How Ethnic, Racial, And Cultural Prejudice Affect Western Society?

Good Essays
How did ethnic, racial, and cultural prejudice affect western society? The prejudice facing the Chinese, Native Americans, and Hispanics defined western society with different forms of legislature or economic pressures on these groups. The group had been subjugated since the formation of the United States and during its latest expansion was the Native Americans, who in this most recent expansion were moved to reservations, engaged in several bloody wars with white Americans, and forced to give up their lifestyle or their new created one in the land that was promised to them, like Oklahoma. Hispanics, though they had once dominated western society, soon lost control of their land, either due to seizure by whites or through economic competition, and found themselves on the bottom pegs of society, serving as farmhands or industrial workers; they were also excluded from the early governments in New Mexico and other areas. The Chinese, arriving from across the Pacific, found their treatment change from being welcomed to being seen as economic competition and being forced into lower jobs. Throughout the country, the Chinese were considered unwelcome as seen in the Chinese Exclusion Act. Western society found itself to be a society in which many races congregated to work together but also found itself to be a society built on racial tensions. What were the three major industries involved in the development of the West, and how did these industries transform the western economy? The creation of societies in the West resulted in the blossoming of three new industries: mining, ranching, and farming. Mining began at large with the discovery of gold in California in 1849 and continued with other discoveries and “rushes” later on; these rus... ... middle of paper ... Americans: if their prospects in the East were poor, then they could perhaps start over in the West as a farmer, rancher, or even miner. The frontier was also romanticized not only for its various opportunities but also for its greatly diverse landscape, seen in the work of different art schools, like the “Rocky Mountain School” and Hudson River School, and the literature of the Transcendentalists or those celebrating the cowboy. However, for all of this economic possibility and artistic growth, there was political turmoil that arose with the question of slavery in the West as seen with the Compromise of 1850 and Kansas-Nebraska Act. As Frederick Jackson Turner wrote in his paper “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” to the American Historical Association, “the frontier has gone, and with its going has closed the first period of American history.”
Get Access