US History Research Proposal

How has race played a role in the making of US history? Does it still impact our society as it has in the past? Why or why not? What impact did the Civil Rights Movement have on society?

The United States of America is the world’s magnet; it is definitely a land of opportunity. According to the recent New York senator New York speech: “Issues of race and gender have been complicated through our history and have been complicated this time”. Race has played a considerable role in the history of the United States and racism development has become a considerable problem since the colonial epoch. The issue is deeply rooted in the history and was reflected in such events as slavery, Indian reservations, segregation, internment camps. Racial stratification was evident in housing, education and politics, employment and other spheres of life. Mass racial violence burst out a number of times in history, sometimes called “race riots”.

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To name the most important ones, one may enumerate assaults on black people in the period of Reconstruction, conflicts of ethnic groups in the northeast and Midwest of the United States in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, disturbances in African-American communities after Martin Luther King’s assassination. It is clear that in colonial era, thousands of African slaves served the white colonists. Though there were revolts, one of the most remarkable was Nathaniel Bacon’s rebellion against the system of exploitation of poor colonists by well-to-do land-owners. But it was suppressed and black slavery was a norm in the Northeast until the beginning of the nineteenth century, when these states abolished slavery. An audacious step to mount “a ladder of opportunity” for the blacks was the Emancipation Proclamation declared by President Lincoln in January of the year 1863.

However, after this step forward America did not set absolutely free from racism and lynching, discrimination acts continued. For instance, the decade from 1865 to 1965 was marked by a number of lynchings, according to the survey conducted, between the years 1882 and 1951 eighty-eight per cent of murder victims were black and only ten per cent were white. The blacks who violated Jim Crow laws, which mandated so called separate but “equal” opportunities for all, blacks were to use separate public schools, shops, transportation and other facilities, were also lynched. Other common reasons of unjust and cruel attitude were race prejudice, race hatred, violation of the color line, etc. a number of public figures were involved in civil rights movement which made the USA advance towards race equality with rapid strides. For a long time in American history civil rights and equality for all regardless of skin color were only theoretically a success, but actually Executive Orders promulgated by Presidents Franklin, Roosevelt and Truman were only the beginning of a struggle for justice and abolition of any kind of segregation, which was a product of joint acts of the whites to isolate blacks from their neighborhoods. The practice of “redlining” is no longer legal but some researchers claim that this problem has undercurrents and redlining is still subtly going on in some regions.

History teaches, consequently, American citizens’ attitude towards the phenomenon changed, a number of programs and foundations implemented, incidents of discrimination still occur though. Education for tolerance, responsibility sharing and involvement will be so called investment into future.

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