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Racism and Segregation in American History Essay

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Updated: Mar 20th, 2020

History is one of the key aspects of human life, and a lot can be learned from past interactions between people. The way they treat each other reflects on everything that surrounds them and causes changes in the world and how future generations turn out. Racism and segregation amongst different people existed for a long time. It is especially noticeable when land is colonized, and the local population is alienated and exterminated. This was the case with Native Americans, which is remembered as a sad chapter in the history books.

The settlers that came from Europe and built a new world which was called the United States was an entity separate from the lives and traditions of the Native People who populated North America. In “Oneida Headmen” and “Speech of the Onondaga Council,” it is clearly stated how the treatment of Natives was overshadowed by the Europeans’ superior thinking and belief in their greatness.

The whole population of residents of North America was disgracefully and unreasonably disvalued in their traditions and beliefs, and people were forced to move out from the land that belonged to them in the first place.

The newly introduced European culture was so dominant and overwhelming that Native Americans fixated on the dependence. Alcohol and goods which were used for trading became their major focus, and so, Natives were overtaken by the treaties and influences of the Old World.

One of the Natives remembers that previously, they lived in a land where people were free, who lived as one and did not depend on others. With the arrival of Europeans, they became “slaves” not only physically but morally as well. The new colonists used this dependence and were mistreating Natives without any respect and honor.

But at the same time, there were instances when unions were formed between Natives and settlers, as together they could provide mutual protection from a common enemy, while Natives possessed local knowledge of geography. Land treaties that were drafted were a very unfamiliar business to the Natives, and often, misunderstandings came up.

Europeans arrived and forced their education onto natives, as well as the Christian religion. This was particularly detrimental because the new education was convincing, while the new religion was supported by real-life examples. This was very confusing to the Natives, and their world was being slowly taken apart and replaced with something foreign and unknown.

The segregation that took place happened on several levels. One was moral where people were degraded, and even the name they were called “Indians” was politically incorrect.

Natives could not choose their land by law and could not participate in any policymaking. The ability and right to move were taken away as well, and all the available resources were used for the needs of colonizers. A cultural and social division was the major part of discriminatory treatment of the Natives, and their kindness and unfamiliarity with technological advancements were used against them.

European treatment of the Native Americans was discriminatory, unfair, and inhumane. It is unfortunate that a rich and ancient culture was changed and somewhat forgotten, as the new beliefs and laws forced them out. The stories of Natives that are remembered and passed down to the future generations are one of the only remaining evidence of the rich and valuable culture.

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IvyPanda. "Racism and Segregation in American History." March 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/racism-and-segregation-in-american-history/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Racism and Segregation in American History." March 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/racism-and-segregation-in-american-history/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Racism and Segregation in American History'. 20 March.

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