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Eth125 Appendix E

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Appendix E

Part I

Define the following terms:

Term | Definition | Racial formation | an analytical tool in sociology that was developed by Michael Omi and Howard Winant | Segregation | The physical and social separation of categories of people. | De jure segregation | Law stated to enforce physical and social separation of categories of people. | Pluralism | A state in which people of all racial and ethnic categories have about the same overall social standing. | Assimilation | The process by which minorities gradually adopt cultural patterns from the dominant majority population. |

Part II

Answer the following questions in 150 to 350 words each:

* Throughout most of U.S. history in most locations, what race has been the majority? What is the common ancestral background of most members of this group?

The Caucasian race has been the majority. Before the “Great Immigration”, the majority of immigrants were from Western and Northern European nations. They were mostly English but also included Germans, Irish, Swedish, Swiss, Italian, Polish, Scottish, Scandinavian, and Russian.
The Irish and Germans came in second and third as the most populated immigrants during the Great Immigration due to famine in their crops. Chinese migrated as well but were categorized as a lower class or race of people. Most of the immigrants from Europe were either Protestant or Roman Catholic. The common religions brought them together to build communities and local governing bodies as they began growing in towns and cities.
I believe these European immigrants assimilated into what is called the “white” race. They brought over Africans as slaves but made them less than ‘human’ because of the way they were treated. This treatment created prejudice to new immigrants after the civil war such as the Irish and Chinese and these immigrants were categorized as equal to African American slaves.

* What are some of the larger racial minorities in U.S. history? What have been the common ancestral backgrounds of each of these groups? When did each become a significant or notable minority group?

Over seven and a half million immigrants migrated to America from 1820 to 1870. A third of them were from Ireland and another third were from Germany. Both of them faced hard economic times in their country forcing them to seek a better life elsewhere. The Irish faced famine and the Germans faced economic hardship and political unrest.
It is also noted that 20% of the population in 1770 were African slaves. They faced forced migration from Africa and eventually became free from slavery and fought their way to become citizens of America.
Germans were migrating by the hundreds of thousands per year. They began forming new towns in different states across the US in the 1800’s. They were successful farmers, printers and brewers. They had created over 200 printed newspapers and magazines. In 1784, John Jacob Astor arrived in the US from Germany with $25. He died in 1848 was the richest man in the country worth an estimated $20 million. Imagine the influence he had during his time to help the Germans assimilate into America.
Even thought the Irish faced many prejudice and discrimination they overcame by assimilating themselves into the political and business arena. They began to learn the white men so they could assimilate and become accepted. In the past, 10 U.S. Presidents had Irish ancestors.

* In what ways have laws been used to enforce discrimination? Provide examples. These laws were intended against which racial minorities?

Discrimination laws were used at every level of government; federal, state and city or local laws. As our country took in millions of immigrants during the 1800’s, laws against Asians and African Americans were written to enforce discrimination. There was already a separation against minorities but law makers made a lot of these discriminatory acts actual federal and state laws.
Asians in California were not allowed to buy or own land. They were considered aliens and therefore had no rights. Chinese and other Asians helped build the railroads, canals and other infrastructures across America. They were used for their labor and no gratitude for their human rights to coexist.
There have been discrimination laws against African Americans as well. One famous city law was that African Americans had to sit in the back of the city bus. There were other social laws where African Americans weren’t allowed to eat at specific restaurants, separate public restrooms and drinking fountains.
There was a federal law at one when African Americans were not allowed to vote.

* In what ways have laws been used to eliminate discrimination? Provide examples. Did the laws work to eliminate discrimination?

The Affirmative Action law passed by the Kennedy administration was created to help enforce and promote equal opportunity education and hiring practices for minorities. California took it even further and passed a proposition that companies would not use race or gender as a factor in their hiring practices. The University of Texas will accept all students who are in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
I learned from our video lessons that a public library in a southern city could not keep out African Americans. Even though it was a local law, the federal justice system saw it as unfair practice because all citizens who pay taxes should have access to the library. This ruling began to encourage African Americans to pursue their rights and equality in other areas such as education and employment.
Discrimination will never be eliminated but we have our laws to give us the support when needed.

References 1. “The Germans in America”, www.loc.gov, 21 Sept 2010, www.loc.gov/rr/european/imde/germchro.html 2. “Immigration facts”, 2002, www.path.coe.uh.edu/seminar2002/week2/immigrant_facts.pdf 3. “10 U.S. Presidents had Irish ancestors”, Ann McFeatters, Post-Gazette National Bureau, March 2000, http://old.post-gazette.com/magazine/20000317irish9.asp…...

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