Effects of War on Societal perception of foreigners with in the United States



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David Marrero
6/2/04
EDGE-Final Paper (Bruce Lusignan)

Effects of War on Societal perception of foreigners with in the United States

The United States have stood as a world leader for the last century and has involved itself as a key participant in many of the wars that have arisen throughout the continents. The United States has been involved in four major wars that have seen immigrant populations from these countries immigrate to this country in post war situations. The perceptions that are created in American societies in wartime engagement has a significant effect on the treatment of thee immigrant once they come to this country. As relations between the countries that many of these people come from and that of the United States shift, so do the relations and perceptions of American’s towards these immigrants.

The immigrants of many of these countries have fled their homeland often to escape the similar persecutions or negotiations that occurred between their country and the United States in the first place. Their loyalty to their homeland is often not as pronounced as is assumed by the American population and they often receive persecution and due to the lack of understanding that American’s possess in regard to their background, and true cultural demeanor.

The countries of Germany, China, Russia, Japan, England, and France all hold affiliations to our country that have been structured based upon direct feelings and categorization of their character surrounding the times of war. The fundamental thought about these countries have taken either a positive or negative stance and that stance although sometimes proving inconsistent and shifting back and forth from positive to negative often as well, are the basis for the treatment and perception that American’s hold to the people of these countries. The highlighting of each of the past relations in a broad sense revolving around war will display a sense of how the view of these countries has been established by the people of the United States:



The first country of high interest and a historical basis to their relationship with our perception of them is our ally of Great Britain. The history of relations between the United States and England stands as one that once saw a perception of the English people as being corrupt and disconcerting. From the pilgrim migration of the late 1600’s to the conflicts of the American revolutionary war and the War of 1812 the United States and the English held relations that always stood in a highly negative light when the Americans were asked of their feelings towards the “Red Coats” or British. Amazingly enough this trend began to shift following the victory of the United States in the War of 1812. As the 20th century grew upon us the United States and England began to hold similar ideals and similar goals for their countries in the grand scheme of the interest of the world. This common interest in prosperity and freedom saw the allegiances that were created throughout WWI, WWII and has been seen all the way up to the present War of Terror in Iraq. England the country that over 100 years ago was seen as the representative of all that is corrupt and all that is disloyal has now become our most trusted and dependable friend in a war that has seen the allegiance of few and the disapproval of many toward the policies of the United States.

Following the first and second world wars as well the view of the British in our society shifted as well. The once conniving and horrible persons of England had now gained respect and trust in America. They were no longer seen as a threat in the international policy arena therefore British actors and actresses and trends and customs have become accepted in the United States and as was shown with the craze surrounding the Beatles and Hugh Grant, the Spice Girls, ect. Accepting the ways and trends of the British has actually become somewhat ideal in our warped, bias society.

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