Early American Assimilation
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This paper explains that the "melting pot" version of the early American culture overlooks the real economic and social hardships and the immense pressures of ethnic groups to "conform" to the dominant American culture. The author points out that one of the earliest and cruelest stories of assimilation in the United States centers on the African people and their descendants who were brought to the country as slaves. The Scottish-Irish immigrant group, who spoke English and did not come as slaves, faced the challenge of religious discrimination, and the Chinese found it extremely difficult to assimilate into the mainstream culture due to their language and ethnic differences. The paper relates that the most striking example of assimilation in the early 1800s was the push to integrate Native Americans into Anglo culture; Native American children, in many cases, were taken forcibly from their homes and moved to special "schools", in which they were taught the "correct" way to speak, dress, eat, and behave, according to the dominant American culture.
From the Paper:"To a great extent, the story of nineteenth century America is a story of the "others." This is because, whereas the influx of immigrants from Europe, Asia and Africa was immense in scope, the collective imagination of those Americans who viewed themselves as "real Americans" sought to bring those "others" into line with established mainstream American culture without option. Indeed, this assumption that all immigrants as well as Native Americans and African Americans must assimilate into the dominant culture was simply a given."
Cite this Essay:
Early American Assimilation (2005, July 03) Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/essay/early-american-assimilation-59806/
"Early American Assimilation" 03 July 2005. Web. 18 July. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/essay/early-american-assimilation-59806/>