Race and Ethnicity in America: A Concise History

By Ronald H. Bayor | Go to book overview

4
RACIAL AND ETHNIC
IDENTITY IN THE UNITED
STATES, 1837–1877

Michael Miller Topp

In recent years the specter of identity politics—of people identifying themselves and organizing themselves around their ethnicity or race, for example—has created enormous concerns in American society. Critics, from Michael Kazin and Todd Gitlin on the Left to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Lynne Cheney on the Right, have raised alarms across the political spectrum about the dangers of splintering American reform efforts or American society as a whole. In an age when accusations of reverse discrimination, ethnic and racial separatism, and even Balkanization and tribalism are ubiquitous, we would do well to remember that identity politics—that racial and ethnic identity—have always mattered in the United States.

The period between 1837 and 1877, during which economic and geographic growth thoroughly changed the face of the nation, offers an excellent window on how these aspects of identity defined a person's place in or outside of American society. In these years immigrants began to flood into the United States in unprecedented numbers: the Irish, the Germans, and, on the West Coast, the Chinese foremost among them. American expansionism and industrialization affected each of these populations directly and often dramatically. These forces also touched other populations—Indians, Mexicans, and African Americans—already living in the United States, or in what became the United States, profoundly altering their relationship to American society.

In 1837, American expansionism had tremendous momentum. Texas had just declared its independence from Mexico and was pushing for entry into the United States. Georgians, working with Andrew Jackson's full cooperation, were just completing their successful effort to expand their access to tillable soil by forcing the Five Civilized Tribes

-63-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Race and Ethnicity in America: A Concise History
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 280

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.