Essay about Assimilation During The 19th Century

Essay about Assimilation During The 19th Century

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Assimilation was used as an illusion to hide the underlying racism that was prevalent during the 19th century. Through assimilation, understandings of race and civilisation essentially intersected USA and New Zealand. This is the process in which a group of immigrants absorbs another culture. Overtime, the indigenous people of USA and NZ have completely undergone assimilation and have taken up European practices. This is due to the missionaries converting them into Christianity, the introduction of trade, and the start of a hierarchal society.

The establishment of religion in USA and New Zealand led to the presumption that the Maori and Cherokees needed to be civilised. During the early 1800s, missionaries from Europe travelled to New Zealand to share their beliefs with the Maori. According to M.P.K Sorrenson he states that the Maori were seen as savages, “... the Maori … were usually placed on the border between savagery and barbarism.” This reveals the perspective of the Europeans as their aim was to convert the Maori into Christianity in the hopes of ‘civilising’ them. A rather impudent assumption, the Europeans stereotypically depicted the Maori as incompetent. This was far from the truth however, as Maori had already formed an efficient system of agriculture, as Sorrenson states “The Maori had quite an advanced form of agriculture.” Converting Maori into Christians allowed the Europeans to have a more intimate relationship with them. This would be a beneficial relationship for the Europeans as they slowly gained their trust, which consequently led to the assimilation process in New Zealand. In Sorrenson’s essay he states, “They taught the natives to trust white men.” Through this trust, the Europeans now have an easier time...

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... lower hierarchy than Europeans, especially women.
Hierarchy was a distinguished element in the understandings of race and civilisation. This idea intersected USA and New Zealand since both nations were impelled into the dominancy of the Europeans. Race quickly became a measure of how powerful you were in these societies. Assimilation was successful for the Europeans as they had then established status’ between them and the indigenous people.

Christianity, trade, and hierarchy all play a factor in the assimilation of USA and New Zealand. The understandings of race and civilisation became evident as the Europeans had started to overpower the Cherokees and Maori. Through these understandings, USA and New Zealand were intersected into an underlying society of racism and primacy of Europeans. Assimilation was the most important factor in the intersection of both nations.

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