On native Americans and blacks in America

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 1996

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'The United States was created by God as an asylum in

which liberty, opportunity, and reward for achievement would

prosper.'(2) So goes the 'American Myth' that attracted

immigrants from around the globe to settle in this young

nation, in search of a better life than the one they left

behind. This myth was created by men like Toqueville; who's

interpretation suggests that in America, everyone takes an

active part in the government of society. For certain

groups, this myth became a reality and a lifestyle, but for

others; such as the blacks and the Native Americans, the

myth was a lie.

        America has always been a pluralistic society, broken

into small groups with symbolic boundaries separating

different sects. Positively, the pluralistic society allowed

certain immigrant groups to remain affectionate and loyal to

their ancestral religions and cultures, and also to actively

participate in American political life. A civic culture

developed in America, under the guidelines of republicanism:

government through elected officials, the eligibility of all

citizens to participate in public life, and the freedom to

differ in religious and individual life.


immigrants could become members of the polity on a basis of

equal rights with native born citizens regardless of the

country they came from or the religion they believed in.

While European immigrants were enveloped in the American

myth, and all this vast land had to offer, two other groups:

blacks and Native Americans were not allowed the same

opportunities. The myth did not apply to Native

Americans(Indians). Indians were not encouraged to remain

in touch with their cultural and religious roots the way

other groups were. The American government did not want the

heathens to continue with their uncivilized lifestyle.

Consequently, several programs were developed to help the

Indians assimilate to the American way of life. Once...