Evaluate the United States View on Civil Rights

Topics: Federal government of the United States, Washington, D.C., Native Americans in the United States Pages: 3 (1205 words) Published: September 6, 2013
How far can the ‘Melting Pot’ be applied to Native Americans? The melting pot, a concept evolved from Israel Zangwill’s play in 1908 whereby people from different ethnic origins are fused into one nation, presents the struggle for the American Government to assimilate the huge number of immigrants travelling to America, each coming from an array of different countries speaking various languages and owning a variety of different cultures. From 1865 to 1970, assimilation was forced upon the Native Americans yet was extremely hard for the American Government to achieve as the Native Americans demonstrated large efforts to resist any attempt at integration and continued to claim their right to be separate from other migrants in the ‘melting pot’. Attempts to assimilate the Native Americans socially into the American way of life included the Reservation policy. 133,417 Natives were forced to move on to reservations where it was forbidden to practice religion and destroyed their original tribal structures. They experienced hardship, disease and hunger. Tribes were often split apart and families torn. The reservations that the Native Americans were forced onto physically segregated them from the rest of the population and therefore it seems difficult to witness how the government tried to incorporate them into society and part of a ‘melting pot’. In 1924, The Indian Citizenship Act gave the Native Americans citizenship and supposedly the right to vote, although not all states recognised these rights. This act was not due to the demands of the Indians, they were granted the vote whether they wanted it or not. In terms of their rights, it was progress albeit unnecessary progress as they didn’t need it, nor did they need to be part of America. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 was created in order to assimilate them, not to empower them. Other social attempts by the American Government to assimilate the Native Americans was through job opportunities. Through the 1960’s,...
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