The United States of America have always been considered as one of the most exemplary states in terms of development of democratic institutions. Even this pillar of equality, brotherhood, and broad opportunities for everyone was someday far from being flawless. At the dawn of the twentieth century, the reigning policy of racial segregation was the most vivid manifestation of ‘color discrimination’ in the world. People of European and African origins were not asked but mandated to eat in separate canteens and cafes, travel in different buses, and use different toilets. Restaurant owners were ordered to serve African and White Protestant clients in different premises. Although no one can accurately identify the reasons of this heinous discriminatory policy, personally, I am strongly convinced that the main causes are the fear of economic decline, cultural differences, and misgivings of the fast assimilation and old-fashioned ingrained prejudice that the Afro-American race is mentally underdeveloped and suitable for manual labor exclusively.
First and foremost, after the South was effectively vanquished by the Northern troops under the leadership of George Washington, the promises given to the black-skinned soldiers were not immediately kept on. The ratification of the Fifteenths Amendment and the adoption of the Reconstruction Act in 1867 were declaratory in their nature). Although political leaders understood that the Blacks were equal to the White Protestants in terms of mental and physical development, the public perception was not ready for this. The slavery was recently abolished and Afro-Americans were regarded merely as tools, but not as human beings with the due rights and privileges. The White Protestant community could be easily understood: for three hundred years Afro-Americans were “speaking things” and suddenly they were thought to become equalized with their former masters. Apprehending the public outrage, the state authorities artificially created impediments that hindered the integration of the society.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the causes were identical to those at the dawn of segregation. However, the early twentieth century was labeled as the period of “hyper segregation”. White Protestants extensively feared unemployment; that is why the government mandated the employers to give the “preference” to white professionals. Moreover, apart from this, the employers considered that the black-skinned workers were less prepared professionally). Common public had huge misgivings of being assimilated with black-skinned and partaking in their culture.
As far as the issues of immigration and imperialism policies are concerned, not only black-skinned natives of Africa were discriminated. Due to the big size and initially small population of the early United States of America, a vast campaign was waged to attract work force from Europe and Asia. Having arrived to the United States of America, Asians and Europeans, especially the Italians and the Irish, realized that they were welcomed only on the job positions that required manual labor. Racial segregation was supplemented by the national discrimination. While black-skinned Americans were still prohibited from visiting public places and working in the same institutions and offices as white American Protestants due to the economic and cultural apprehensions, the Irish and the Italians were not entitled to become lawyers, doctors, policemen or state officials.
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Racial and national inequality was not inherent solely to the United States of America. To illustrate this, the protective acts were adopted in Australia and in 1944, when the segregation was at its peak in the United States of America, the first mixed class graduated from the college of Sydney. Under the presidency of Dwight David Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter, a huge set of public initiatives were launched to exterminate segregation and discrimination. Various leagues and agencies like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have been established in order to adapt the Afro-Americans to normal life and facilitate them in exercising their constitutional rights.
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