United States significant level of civilization and development

America in the 1880s and 1890s: Social and Cultural History of American Racism


The 1880s and 1890s were the decades that started on January 1st 1880 to 31st December 1889, and January 1st 1890 to 31st December 1899 respectively. As indicated by Alesina andGlaeser (2004), these two decades occurred during the core period of great second industrial revolution in the world. In this period, most of the Western countries, including the United States experienced a large period of economic boom. The boom period was brought about by the mass production of railways and roads, and other convenient methods of travelling. As well, the sky-scrappers and the modern city in the United States rose to its prominence in this period, which contributed to economic prosperity during the time. In addition, the period also involved a part of the Gilded Age, which extended beyond the period. The two decades also marked an intensive level of racism among the communities that lived in America. Further, there was a large transition in social and cultural practices f the people living in United States by then.

Social and cultural history of America

The United States social and cultural practices were primarily a western, but the Native Americans, Africans, Asians, Latin American, and Polynesian cultures influenced it. The strand of what was described as American culture had started about 10,000 years ago, because of migration of Paleo-Indians from Asia, Europe, and Oceanic to the continental United States. Cushman, (2009) indicated that during these decades, the United States of America had, and maintained its unique social and cultural characteristics such as arts, social habits, music, dialect folklore and cuisine.

The country was gaining its current ethical and racial diversity, because of the significant migration of several ethically and racially different countries as well as the differing birth and death rates among the natives, immigrants, and settlers. Therefore, the social and cultural practices of Native Americans were being diffused gradually due to the recorded migration. Further, Lears(2010) indicated that at this period, slave trade had started to develop in the world, which also contributed to their culture diffusion.

Peiss, (2011) indicated that the American culture, which was considered an important characteristic of the native people, included both liberal and conservative elements. Others included the religious and scientific competitiveness moral and material elements, free expression, risk taking, and political structure. These characteristics made a greatestdistinction of the United States from other nations.

Inferring from Davis (2013), United States was said to have acquired a significant level civilization and development, which had not yet been acquired by other nations, and contributed to a significant difference between it and other country’s of the world. There were also prevalent ideas that were evolving drastically such as uniquely American sports national holidays, military tradition and like innovation in the field of entertainment and arts gave the United States a strong sense of national pride among the population as a whole.

However, despite those consistent ideological principles, the American culture stared to experience a wave of variety of expression, due to its rising demographic diversity and geographical scale.

In the light of freedom of expression, the constitution of America could be traced back to the German immigrants, John Peter Zenger. He is recognized for his considerable efforts and legal fights for the protection of truthful publication in the colonies. His effort ultimately paved way for the protection of the of the publication rights of the American Author. In relation to literature, American Art and literature adopted several of its cues from Europe. The reason was during earlier periods, American was the British Colonies on the East coast and the present day United States. Therefore, its literary tradition began to be linked to the broader English literature tradition. However, the unique characteristics of the United states in the breadth of its production caused it to bee considered as a separate path of tradition.

Novick (2006) indicated that the 19th century, especially the last two decades was one of the most difficult period in the Native America culture, religion and history. The period recorded the most significant loss of American land and cultural artifacts. John peter Zenger made great efforts in the protection of the American traditions culture and artifacts.He further supported protection of religion by indicating that the united states religion played a very important roles in the livesof American people. There were ALSO foundations of similar opinion found in the Latin America, which proved that the government at the state, local and national levels had adopted a secular institutional culture, which was being referred to as the separation of the state and the church.

In an effort to protect the culture of Native American people, John Peter Zenger initiated anthropology and archeology as professional disciplines, as well as museums and private artifacts collectors, which was aimed to preserve the Native American material, which were considered as ancestral assets. One of his achievement is the establishment of Smithsonian Institutions, which was founded in late 19th century and other museums associated with the universities in United States, later in the 20th century.

As indicated byFreeman, (2011), in 1880s and 1890s, the collection of these artifacts was conducted by untrained adventurers. The process involved collection, treatment, and preservation of these artifacts, majorly as a way of preserving the NativeAmerican culture and for the remembrance of the future generations. As for the year 1990, the American native federal agencies reported to have collected more than 14,000 remains of the diseased Natives, which were accumulated since the 19th century.

Most of the institutions concerned said that the remains of the Native American was majorly used for anthropological research, to acquire more information about the about the human being. There was also the conservation project named as return to earth, which was an inter-religion project with an aim of inter identifying the remains of regional burial site. The project was able to reveal more than 100,000 remains, which could not be associated with any particular tribe. These remains were held in the institutions in the United States. The project aimed to initiate the process of reconciliation between non-Native and native people, as well as repatriate the remains.

As a preservation mechanism, the institutions and museums used symbols, memories, and images as the main tools. For the purpose of preservation of Native American language, Native America Preservation was made Act was made an American Law. The law was aimed to protecting the language of Native Americans from disappearing. Freeman (2011) indicated that language is an important section of the American Heritage, and once it is lost, it will be difficult to recover it any more. The purpose of this law was to keep he was to keep the Native American Language alive, through out the American language immersion programs.

In the immersion programs, the native language was used to teach the students different subjects as well as communicate to them. Most of the items used by Native American were also preserved in form of images and drawing. After the items were collected from various ancestral areas, they were treated and preserved in museums. Further, drawings were used to demonstrate the clothing of the Native Americans. Their arrangement in several occasions, such as marriage events, circumcision, or any other traditional event, was also preserved through drawings in the cultural museums. The traditional food is also preserved in many cultural institutions. These foods are preserved majorly in form of image drawings. However, most of the foods are still served even today, with corn and wheat as the main staple food from the ancient times. In addition, the traditional methods and styles of cooking are still used in the current generation.

Having migrated to America,John Peter Zenger had embraced the nation as his native home. From his effort of conserving the America culture, it is evident that he individually felt an American. In his statement, he saidthat it is important to remember the culture of our county through preservations of the culture of Native America. However, despite the efforts to preserve the culture of United States, John Peter Zenger received racial discrimination from other Americans. He was accused from beingun-American who was making efforts for the preservation on Native American fossils. The racial discrimination was highly prevalent in America, in 19th century, and any non-American received significant discrimination.



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