Treatment of Minorities

Danielle Frederick

Treatment of Minorities


Immigrants were typically met with suspicion and hostility

·         Anti-foreign societies formed: The Know-Nothing Party (1850s)-fought for strict immigration laws; KKK- radical anti-immigrant party

·         Anti-Immigration Laws: Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)-halted all Chinese immigration; National Origins Act(1924)-quota for immigrants; Literacy Test (1917)- immigrants required to pass test to enter the US; Gentlemen’s Agreement (1907)- promised that Japan would limit immigrants if no laws were made to restrict them

·         Nativism: favoring native- born individuals over foreign-born immigrants

·         Red Scare- after WWI when immigrant groups were repressed and jailed in US; five hundred immigrants were deported


Women treated as minorities: inferior to men

·         A woman’s property became her husband’s with marriage

·         Political activity was limited: women were not granted right to vote until 19th amendment passes 1920

·         Cult of domesticity(1800-1850s): glorified women as the homemaker

·         Man dominant society: men went to work and made the money, women stayed home to do house chores, take care of kids

·         WWII – women in workforce rose from 14 million to 19 million ; at the end of war many stayed in jobs, which created changes in labor force; women became nurses, teachers, shopkeepers

African Americans

Treated unfairly and unjustly by whites for most of history

·         Slavery

·         Plessy v.Fergeson -1896-separate but equal facilities are constitutional

·         Brown v.Board of Education- 1954- repealed plessy v. Fergeson

·         “Jim Crow” Laws- unfair Black segregation laws imposed upon blacks by white Southerners

·         KKK- radical anti-Black group: used tactics of intimidation to scare Blacks

·         Black codes-laws passed in the South to restrict the rights of newly freed slaves; blacks could not own property ,move, or perform any labor besides farming

·         NO political rights for blacks until “Civil War Amendments” in the mid 1800s

Native Americans

General American dislike of Native Americans ; clashes between Native Americans and government and unfair treatment of Native Americans until 1930s

·         (1838) Trail of Tears- forced relocation of more than 20,000 members of the Cherokee tribe to a new homeland in Oklahoma

·         (1830) Indian Removal Act – authorized president to exchange Native American land east of the Miss River for lands West of the Miss River

·         (1887) Dawes  Act- forced assimilation by dividing the Indians land and giving them each free land in exchange for care of the land

·         Curtis Act of 1908- federal government no longer recognized tribal governments and abolished tribal ruling of Indian land

·         Indian Reorganization Act (1934)-renewed Indian rights to form their own government and reorganize