Multiracial History of USA
The history of the Jews is both tainted with violence and battles, and also decorated with glories and successes. Jews-Americans history runs deep into the history of the United States of America; the presence of Jews in the American societies can be traced back to the colonial era. The era preceding 1820s, Jews population in America was scattered in such regions South Carolina and Charleston. The bulk of Jews-Americans arrived in North America from other European countries in early years of 19thcentury. The Jews constituted about 4 percent of the American population in 1945; this was as a result of influx from Eastern Europe after World War II. The portion of the Jews-Americans however decreased with time as the war around most parts of Europe subdued and peace once again prevailed. Currently, the population of Jews-Americans is about five million; which is under two percent of the Americas population (Hasia 2004). Anti-Semitism that occurred in many parts of Europe forced the larger part of Jews, most of who were businesspersons to migrate to North America; they settled in suburb regions of America where they re-established their businesses. Currently, Jews-Americans can be traced in all states of America, although New York and Los Angeles hosts more than have their population. The culture upheld by Americans has helped erase some of the quire historic happenings and most of the previously discriminated groups live harmoniously. Jews are known for their innovative nature. Currently, they operate major clothes stores, manufacturing industries as well as service industries. They have also been greatly associated with most of the innovations that have rocked the ICT fields in the recent years. Although critiques associated Jews with violence and aggression, their peaceful exploration has demonstrated to the world that they can work hand in hand with people from different cultural backgrounds for a common good. Most Jews largely observe their cultural practices; ranging from religious believes to traditional celebrations, Jews are still deeply rooted in their traditions. The most prominent religious groups amongst Jews-Americans are Orthodox Judaism, reform and Conservative Judaism.
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A large proportion of the current African-American group emanated from slave trade. In fact the entire group that was previously regarded as negro-Americans is currently classified as African-Americans. The first Africans slaves landed in the United States in the year 1619. Slave trade that was first legalized in Massachusetts lead to transfer of approximately 2 million slaves from west and central Africa. Lack of unity amongst Africans made them an ideal target group; most of them were captured and sold by either their leaders or rival community leaders who often raided and captured slaves (Perry 12). Most of the Africans who arrived from west and central African countries were then sold to new "masters" who either used them as farm or domestic slaves. Some the slaves were emancipated after serving for long periods of time but non-Christian slaves were subjected to life slavery. After they were liberated, Africans joined hands and started competitive societies in suburb regions of the United States. Liberation of the Africans from slavery was however regarded as the beginning to a long battle for freedom. Negro war against discrimination and prejudices forms one of the longest and determined battles in the history of mankind. Through succession of freedom achievements the African-Americans seemed to have reached the apex of their motive when a president with African heritage was elected. President Barrack Obama formed a bridge between the dark slavery age and the modern American history. African-Americans are now fully assimilated into the American society and instances of discrimination are now far much reduced. Apart from the ease of acquiring African slave, the other reason that drove American and Europeans in search of laborers in Africa lack of unity amongst African communities. It was also evident that African laborers adapted easily to any climatic conditions unlike laborers from other parts of the world; this same notion has been carried on many years after slave trade was abolished and many people regards Africans as tough and hardworking lot. This positive notion is true as has been witnessed by their prowess in fields of sports and military (p.14).
Migration of Japanese to America notably began in 1830s. Hawaii, an independent monarchy, was hosting American investors especially in the sugar industry. On the other hand, the Americans" who for some time had been hiring Chinese laborers on their sugar plantations, turned their attention to Japan after a large part of the Chinese workforce left citing poor working conditions. The number of Japanese immigrants continues to swell. This resulted in enactment of legislations that were aimed at barring more immigrants from moving to the United States of America. Although desperate measures were being done to stop more Japanese from moving to America, interventions made by President Theodore Roosevelt ensured that the trend continued for a few more years. However a quotas system that had been drafted to stop migrations from Asia to Hawaii and California was finally implemented (Kikumura-Yano 2004). The quotas prominently managed to curtail further migration from Japan into the United States until the start of World War II. The abolition of the immigration quotas in 1965 allowed mass movement of people from all over the world; in fact within twenty years of lifting of the quotas, the number of the Japanese immigrants quadrupled. The population of the Japanese in the United States of America has been swelling over the years; in the 1990 census their numbers stood slightly below eight hundred and fifty thousand and has been growing exponentially since then. Although most of Japanese-Americans live in the west their population can comfortably be traced in all American states. Although there are still cases of discrimination against Japanese-Americans, much has changed especially after World War II when the economy of Japan started thriving and competing with the US and the previous notions that prompted discrimination melted away. Issei, who settled in the United States, were often prejudiced because many natives believed that they were desperate farmers but they took their time and educated their kids, Nisei, who unlike their parents rose to prominence. Most third and fourth generation Japanese-Americans do not speak Japanese; they are already assimilated into the American culture. However, the Japanese-Americans are still very much in touch with their cultures and religions. On the New Year eve, they always go to their temples and shrines where they observe their cultural celebrations and mend their differences before they can start a fresh year.
