Consolidating the Racial State us history 1860-1910

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Consolidating the Racial State

US History 1860-1910

US History Overview

  1. 1860-1865. US civil war (war between the states)

  2. 1865 – 1920. Consolidation of the racial state.

  3. Even more European immigration

  4. Jim Crow segregation worsens conditions for Blacks

  5. Final conquest of the indigenous Americans

  6. Imperialism & colonialism.

  7. Asian immigration & racist anti-Asian movements & laws lead to bans on Asian immigration

  8. 1920 Massive immigration ends for 50 years

Overview 1865-1920

  1. Europeans: South devastated, US consolidates military control of the continent; massive migration from Europe

  2. Africans: Freed slaves start to make some advances, White state reconsolidates around segregation & White dominance

  3. Americans: US military forces conquer the remaining free Americans, drive population down to 200,000

  4. Asians: Significant immigration, explicit racist attacks, segregation, passage of restrictions against immigration; colonialism (Philippines, Hawaii)

  5. Latinos”: colonialism (Puerto Rico), displacement (Mexicans), coexistence

Blacks/ African Americans

The White Counter-Revolution

Constitutional Amendments 1865

  1. 13th: abolishes slavery “except as punishment for a crime”

  2. 14th: all persons born or naturalized in the US have rights of citizenship regardless of race, religion, national origin, or previous condition of servitude

  3. 15th: right of men to vote regardless of race etc.

Race and 14th & 15th Amendments

  1. The 14th and 15th amendments do not apply to non-White immigrants because they are not allowed to become naturalized, but do apply to non-Whites born in the US; this becomes an important part of Asian American politics

1865-1876 Reconstruction

  1. Union army occupies the south.

  2. Blacks vote. Whites who have been in Rebel army cannot. Black elected officials.

  3. Some reforms. Some improvement for Blacks. Some land reform (has future effects)

  4. Much turmoil, resistance. Attempts by Whites to re-create racial domination

  5. Conflicts around 15th amendment disrupt the previous coalition between feminists and supporters of African-American rights.

The End of Reconstruction

  1. Compromise of 1876 ends Reconstruction to break election deadlock, elect Hayes.

  2. Union army leaves the south, agreement to let southerners do what they will about race. White southerners can vote again.

  3. “Healing” White nation by sacrificing Blacks

  4. Denials that the war was about slavery

  5. [Later, Confederate soldiers are even made eligible for US veterans’ pensions with the same standing as Union soldiers]

1877 - 1920 Era of Explicit Racism

  1. Slavery was over, but a new racial order was created

  2. It was created by using proxies for race, circumventing the strictures of the 14th amendment

  3. Origins teach you how a system was built, once in place hard to see why things are as they are

Black & White Conflict

  1. 90% of all Blacks live in rural areas, 90% in south

  2. Most in cotton farming, dependent on landowners, subject to violent repression.

  3. Lynchings and KKK terrorism increase. KKK = local White authorities in sheets

  4. Blacks demand reparations for slavery immediately after the war. (Whites ignore.)

  5. Some emigrationism, 500+ actually emigrate to Liberia. Most want to stay.

Creating the New Racial Order

  1. 1880s - 1890s Southern states pass Jim Crow segregation laws.

  2. 1893 Plessey vs Furgeson, "Separate but Equal," US Supreme Court effectively guts the 14th amendment.

  3. Failure of land reform. White elites reconsolidate class privilege

Political Configurations of Race

  1. Democratic Party = alliance of southern White planters and northern industrialists and working class.

  2. Republicans debate 1876-1891 whether to support Black rights; abandon Black rights entirely after 1891.

  3. Populist movement threatens trans-racial alliance among southern working class; elite Whites work to disenfranchise Blacks (and working class) to eliminate threat.

Black Disenfranchisement

  1. No disguise, overt White efforts to disenfranchise Blacks, but accomplish racial goals without explicitly using race (which is illegal)

  2. Example: Louisiana, 130,344 Blacks registered in 1895, only 5,000 in 1898 and 1,772 in 1916.

  3. Blacks lose all political power.

  4. Poll taxes, literacy requirements, personal and periodic registration at difficult-to-reach places, White primaries. “Grandfather clause” protects Whites.

