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Race, Gender, Imperialism and American History - Essay Example

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The late nineteenth century marked a significant period in American history owing to a series of events that unfolded during that period…
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Race, Gender, Imperialism and American History
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"Race, Gender, Imperialism and American History"

Download file to see previous pages Historical accounts make it abundantly clear that it is the combination of the three key factors i.e. race, gender, and sexuality that has helped shape some of the major domestic and foreign policies in the United States. This essay looks at how the politics of race, gender, and sexuality contributed in shaping the domestic and foreign policies in America as we know today by exploring the American history and through a comprehensive study of its culture and the identities of the people of color which greatly influenced the country's overall political framework. Race: Causes & History Racism first emerged in the 16th and more specifically during the 17th century when Europeans began enslaving people from Africa as well as the new world. During this period however racism meant that 'certain people who were defined as non-Europeans find themselves ruled and governed by Europeans'. Causes: The key motivation behind it was grounded in economics driven by the motive of profit maximization. The laws that encouraged racism and the racial segregation of people of color were hence developed to enable the whites to use the non-whites as commodities / resources that helped them in achieving their profit objectives. Most of these slaves were hired by the whites to work on plantations since ownership of slaves was regarded as the greatest form of wealth (Racism - A History). The underlying factors that led to the rampant racist attitudes towards the people of color were the inherent fear and apprehension regarding these 'foreign' races.
Blacks, for instance, were perceived as half humans and half animals (Racism: A History) while the Native American tribes were perceived as brutes who kill defenseless women and children (Baigell 4).
The concept of “race” during a fair part of the 19th century was defined strictly with regard to the skin color and the individuals were socially categorized in accordance with their respective race with Europeans (whites) occupying the top spot. However, in 1922 in the case of Ozawa v United States the courts ruled that 'the test of race afforded by the color of the skin of each individual is impracticable as that differs greatly among persons of the same race, even among Anglo-Saxons, ranging by imperceptible gradations from the fair blond to the swarthy brunette, the latter being darker than many of the lighter hued persons of the brown or yellow races'. Thus suggesting that racial boundaries cannot be bound by skin color alone and hence cannot be used to racially divide people (Lopez 195). You need a transitional sentence that connects this paragraph to the next. So even though the law exists, racism still prevails at an institutional level. The legal and judicial system in the U.S. had time and again used the law as a tool of racial segregation. One such instance is the case of the manner in which the U.S. used the law to prevent mass migration of Chinese workers to California during the gold rush. The state of California passed its first anti-Chinese laws during the 1850s including the levying of a special tax targeted at the Chinese to dissuade them from flooding American shores in hordes (Bill Moyers Special: ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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