MinorityGroups in the United States by 1840
MinorityGroups in the United States by 1840
MinorityGroups (Slides 2, 3 and 4)
Thehistory of the minority groups dates back some centuries ago. Thefirst African slaves found their way to the United States at thebeginning of the 17thcentury. At the time, cases of slavery were new. However, indenturedservitude was widely practiced by the residents. Indentured servantswere laborers who signed contracts to work for the citizens for acertain number of years. After the end of the contract, the servantswere declared free. Most of these indentured servants hailed fromGreat Britain. (Wirth,2002)
Howthe African American Groups Emerged
Atfirst, most of the colonies depended on indentured servitude.However, with time, slave trade developed into the United States whenlaws were passed, and the aspect of slavery was institutionalized.Agricultural production characterized the pre-industrial era in theUnited States through the plantation system (Krawatzekand Sasse, 2014).The plantation system was used for the production of agriculturalcommodities meant for export. The large tracks of land required humanlabor and to maximize the profits, the owners sourced for a cheaplabor force. Out of the various groups from America (Whites, NativeAmericans, Indentured servants, Africans), Africans ended up asslaves.
Variousreasons that led to uptake of African slaves:
Whiteindentured servants began to decrease. Completion of their servitudemade them free citizens and could buy land and farm on their own. Thehigh turnover rates they created in the agricultural sector led touncertainty in the supply of labor.
Attemptsto enslave Native American tribes were not viable, and by the timethe plantation system commenced or emerged, numbers of the tribesdwindled from warfare and diseases. Some tribes also resistedenslavement while the Native Americans who were enslaved found theirway back home. The option that was left was to enslave the Africans.The thriving slave trade made things worse for Africans as Portuguese and Spanish colonies conducted the business, whicheventually extended to the British colonies.
TheAmerican Indians (Slide 5)
AmericanIndians were the indigenous people in the United States. These peoplelived in the area for many years, perhaps thousands of decades.However, the people were conquered, and the land settled by theEuropeans. In the years that the American Indians inhabited in theUnited States, they had formed tribes, prospered, hunted and enjoyedthe general nature of their land. They had peace and enjoyed withtheir families, prayed and creatively developed their lives.
However,the solitude they had so much enjoyed was halted with the discoveryof America by the Europeans. The Indians were forced out of theirnative land and relocated. Some fought the Europeans leading toshedding of blood. Some of the Indians surrendered and sided with theenemy. By the year 1830, most of these Indians had relocated to theWestern part of United States and became part of the minority groups(Indians.Org,2016).
TheGerman and Irish (slide 6)
Themiddle half of the 19thcentury saw a significant number of Irish emigrants move to theUnited States. A considerable number of Germans also found their waythere. Most of the People were in search of economic opportunitiesand running away from civil unrests, economic crisis and otherinconceivable hardships from their home countries. The immigrationwaves of the two groups hit United States. There was an influx ofemigrants. Most came from Western and Northern Europe. Ireland andGermany formed a third of the immigrant population (Krawatzekand Sasse, 2014).American companies that were burgeoning absorbed these emigrants totheir capacity. All was not lost as most of the immigrants assistedin the growth of the country. They were involved in variouslabor-intensive endeavors such as the building of canals and otherinfrastructure (railroads). These groups settled and became part ofthe minority.
TheScottish Immigrants (Slide 7)
Theseimmigrants found their way as indentured servants at the beginning ofthe eighteenth century. They settled in various colonies in America,mainly Virginia and South Carolina. Many Scot immigrants run fromtheir home country to escape poverty and persecution. However, therewas unemployment crisis in the United States, and thus the Americangovernment responded by restricting immigration (Krawatzekand Sasse, 2014).A’ head tax’ was imposed on immigrants to which many could notafford. Most of the immigrants resulted in the signing of contractsto access United States and start a new life. Those that settledbecame part of the ethnic minority groups.
Mostminority groups in the United States by the year 1840 came as aresult of the immigration waves. They were fleeing from hardships intheir countries and thus opted for America which had a flourishingeconomy. Most of the minority population in the country by 1840consisted of Latin Americans, Europeans, and Asians. American Indianswere already in America as indigenous people occupying the UnitedStates. Africans came as a result of the slave trade that was boomingbetween South America and Africa. By the mid-19thcentury, most immigrants had been integrated into the Americansociety and formed the diverse ethnicity in the nation.
Indians.Org,.(2016). Thehistory of American Indians of North America.Indians.org.Retrieved 11 October 2016, fromhttp://www.indians.org/articles/american-indians.html
Krawatzek,F. & Sasse, G. (2014). Writinghome: how German immigrants found their place in the US. TheConversation.Retrieved 11 October 2016, fromhttp://theconversation.com/writing-home-how-german-immigrants-found-their-place-in-the-us-53342
Wirth,L. (2002). Morale and Minority Groups. AmericanJournal Of Sociology,47(3),415-433. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/218921