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Los Angeles in American History Essay

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Updated: Mar 23rd, 2020

Introduction: Standing in the Way of a Runaway Train

When speaking of the USA and its greatest cities, there are basically three big ones that immediately come to anyone’s mind. New York is definitely the Big Apple of America’s eye, and there is hardly any place that can compete with its impact; Washington, the capital; and Los Angeles, the place where all dreams come true, where one can slouch on the beach under a palm tree in a cozy beach bed and think of the meaning of life.

However, Los Angeles has not always been that way. Diving deeper into its history, one can see that there have been a lot of issues which have left their impact and shaped the today American society a lot, raising numerous concerns.

The Way It All Started: The La-La Land Is Explored

There are certain common features in the history of every city – there are the unexplored lands, the conflicts with the natives, some concerns about the further development, the settlers and the challenges that the latter face in the first several decades. However, with Los Angeles, the specifics of the city and the conflict of the nationalities, the history of the LA creation turns out to be completely unique.

Bumping into challenges: the issues to be solved

According to Los Angeles. In the Beginning, the city did have a fascinating start. As the author explained, the choice of the location, with its all resources and the breathtaking nature was completely deliberate: “It was a good land for planting all kinds of grain” (2).

This sounds pretty much like a filtered legend – the tale in which people know from the very start that the chosen place is going to become one of the world’s greatest cities. However, there were still some problems to tackle, which the paper misses. Serving as a map to the most significant events for Los Angeles, the paper misses a lot of important information about the process of the city being built.

Enjoying the possibilities: the big game starts

McWilliams offers a bit more to the readers, showing how much needed a thorough consideration and patience. Although the paper concerns rather social that political and geographical issues, it still manages to convey the basic challenges that the settlers faced and the solutions which they managed to come up with.

The author mentions a number of geographical names and historical areas, like Pasadena, thus, making the reader feel curious. It is a pity, though, that the author only touches upon them without a detailed description. However, it also deserves mentioning that, among all the issues, the most troublesome one was the subject of race and national identity.

Los Angeles and the Many Nationalities: Where Cultures Fuse

There is no secret that the USA was historically designed to be the state where the greatest number of cultures has been blended into a single society. When it comes to the place where the national and cultural diversity of the USA hits its peak, Los Angeles seems to score most points.

However, of considering the way the national minorities were represented in the city from the very start, one can see that the phenomenon of the “boiling pot” is quite easy to explain. Learning the main bias about Los Angeles multiple culture phenomenon, one can see where the modern conflict concerning minorities comes from.

The dominant culture vs. the minorities

In History of series. El Pueblo, the racial issues in LA are explored even more; the whole paper offers a brief description of whatever happened to the numerous cultures inhabiting Los Angeles and its vicinities. It is essential that the author shows the development of these cultures in details, allowing the readers to track their entire story. In addition, the impact of the dominating culture on the minor ones is shown in a pretty graphic way.

However, there are still some questions arising when one reads the paper. First of all, it seems that the loss of the national identity should be referred to in a more graphic way. It seems that the present-day national minorities in LA have inherited part of their problems right from their ancestors and some of the issues depicted in the essay have evolved into even more complicated situations. On the other hand, there are certain cultures which have developed incredibly despite being dominated by the American one, e.g., the culture of Black people, which is also worth taking a closer look at.

The Babel of the USA

It must be admitted that the USA is a kind of a present-day Babel, where cultures mix in the most unpredictable way. However, it must be admitted that, despite living close to each other since the city was created, the minorities have been somewhat separated from the Americans; therefore, it seems that the nations inhabiting the city lack interaction. Because of the thick layer of social isolation between those cultures, race issue arises.

Race and the present-day controversies

Despite the fact that people of different ethnicities have been living in Los Angeles since the day it was founded, certain racial stereotypes still exist, making the communication between the people of different nationalities complicated.

The Japanese.

McWilliams explains in a pretty basic way what the Japanese culture has to do with the USA, yet it offers little information about why the Japanese remain such isolated diaspora in the U. S.

The Mexicans.

The Mexican culture has been explored quite efficiently, though it would be great to learn about the effect it has had on the American one ­– for this is one of those rare cases when the dominating culture borrows a lot from the one of the minority.

The African Americans.

Like with the Mexican culture, it would be desirable to compare the then state of affairs with how grand the Black culture has become.

Conclusion: The Legacy Goes on. Facing the Future

Still live and kicking, Los Angeles remains not only one of the biggest cities of the USA, but also one of the most famous and influential. It is truly unbelievable how big it has become, not only in terms of its territory, but also in terms of its impact, especially the cultural one.

Nowadays the home city of the American movie industry and the place commonly known and incredibly famous all over the world, Los Angeles has contributed greatly to the world’s perception of the USA. Even though there are still certain issues to tackle, especially the ones concerning race, there is hardly a single person who would doubt LA’s significance.

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