The arrival of Chinese in North America can be classified into three categories. The first group of Chinese to arrive in America was laborers; they arrived in small batches between late 1890s and 1920s. Most of the laborers were hired as farm helps while others worked in mines, however, the American government stopped further influx of Chinese laborers in 1924. During and after the Second World War, the American government lifted the ban imposed against Chinese immigrants and again the Chinese were free to move to the United States. The Magnuson Act ensured that the repression and prejudices that had been held against people of Chinese origin were reduced. The Chinese once again settled and progressed with nationals building activities (Bernfeld 2004). Against the fears of many natives, Chinese immigrants were far much interested developing their economies and that of their country, America, instead of propagating Chinese national interests. Currently, most Chinese-Americans have lost touch with their traditions including Chinese language. The Chinese-Americans constitutes about one percent of the American population, who are fairly distributed in all states of America. The first group of Chinese immigrants was greatly connected with the California gold rush. Since mid 19th century to early 20thcentury was migrating to California in search for fortune. Soon the population around the region outgrew the available resource and many of the gold seekers were forced to find alternative sources of income. Some Chinese opted to farm wheat while others tried their lack in fishing. Chinese are known for their industrious nature and they have been instrumental in propelling the economy of the United States. Although cultural practices amongst Chinese-Americans are still observed, the zeal and importance attached to them has been diminishing with generations.
The history of Mexican-Americans stretches for close to half a millennium; in fact it is difficult to separate the foundation of the American nation from that of the Mexicans. The first Mexicans to inhabit America land resided in state that were once in Mexico; New Mexico, Arizona, California and Colorado before they dispersed to other parts of the country. Mexicans are regarded as the first group of the hyphenated Americans due to their long history with the United States of America (Erlinda and David p.13). There are great confusions amongst people of Mexican origin when it comes to classification. There is a generation of Mexican-Americans that that settled here before the Spanish colonization and consequently their descendants might be bi or multi-lingual. On the other extreme, there are Mexicans that arrived with the current era and still want to be placed in the same category of Hispanic Americans. The Mexican-Americans arrived in America at different times and for different reasons. There are those that migrated because of the Mexican civil war, estimated to be about one million. There are those that moved in because of the California gold rush and there are yet those that migrated because of competitive agricultural and farming opportunities (p.15). Mexican-Americans are associated with aggression. They have been on the front line in the fight for almost all civil rights; most of the Mexican-Americans vote in favor of Democratic Party. Their political aggression has been vital in streamlining the political arena in the United States. Like many people of Hispanic origin, Mexican-Americans are not very religious and their religious believes are not biased by any traditions. Similarly, their cultural and traditional practices are greatly influenced by the inventions of the day.
Arab-Americans comprises people that migrated from any of the Asian countries; either directly or through other countries. Arab-Americans are diverse in heritage with many of them having arrived in the United States of America at different times and from different regions. Currently, Arab-Americans constitute just fewer than two percent of the American population with their distribution in all states. Arabs migrated to America at different times and for different reasons. Some of them were laborers while others were transatlantic traders that settled in America. The California gold rush also attracted a considerable proportion of Arabs into the united state. Different groups of Arabs ended up practicing different activities, which is also a reflection of their regions of origin. Although, Arab-Americans are not very much politically agitated, most of them vote in favor of Democratic Party (Menon p.36). The Arab world is predominated Islamic, most of the Arab-Americans are Christians; an overwhelming 65 percent of all Arabs are Christians as opposed to 24 percent who are Muslim. Like the Arabs in Asia are stereotyped for their oil dominance, most of the Arab immigrants that came to the United States between 1970 and 1985 mostly invested in energy and oil. Although the recent immigrants are offsetting the previous Arab-Americans believes and notions, Arab-Americans have remained a paramount part of the American society. Influxes of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism has however been working against the profound harmony by the Arab-American universe.
Advantages of a Multicultural Society and Labor Force
The American culture is best described by Quilt or Tapestry Metaphor. The communities that form the American society are very distinct but they have harmoniously formed one strong nation. Just like a garment woven from different materials of differing strengths and colors, the beauty of the United States of America has been achieved through commitment and efforts from all communities. Multicultural society has many advantages over a society formed by one cultural group. When mechanisms to smoother the differences between the cultural groups are provided for, the community can achieve great milestones within lesser time. Unlike the single cultured society, where everyone can almost match the others in terms of capabilities and talent, multicultural societies comprise people with different talents and capabilities. American society has been a dominant force in almost all fronts because it carries talents from all parts of the world. Multicultural society reduces conflicts. When two competing communities live side by side and compete for common resources the chances of violence erupting between them are always very high, however, if the communities competing for the same number of resources are increased, chances of aggressive fights reduces because amicable solutions are likely to be sorted by individuals but not communities. The United States of America has been an ideal example what a multicultural society can achieve. Although the current success has not been achieved without huddles, the vision of the founders should also be applied in other warring parts of the world and maybe for once, the world can witness tolerance, peace and tranquility.