The Frontier as a Place of Ethnic and Religion Conflict by Patricia Nelson Limerick

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The Frontier

Patricia Nelson Limerick describes the frontier as being a place of where racial tension predominately exists. In her essay, “The Frontier as a Place of Ethnic and Religion Conflict,” Limerick says that the frontier wasn’t the place where everyone got to escape from their problems from previous locations before; instead she suggested that it was the place in which we all met. The frontier gave many the opportunities to find a better life from all over the world. But because this chance for a new life attracted millions of people from different countries across the seas, the United States experienced an influx of immigrants. Since the east was already preoccupied by settlers, the west was available to new settlement and that was where many people went. Once in the western frontier, it was no longer just about blacks and whites. Racial tension rose and many different races and ethnic groups soon experienced discrimination and violence based on their race, and beliefs instead of a since of freedom at the western frontier.

The eastern frontier became the start of the “melting pot” due to many settlers coming in and settling in different areas in America. However, once people start migrating towards the west, everyone started to travel together and settle in together with people who were of the same race or ethnic group. Because many people settled together in the western frontier, racial tension rose between each group. For example, before the migration into the frontier, there was already discrimination between the whites and the Natives and blacks. Some wondered which race was better than the other, Natives or blacks, and what about Asians, how superior are the Asians, or the Hispanics (52). In the western frontier,...

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...be for the whites. The blacks, though free, won’t have the right to vote because by giving them that right would mean that they would become a citizen which will lead to other races becoming a citizen as well and the whites didn’t want that to happen. Mormons were prosperous so many people were jealous and became hostile and started to torment the Mormons, causing them to leave to Utah, where they thrived. Overall, the frontier was a place where many different races met and fought against one another through racial violence and discriminating against one another just because their race or color.

Works Cited

"Chapter 2 Western Settlement and the Frontier." Major Problems in American History: Documents and Essays. Ed. Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Edward J. Blum, and Jon Gjerde. 3rd ed. Vol. II: Since 1865. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. 37-68. Print.

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