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NATIVISM AND RACISM It is an uneasy task to write on the subject of Racism and Nativism, as these issues are far too political and controversial. The social applications, are inevitably to be drawn if one is in favor if these doctrines or strongly against. What makes it even harder is the fact that there is way to much emotionalism involved, when it comes to discussing these matters. Let us try to remain objective in course of this study, only this way our attempt to reach any degree of scientific integrity, researching this topic, will have chances to succeed. The modern racism has its roots on scientific racism, which strived for over two hundred years and enjoyed status of respected theory among scientists.
Its main idea is that, since there are five human races and since there is so much behavioral difference between them, itd be logical to conclude that they are not quite equal. If principle of inferiority and superiority in Biology can be applied to classify living organisms, why cant it be done to classify people, according to their racial differences? We can trace it back to Swedish naturalist Karl Lines, who in his book System Naturae (1758), referred to Homo Sapiens Are (Black people) as to those whore being ruled by caprice, while Homo Sapiens European are ruled by reason. And it didnt take long after that for other prominent scientists to develop this thesis and to bring it up to a whole new level, where it was only a matter of time before racism, as biological theory, would find its practical implementation throughout the world. Charles Galton in his Essays in Eugenics used to be rather explicit: the most degraded of human races, whose form approaches that of the beast and whose intelligence is nowhere great enough to arrive at regular government (Galton, p. 105).
Person, who is considered to be a farther of modern geology, Charles Lyell, expressed the same idea: Each race of Man has its place, like the inferior animals (quoted in Wilson, 1970, p. 347). The traces of scientific racism can be also found in Charles Darwin's Origin of Species - The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla (p. 201). It has to be noted that in 19 century all sciences received a powerful surge and very few of them stayed bounded by any religious or moral dogmas. Scientific racism has spanned a few other, biologically related sciences, such as eugenics, craniometry and phrenology. Social Darwinism as a theory was also largely based on it. They insisted that further progress of humankind could only be guaranteed by recognizing the fact of inequality of human races.
Right up to the end of the Second World War, these theories used to be totally legitimate. Eugenics methodology, developed by American scientists before 1945, was much more advanced than the German one. It would be wrong to associate racialism with Nazi Germany, National Socialism only adapted eugenic practices to realities of twentieth century. These practices were used as far back as in ancient Sparta, where children with inherited deficiencies used to be killed, so they wouldnt pass them on to the next generations.
We can debate long and hard over ethical aspects of eugenics, but as we will see later, this theory was successfully used in many countries after the war, including USA. Modern scientific racism is based on the latest discoveries in genetics and psychology, but we can talk of it only as having an underground status, as it is generally assumed that intellectual and psychological differences between representatives of different races are only socially motivated. Yet, the recent book The Bell Curve by Herrnstein and Murray, revisions commonly accepted view on scientific racism as an outdated theory: The IQ distribution in two population groups socially recognized as "black" and "white" is represented by two largely overlapping bell curves with their means separated by about 15 points, a difference not due to test bias. IQ has the same meaning and practical predictive validity for both groups. Tests do not create differences; they merely reflect them (p. 121). Our short description of scientific racism wouldnt be complete without mentioning the role that historians played in its development.
I refer here to once popular historical theory, which explains the decline of civilizations by the fact of racial mixing. Although contemporary scientists generally overlook this theory, still, it has to be noted that this is only one universal theory that can be applied to all ancient civilizations and cultures and might also be used to describe processes taking place within our timeframe. Racialist historians insist that White race is only the race that because of its mental and organizational abilities stood behind creation of many ancient civilizations and is still responsible for maintaining our own. British historian Hesketh Prichard, who traveled extensively throughout the world in the beginning of twentieth century, has reflected on his visit to Haiti - the first black republic, which enjoyed full independence from any colonial rule since 1805: Today in Haiti we come to the real crux of the question. At the end of a hundred years of trial how does the Black man govern himself? What progress has he made?
Absolutely none. (Prichard, p. 112) Of course, there is a lot of scientific data that effectively challenges positions of scientific racism. Its argument is based on the fact that human DNA virtually all the same and practically doesnt vary at all. The DNA sequence is very much identical, right up to 98, 6 %, according to recent studies. What is really interesting, this rule also applies to chimpanzees, as well. One of the leading biologists Dr. J.
Craig Ventner says: Race is a social concept, not a scientific one. We all evolved in the last 100, 000 years from the same small number of tribes that migrated out of Africa and colonized the world (Ventner, p. 25). Although concepts of Scientific Racism and e racism are sharply antagonistic, one cannot rule out possibility that maybe some common ground might be found between them in the future. Scientific theories always strive to attain status of only correct one, disregarding others as false. But its very hard to point out, throughout history, at any theory that has never been altered or dropped altogether, as more scientific data was gathered that simply wouldnt fit into this theory. Its practically impossible to remain unbiased, while trying to assess Scientific Racism, since it is strongly linked to what is regarded as political incorrectness nowadays and even associated with hate crime in such countries as Germany and Canada.
But if society forcibly forbids scientific thought on moral grounds, how much different it is from attitude of Inquisitors, that used to burn people only because the concept of Earth revolving around the sun, contradicted Bible? In my opinion, any science needs to exist in an independent mode from current socio-political trends. Today many people wrongly associate Nativism with racism, but it really didnt have anything to do with it at the time when it emerged as set of political ideas. It also has more psychological aspects in contemporary interpretation of this term. Still, the first time it appeared, it was very political.
Nativism was a reaction of native White Protestants to an influx of foreign immigrants in 1830 1850, who were predominantly Catholic. In 1825 the Eire Canal was opened and it caused in rapidly increased number of job opportunities in United States. About 3 millions of new immigrants came to the America between 1830 and 1850 and, of course, those Americans who thought that they were the rightful owners of America because of being born there, didnt like seeing foreign people taking their jobs away. From this time we can trace roots of anti-immigrant sentiment, which becoming ever popular among Americans nowadays. During New York City elections in 1844, Native movement formed American Republican Party. Still, those anti-immigrant feelings among native Americans against Irish invasion didnt last for too long, as new immigrants were often able to prosper within one generation, even though most of them came poor to a new country and used to be getting underpaid and generally mistreated by natives.
This new wave of immigrants consisted of very hard working and courageous people and it soon became clear even to naturally born Americans that these people were actually contributing to American growth. So by the end of 19 th century, United States were officially announced as country of immigrants, thus becoming the dream land for many industrious people in Europe, who often could not find its realization in predominantly monarchic Europe, where common folk was still forbidden to pursue certain carriers, that were reserved for those with blue blood in their veins. Situation changed when Asians started to arrive in the country. These people were as much hard working, yet they were essentially different not knowing English, not willing to learn, not willing to integrate into American society and becoming part of it. They preferred creating their own societies within society.
It has to be noted, that white Americans frustration with new immigrants, never came as a result of a racial hatred, it was rather caused by the fact that new immigrants were usually unable to adapt. 1924 marked introduction of Immigration Restriction Act, which was intended for nothing less than limit the number of Asians, Jews and Eastern Europeans entering country as permanence residents. Section 11 (a) The annual quota of any nationality shall be 2 per centum of the number of foreign-born individuals of such nationality resident in continental United States as determined by the Untied States census of 1890, but the minimum quota of any nationality shall be 100 (Immigration Restriction Act of 1924). The trick was, that percentage of those undesirables living in the country at the time remained minimal. This act was a...
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