  5. Same tools in the north disenfranchise White workers, especially immigrants.

1895-1920 Virulent Racism

  1. Presidents Taft and Wilson are explicit racists

  2. US Supreme Court decisions gut the 14th amendment

  3. Hundreds of African Americans are lynched (murdered) in the south.

  4. "Scientific racism" is taught in college science classrooms. (This ideology distinguishes northern (Aryan) from southern Europeans, as well as what we now understand as "races.")

  5. Explicit opposition to any form of mixing of "races."


  1. Pockets of Black development

  2. Black migration (cowboys; movements into cities)

  3. Black schools, colleges

  4. Black political movements

  5. Too weak in this era to win, but set up the future (we will return to these)

Reparations, Migration

  1. Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, Black nationalist, demanded $40 billion in reparations for slavery, preached God is Black, involved in "African Fever", organized International Migration Society for a dollar-a-month plan to pay for passage to Liberia; not feasible, but facilitated passage of 500+ to Liberia 1895-1896

Black Resistance

  1. There is resistance to Jim Crow.

  2. Bus boycotts & consumer boycotts against segregation in the cities.

  3. Petitions, speeches. Rhetoric of citizenship, equality.

  4. Northern, educated Blacks speak out for equality, citizenship.

  5. But generally lose.

American Indians

The Final Wars

European Americans: General Patterns

  1. High rates of immigration

  2. Much ethnic conflict, riots in the streets: descendants of European migrants violently attack the new migrants as “foreigners”

  3. Northern Europeans view eastern and southern Europeans (and Jews, Gypsies etc.) as different races

  4. Capitalism consolidating, middle classes seizing political control from the immigrant working classes

Immigration to US, in 1000s

Immigration to US as a % of Base

The Final “Indian” Wars 1870-1900

  1. 1871 Indian Appropriations Act. US decides it will no longer sign treaties, will just legislate. Land belongs to EurAms.

  2. US Army battles native people on the western plains, forcing them all onto reservations.

Cultural Destruction

  1. “Friends of the Indians” 1883. Goal of US policy is to eliminate Indians as Indians. Force them to adopt European-American ways

  2. Boarding schools, ban their religions, language

  3. Dispirited, broken people, starving on reservations or battling to the death.

  4. 1889 Wokova “Ghost Dance” sweeps American Indians. Spiritual practices will restore land to American Indians. Banned by US.

1887 Dawes (General Allotment) Act

  1. Break up the AmerInd reservations, give land to individuals; "surplus" land to Whites.

  2. Much land passes to White hands, reservations shrink by 60-70%.

  3. Indians not permitted to manage their own land, instead Bureau of Indian Affairs manages it as a trust. If land is leased or sold, money collected by BIA and supposed to be paid to the Indian owner. [Recent lawsuit: $20-40 billion dollars is missing, unaccounted for by BIA; BIA shredded documents, uncashed checks.]

Oklahoma part 1

  1. After removal, American Indians organized stable self-government in “Indian Territory,” coped with continuing influx of American Indians displaced by the wars.

  2. 1889 Despite treaty, the eastern part of "Indian Territory" [Oklahoma] is opened to Whites in a "land run."

  3. 1893, Congress passes law requiring tribes to sell their land, tribes hold out.

Oklahoma part 2

  1. 1898 Congress passes Curtis Act, forcing allotment and division of their other property, terminating their government. Dept of Interior takes over their schools.

  2. 1901 Tribal citizens declared citizens of US and Territory of Oklahoma

  3. 1907 Oklahoma admitted to the Union as a state.

Some Defeats

  1. 1890 The Battle/Massacre at Wounded Knee. 300 Sioux, including women and children, and 25 soldiers are killed after the army breaks up a Ghost Dance.

  2. 1876 Battle of Little Big Horn. (Crazy Horse vs. Custer) The last major Sioux victory.

  3. 1886 Geronimo surrenders after a decade of guerilla warfare

  4. 1890 census, American population down to 200,000. Its low point.

