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Race in the Southern States

In what ways did ‘race’ continue to be a divisive issue in the Southern States between 1865 and 1917?
History Essay

  • Assessment: Essay
  • Mark: B
  • Year: 2005
  • Wordcount: 3115

Excerpt:
Race and discrimination have been seen as unavoidable linked issues for a long time. Non-whites were regarded as being inferior to the white race not only in America but also all over the world; racial differences were “invoked by white Europeans and Americans and to no lesser extent by Asians and Africans” . This worldwide understanding of racial inferiority was mainly derived from other skin colour, different languages and a different understanding of culture. The ideological set of a biblical justified white supremacy, and a legal as well as pseudo-scientific proved inferiority of other ethnic groups, resulted in discrimination and even in enslavement of these “lower races”.

In the West of America, the white elite race applied racial ideologies to subordinate and exterminate Native Americans and to justify the robbery of 86 million acres out of 138 million acres land. White Southerners adapted racial ideologies to rationalize the enslavement of African Americans for economic purposes and to excuse a society that considered African Americans as inhuman. Moreover, this society accepted the fact, that exploitation of involuntary labour power was the basis and vital aspect for their cotton-relied prosperity and social status. “Slave holding as a lifestyle” was similar applicable to the pre-war southern society as was segregation in the post-war era. The Civil War, which was fought “for democracy, for liberty and equality” and thus can be seen as “the war about slavery” did free African Americans from their slave bondage. Nevertheless, the war was not able to implement a lasting colour-blind democracy, economic opportunities and social justice for the large black minority in the South.

Full Text:
file: RaceSouth_History.pdf []
Category: History
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