In the 1930's Native Americans and women were viewed as inferior races. The films produced during the early part of the 20th century, particularly those starring John Wayne reflected these societal attitudes. The portrayal of minorities in Stagecoach and Fort Apache clearly reflect the views of society at that time. The depiction of the West is similar to that which is found in old history textbooks, em...
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...th the first westward expansion and the oppression of women lasted until the 1950's. However, it took American film produces until the 1990's to create roles for these minorities that were equal to those of white males. The depiction of minorities in western films, particularly women and Native Americans, has made significant progress from the 1930's and this progress has trickled into the teaching of history, particularly western expansion. Textbooks that used to emphasis the triumph and dominance of the United States over Native Americans, are now explaining expansion with less pride and more guilt. Women who played significant roles in society used to be ignored by history books, and are now included in almost every chapter. The progressive movements made by the film industry and society are allowing for Americans to look at the west in a new, enlightened manner.
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