Distinctions Based On Race and Making Of A Nation-State

DistinctionsBased On Race and Making Of A Nation-State

Distinctionsbased on Race and Making of a Nation-State

Race has actedas a key line of division in the history of American civilizationsince the occupation of the American settlements in the 17thcentury. Despite the change of in comprehension of the concept ofrace today, race continues to act as a critical line of division. Infact, the black experience has influenced the treatment of otherracial minorities across America, and illuminates the ways in whichracial distinctions have shaped the American history. Following theend of the Civil War in 1865, divisions based on race became centralin the alliance of America as a Nation-State.1In this regards, the discourse highlights how and why divisions basedon race influenced the Alliance of America as a nation-state as wellas how America experienced a consolidation of racial states followingthe end of the Civil War.


Racial divisionsexisted well before the Civil War especially during the peak of theSlave Trade. During this period, state alliance in America faced ananalogous disablement of regional conflict between South and North.Indigenous Americans diminished greatly while the fate of slavesbecame a cause of disagreement. During the war, the North pursued tostrengthen and utilize the Federal government to limit the extensionof slavery and support its early industrial development while theSouth defended the division of power that existed.2The North’s victory of the war opened a way for more centralizationbut since both regions had united within, the blacks suffered themost. After the war, the US had not embraced the lucidity ofweakening intrawhite conflict fully through racial dominion, but thereconstruction determinations at reform and the renewed hostilitythey triggered brought the Republicans around.3In this regards, the nation had to unite or bond, at least for thewhites, even though it was to the disadvantage of the minority, tomake a measure of central state rule practical. As such, the Northhad to encourage the South to give its allegiance through Jim Crow’slegal enactments and practices.

Soon after thewar, the government sought to protect the rights of all peopleregardless of race, but this period, called reconstruction did notlast for long since white supremacy had returned to the south by1877. In fact, racial subordination set in with blacks occupying aseparate wing of the government southern states amended theirregulations to disenfranchise blacks.4In doing so, they reversed the gains made in expanding political andhuman rights and transformed southern states to boroughs of racism.The black populations that resisted these changes faced threat ofviolent reprisal and political power.5In this regards, the rebirth of racism caused the desertion of thereconstruction principles of egalitarian nationality and fit neatlywith the pattern of racial thinking. In fact, divisions based on racewent parallel with the renaissance of Anglo-Saxonism, which bondedxenophobia, patriotism, and an ethno-cultural denotation ofnationhood in a transformed rhetoric of racial elitism. Popularperiodicals depicted blacks and other minority communities ascriminals and savages thus, increased legitimization andnaturalization of the new caste of political and economicinequality.6In addition, gains made immediately after the war, receded withrestrictions on immigration as well as the expulsion of Chinese.

By 1900, thelanguage of racial distinctions, race conflict, race sentiments, andrace problems had presumed a central role and place in the publicdiscourse across America. People invoked the putative innate capacityof one’s race to explain the American dream as well as demonstratethe ineffectiveness of numerous populations to participate in USdemocracy.7In fact, most people claimed that the immigrants weakened thestrength of the society, as inferior races would outnumberAnglo-Saxons, who were fitted for national authority. Instead ofadvancing citizenship, the society became obsessed with thedemarcation of nationality along racial distinctions.8By 1904, race largely defined political and social order- peopledifferentiated the whites by country of birth, they classified LatinAmericans as mulatto, white or racially distinct, Asians throughnationality, blacks elaborated and dropped, and Native Americansignored. In McCunn’s “Thousands Pieces of Gold,” the reflectionof racial organizations and disconnections shows the role of race increating a nation-state of America.9Races became ingrained in the ideals of America, as the descriptionsand roles of certain races demonstrate in the novel. In fact, thestruggle of the minority races in America shaped the future ofAmerica as a nation united through the lines of racialreorganizations and differences. The disconnection between the Northand the South allowed the development of America as a nation-state.In fact, Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation,” demonstrates howrace helped create a Northern Union and a confederacy South as wellas allow the subjugation of the blacks by white southerners.10As such, race advanced a nation-state united on racial lines.


Looking atcountries such as South Africa and Brazil, one develops a criticalmind on how race played a strategic part in the progress of anation-state. Just like these countries, Americans aligned alongracial lines and exemplified the importance of race inconsolidations. However, the diversity that existed in racessometimes faced difficulties as the struggle of the blacks andIndians demonstrate. In this regards, some people see technology andthe American dream as plying significant roles in the emergence ofAmerica as a nation-state. As such, these analysts see race as just asmall factor that supported the alignments that developed after thewar thus, divisions based on race did not contribute to the allianceof the country. In fact, the media played a key role in thedevelopment of a nation-state by highlighting the needs of a unitedAmerica and the importance of advancing greater roles. However, theassertion that the American Dream and technology helped the creationof such alliances fails to consider that media assertions touched onraces and white supremacy.


Between 1865 and1930, the reorganization of the racial order linked closely todemographic upheaval in America, more so, in regards to theconsolidation of the country as a nation-state. America experiencedshifts in social and political alignments along racial lines with theemergence of new groups and disappearance of other groups with thenotion of belonging changing remarkably. In fact, the countryrealized reorganizations in the North and South, which affected thewhites, blacks, Indians, Mexicans, and Asians among other groups.11As suggested, fundamental components of racial order experiencedmajor shifts and several enactments especially those relating tosuffrage resulted to the development of a nation-state. In thisregards, divisions based on race rather than other factors such asthe American Dream helped to create alliances within South and Norththus, the establishment of a nation-state.


Foner, Eric.&nbspGive me liberty!: an American history. NewYork: WW Norton, 2005.

Griffith, David Wark.&nbspThe Birth of a Nation (1915).Eureka Entertainment Limited, Friday, February 11th,6:30-10:00p.m., Willy 175

McCunn, Ruthanne Lum.&nbspThousand pieces of gold. BeaconPress, 1981.

Ngai, Mae M.&nbspImpossible subjects: Illegal aliens and themaking of modern America. Princeton University Press, 2014.

1 Eric Foner.&nbspGive me liberty!: an American history. New York: WW Norton, 2005.

2 Eric Foner. Give me Liberty

3 Ibid

4 David Wark Griffith.&nbspThe Birth of a Nation (1915). Eureka Entertainment Limited, Friday, February 11th, 6:30-10:00p.m., Willy 175

5 David Griffith. The Birth of a Nation 1915

6 Eric Foner, GML

7Ruthanne McCunn.&nbspThousand pieces of gold. Beacon Press, 1981.

8 Mae Ngai.&nbspImpossible subjects: Illegal aliens and the making of modern America. Princeton University Press, 2014.

9 Ruthanne McCunn, TPOG

10 David Griffith, TBN

11 Mae Ngai, Impossible subjects

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