Immigrant and Ethnic History Compare Term Paper

  • Length: 12 pages
  • Subject: Native Americans
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #55472829

Excerpt from Term Paper :

There were a lot of white people around, and many of them were angry that the blacks had been freed. Some of them were actually hostile toward the blacks and their newfound freedom, so the blacks learned quickly that they had to be careful. They needed to settle a little bit away from the hostile whites and do their best not to make waves or cause trouble, in the hopes that they might one day be accepted (Reconstruction, 2002).

During the first few years after the Emancipation Proclamation and the subsequent freedom of all blacks in the United States, many blacks began working very hard to educate themselves. In there minds, education meant the ability to negotiate with whites over land, earn a fair wage to pay for it, and take care of their families. Black families were often large, so many of the members could work to help support the whole family. Blacks had to have somewhere to live, so they started founding small towns. One such place was Nicodemus, which was in Kansas. In 1880, there were about 500 black settlers living there, but poor soil conditions and the inability to grow good crops had allowed the population to decline to about 200 by 1910 (Reconstruction, 2002).

Despite the problems with Nicodemus, blacks did not give up. The northern urban areas such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh began to become more populated with blacks, as did Kansas and the desert southwest. The northern large towns are still heavily populated by blacks today. The black population was spreading out, but they had some difficultly getting much land. After all, they had been slaves. They did not have a lot of money to purchase land, and many of them were easily taken in by bad deals since many of them didn't have the education to compete with the average white man.

Many blacks moved away from their former white masters, but some blacks, who had gotten on fairly well with their masters before they were freed, went back to work for those same masters, only this time it was for wages. This is how many blacks were able to buy land and have somewhere for they and their family to live. Sometimes these white masters -- now bosses -- would give the black man some of their land and let them build something on it. This was another way that black men acquired land after the Emancipation Proclamation and their freedom.

Some blacks also got land through land grants that the government gave them so that they could build churches and other places, since they were not allowed to share any of those facilities with whites. Just because they were now free did not mean that they were anything close to being equal. Many whites still showed them thinly-veiled hostility, and other expressed downright hatred of blacks and the fact that they could not acquire land and live next to white men as if there was some measure of equality between the two. Many white men of that time period thought that blacks were not far removed from animals, and they never would have considered for a moment that there could be any kind of equality between the two groups, no matter what the Emancipation Proclamation said (Williams, 2002).

It took a long time before schools were built on black land for the education of black children. Many blacks worked as farmers, sharecroppers, and domestic servants, and most could not read or write. Because opposition to black freedom was so strong, especially in the south, many white people wanted to keep blacks as far down the ladder as possible. By making it a crime to educate them, the white majority effectively stopped the blacks from gaining any further ground after they were freed. This was not to last, though, as blacks schools were eventually built and more blacks were educated.

In 1865, the Freedmens' Bureau was opened and helped blacks acquire the land that they had been promised by the government when they were freed as well as other lands so that they could grow crops, raise animals, and generally have some place to live and some means to support themselves and their growing families. Just a year after they opened, in 1866, the Freedmens' Bureau opened up over 45 million acres in the southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama to blacks who wanted to own some land. Many took advantage of this option, and they created the first wave of black land ownership in the United States (Black, 2002).

By the year 1890, there were 120, 738 black farms in the United States (Black, 2002). Unfortunately, there should have been many more. Much of the land that the government was supposed to give the black people never came to pass when President Andrew Johnson reversed some of the policies set forth in the Emancipation Proclamation. Instead of getting the land that they should have been given as payment for all that they had to endure, they were forced to work to try to buy land of their own. The problem with that was that their wages were so low that many could still not buy any land of their own. Many of the freed slaves died virtually in slavery. While they might have been technically free, they still didn't own anything of their own and they weren't able to make enough money to get anything more than what they already had. Many blacks were discouraged by this, but they kept working anyway, in the hopes that things would get better. It took a much longer time than it should have, but things did get eventually get better for blacks all across the United States.

For a while, one of the main problems the black people had was not hard work or little land, but the hostility of the white people around them. This hostility continued for a long time, and some white people still have it today. it's not entirely gone from this country yet, but it was far worse in the early days of freedom (Black, 2002). In the year 1900, 214 lynchings of black people were reported (Black, 2002). That figure doesn't tell the whole tale, most likely, because there were probably many more lynchings that weren't reported. There was the rise of the most famous anti-black group, the Ku Klux Klan. Other laws were also enacted when Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president. He changed some of the laws in the Emancipation Proclamation and made sure that blacks were restricted in what they could do. Hayes enacted the 'Jim Crow' laws that said blacks could not sit on the same railroad cars as whites. If it would have been a case of 'separate but equal' it might not have been so bad, but it was a case of 'separate but unequal.' Blacks were given the worst conditions anywhere they went, and were rarely treated with any kind of class or dignity by whites.

However, despite white opposition, blacks continued to gain land and spread out in the face of the cruelty of white people.

As the United States industrialized, the demands for labor shifted increasingly from farms and plantations to factories. Explain the factors, in addition to racism, that contributed to the relative greater successes of European immigrant groups, and especially their descendents, in gaining greater wealth and status than indigenous peoples and immigrants from outside Europe. Were there exceptions among European ethnic groups and if so, how can you explain that?

Early in the 19th century, a period of rapid industrialization and a strong need for a very large pool of cheap labor was important to the United States economy (Carroll, 1998). Using various individuals who would attack labor unions was still legal and there were many examples of violence on the corporate level (Carroll, 1998). Later in the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, mostly the need to modernize the current economy was seen by political protest, and many of the political leaders of that time were forced into outlawing many of the worst abuses (Carroll, 1998). These included child labor, and were also tied to various types of protections related not only to workers, but also to consumers, minorities, women, and the environment (Carroll, 1998).

However, many of these changes that were made increased the general cost of doing business and the corporations that had to include those costs begin to put pressure on the politicians (Carroll, 1998). Many countries adopted policies that were more business-friendly and resulting from this the staffing and regulatory spending have not been able to keep up with the overall expansion of the economy (Carroll, 1998). It is difficult to say exactly how much corporate crime costs every year but it is not surprising to find that many judge the costs to be enormous (Carroll, 1998).

Before 1880, settlement was mostly in the east, and the people did not spread out too…

Cite This Term Paper:

"Immigrant And Ethnic History Compare" (2006, September 15) Retrieved January 20, 2017, from

"Immigrant And Ethnic History Compare" 15 September 2006. Web.20 January. 2017. <>

"Immigrant And Ethnic History Compare", 15 September 2006, Accessed.20 January. 2017,