Saturday, January 24, 2009

The expansion of the American frontier. Often this is thought of as one of the crowning glories of the the American nation. The men and women who moved have become idols for decades of young children, brave heroes who ventured out into the unknown to try their luck at a new life. But this migration had greater implications then just the mass migration of Anglos to the western frontier. This is also a story of many other people who were systematically repressed by Whites. This can first and foremost be shown by the destruction of the Native American way of life. Slowly as the Whites desired more land, the Native Americans found their traditional areas encroached upon. This was done in two ways, one through the use of military force, where the american government would use greater military strength to forcibly move the tribes into smaller areas that had less resources. The other was more subtle. By using laws the government and settlers would trick Native Americans into selling their land. It was not just the Native Americans who found themselves threatened by this large scale migration. Many Mexican Americans also found themselves at risk. These men who had lived for centuries in the same areas, found their new neighbors stealing their land through politics and deceit. While courts would often uphold their claims on the land, they often found these expenditures costly and were often forced to sell their land for the court proceedings. The Chinese were a final group that were oppressed by the white population. I believe that this oppression is one of the most ignored acts in American History. They were brought over and treated at times as little more than slaves. They suffered under heavy discrimination, facing acts such as race riots and having even the federal government discriminate against them after fighting a war and political battles to free the African American slave population and give them rights. All of these events happened as Americans pushed west.

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