Asian Americans

Discrimination, Hostility, Exclusion

Discrimination, Segregation

  1. Cartoons of era equate Asians and Blacks. “Yellow peril.”

  2. Explicit racial laws applied to Chinese, Japanese.

  3. California: laws passed requiring school segregation

  4. California: laws make it illegal for "persons ineligible for citizenship" to own land.

  5. Asian-descent people born in US are citizens.

Chinese Migration

  1. Begins 1848s, with Gold Rush.

  2. Fleeing economic disaster and poverty, political turmoil.

  3. Predominantly male, predominantly uneducated peasants

  4. Small as part of US total, but high percentages of several western states.

Chinese Exclusion

  1. Explicit racism, hostile attacks, race riots, forced removal

  2. 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

  3. Chinese here are largely isolated males, forced into the cities by hostility and violence

  4. Chinese laundries & tourism as survival strategies

Japanese Migration & Exclusion

  1. Begins 1868, Meiji Restoration, more after Chinese excluded in 1882

  2. Younger sons (& their wives) urged to migrate as part of development strategy; generally well-educated & skilled as farmers.

  3. Often quite successful in US as farmers, business owners. Vegetable farmers.

  4. 1907 Gentlemen's Agreement. No more immigration from Japan. (Japan agrees to restrict.) Korea a Japanese colony.

  5. Face violence, hostility, explicit segregation laws.

Anti-Asian Laws

  1. 1906 California passes law segregating Asians from Whites in schools. Modeled on “Jim Crow” laws.

  2. 1913 California law denies right to own land to "persons ineligible for citizenship." (Aimed at Japenese farmers)

  3. 1920, 1923 amendments also prevent leasing or farming others' land. many forced into cities. Some hold land in children's names.

  4. 1924 absolute prohibition of immigration of "persons ineligible for citizenship."

Hawaii, part 1

  1. A kingdom of Polynesian people, recognized as a nation by the US. (Polynesian descendants about 20% today)

  2. 1830s-1900 Anglo-American planters take over much of the land, import many Asian workers; population becomes predominantly Asian. Chinese, Japanese, Pilipino: Whites a minority.

  3. Ethnic, linguistic differences. “Pidgen” spoken. Class conflict predominates.

Hawaii, part 2

  1. Anglo-Americans overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii (Queen Lydia Liliuokalani) in 1893 with US naval support, establish a “republic” in 1894; viewed as illegal at the time (then-president Cleveland denounced it).

  2. In 1898, US annexes.

  3. Hawaiian independence movement still active; significant legal claims on public land

Spanish-American War 1898

  1. Cubans fighting independence war against Spain

  2. The “Maine” blown up under mysterious circumstances in Havana harbor

  3. US declares war, wins easily in 10 weeks (more US-ians die from malaria than warfare)

  4. Puerto Rico, Philippines, Guam, Wake, become US possessions.

  5. Cuba “permitted” to be independent under US oversight, 1901, still controlled by US after

  6. Independence wars raging against Spain become wars against US, take time to subdue, especially in Philippines

Pilipino Migration & Exclusion

  1. 400 years of Spanish colonialism: Filipinos a blend of European and Asian, racially & culturally

  2. After 1898, Philippines a US possession

  3. Much migration to Hawaii, some migration to mainland. Smaller numbers than Chinese or Japanese.

  4. On mainland, often lived and intermarried with Mexicans.

  5. 1934 Philippine “independence” curtails Philippine immigration

Resistance Movements

Assimilationist vs. Separatist Impulses

  1. Whites define the boundary, Blacks have to react to it.

  2. Assimilationist: stress common cultural heritage, desire for citizenship, share "American values"

  3. Separatist: stress value of own culture, look back to homeland (Africa), stress economic development, political self-determination.

  4. Competing impulses in all minority groups

  5. Vary in relative strength across time, depending on majority reactions

Black Integrationists & Separatists

Asian Americans in Early 20th Century

  1. 1920s, 1930s: Japanese American generation, speak English, identify as Americans, seek full civil rights, prove loyalty to US.

  2. 1940-1950. Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. Internment of Japanese on West Coast, 2/3 citizens.

  3. War effort distinguishes evil Japanese from good Chinese.

  4. Chinese & other Asians except Japanese finally permitted to become naturalized citizens. (Japanese so permitted after 1952.)

  5. 1949 Chinese revolution makes Chinese bad, communists

Integrationist & Separatist Forms

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