the answer to this discrimination, made society rethink its priorities and create voting laws which took into account needs of all layers of society and guaranteed them the right to vote.
Influence of these laws on American society could hardly be overestimated. Having obtained independence after the war, the USA was proclaimed to be the country of freedom and opportunities for all people. The term American dream and American ideals of life appeared. Thus, society was still under the strong influence of stereotypes of the past and racial prejudices. That is why, it is possible to say that enactment of these laws promoted development of democracy and tolerance in the USA and resulted in its general evolution. The current stage of development of the country could hardly be achieved without these laws (Halsall para. 5).
With this in mind, having analyzed the main information connected with immigration, naturalization and voting laws, It is possible to make a certain conclusion. It should be said that having appeared under the influence of a certain combination of facts, these laws promoted development of democracy and tolerance in the country greatly. It is even possible to say because of the enactment of these laws the American ideals of life such as liberty, freedom and opportunities for everyone are still topical and respected all over the world.
Behrens, Peter. “It’s About Immigrants, Not Irishness“. The New York Times. 2012. Web.
Field, Corinne. “Are Women… all minors?“: Woman’s Rights and the Politics of Aging in the Antebellum United States,” Journal of Women’s History 12.4 (2001): 113-137. Web.
First Congress. Sess. II. Ch.3. 1790. Web.
Halsall, Paul. Modern History Sourcebook: the Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls Conference, 1848. 1998. Web.
Waters, Mary. “Immigration, Intermarriage, and the Challenges of Measuring Racial/Ethnic Identities”. American Journal of Public Health. 90.11 (2000): 1735-1737. Web.