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American Families and American History

American Families and American History

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Published by: Ivy Victoria Shalom Williams on Apr 03, 2012
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American Families


American History


2 . Compliance to treaties was often broken by the need of expansion and unequal military power between the factions Traditional family practices vary among tribes. The arrangements covered geographical domain and behaviors accepted by both sides from tribal members and new settlers. the newly independent country dealt with the Native tribes as independent nation states via treaties. more so depending on the extent of contact with and acculturation to non-tribal communities. later on.Pre 1500 – 1776 Colonial Years First American Families: Native American Tribal Treaties The British colonies and. Thus the family definition is a partial composite of traits found among limited number of families living in reservations and recorded orally or in few documents.

matrilocal. p.36 million American Indians i. nuclear. 7 below. See B p: 60 – 64 for marriage patterns. patrilineal. and marriage: patrilocal. and non-conquered native tribes. child rearing practices. Spain.Immigrants from Northwestern European countries mainly Great Britain. See p. African –born slaves and their descendants. First Immigrant Families: North/Western Europeans The Alien Act From Colonial times to early years of the new republic . teachers of tribal traditions. 1 Remember that the US Census Bureau uses a definition of the family that many a times obscures the notion and living arrangement of families among American Indians 3 .” “sharing. The family resisted to the point that today there are about 2. p. Other population groups included. and gender roles in the early settlement family. breadwinners. extended. 227)1.” and “servitude by leaders.” and “respect of elders and authority. By definition slaves and Native Americans were not citizens Family definition: group formed by members related by blood and law with common residence. religious leaders.” “equality.227) It is organized along a variety of structural patterns of residence. Sweden. Adults and children were killed by disease. and conquest. authority. war. caring for each other and in charge of childrearing and social support of dependents. 0.Settlers required five years of residence and lawful standing to apply for citizenship .9% of the total population or 610 000 families (Taylor.e. Child rearing practices follows value systems that emphasize “harmony with nature.Family definition: The family is a group of people who reside together and care for each other’s survival through reciprocal defense and economic cooperation (Taylor. and other smaller groups from France. followed by Germany.” Consequences of encounter with Europeans: By 1670s the Native population residing in the territories occupied by the colonies was decimated to one tenth of its original size. matrilineal. combined gender roles of homemakers. Ireland and Deutschland.” “cooperation. and socio-political coordinators.

and.Africans Indentured Servitude and Slavery Codes - First arrival recorded in 1619 as voluntary immigrants Later. Pantheon Books 4 . U.S. “Slavery” by Stanley Elkins (1963).69 and p. “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action” by Daniel Moynihan (1965). the profit-orientation of slavery decimated these marriages. Government Printing Office. Though miscegenation was forbidden. 92 -96 To learn more about Consequences of Slavery for African families in American society: See “The Negro Family in the United States” by E. namely to bed slave women. African immigrants came largely involuntarily as indentured servants initially and later on as slaves. “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom: 1750-1925” by Herbert Gutman (1976). owners retained the power to do as they pleased with their property. University of Chicago Press. Family definition: See B pp: 66. By 1660s the Slave Codes regulated trade of slaves and increasingly over the years imposed strict rules on slaves’ behaviors. Slave owners encouraged marriage and many children in order to maintain and increase their property yet. Franklin Frazier (1939). University of Chicago Press.

Growth in immigration led to the development of the Western USA. California. Africans. 1976)As presented in Diversity in America by Vincent N.2% 6. The Naturalization Law of 1790 had a “color consciousness streak.6% English German Unassigned 18.8% 2. D.3% Scots-Irish Swedish. Otherwise. Germany and Ireland continue for most of this century. New Mexico. Resettlement of Native Americans (“Trail of Tears” and establishment of reservations). Part 2.C. 5 - .Population in 1790 USA 1. Immigrants from England and Germany and their descendants born in the United States (“Natives”) were preferred over the Irish who were treated badly and perceived problematic because of their Catholicism and drinking habits. and Mountain states) created land opportunities for new settlers.8% US Bureau of the Census.” It allowed only “free. Series Z 20-132 (Washington. annexation of former Northern Mexican territories (Texas.. Arizona. and Asian immigrants. Parrillo1996 1800s Westward Expansion Immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe Residence Policies Immigration from England. French Irish African Scots Dutch Native American 5. Government Printing Office. it denied citizenship to Native Americans.8% 4.9% 2.7% 6.9% 1. Historical Statistics of the United States. white immigrants” to apply for citizenship.9% 48.

Japan. Italians. Definition of family Size of population Gender roles Marriage Property Child rearing Mexican-American Families 6 . Greek and Slavic-origin. immigrants came from Southern to Eastern Europe. Asian immigrants from China. immigration has dwindled significantly. By the 1920s. and Jewish settlers were now the target of prejudice and discrimination. From the last two decades of this century and through the first half of the 1900s.- - The construction of the railroad system expanded immigration to other groups for the first time. These new ethnic groups were seen not only as different but as strange and dangerous (Xenophobia). The largest waves in the history of immigration occurred during this century. and Korea settle in the west to do this work.

000 people) was transformed into American citizens. gender-roles specialization. See B p: 69 – 71 Consequences of Annexation for Mexican-American families: The traditions of Mexican culture that includes Catholic religion.Treaty of Hidalgo The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo declared the end of the 1848 MexicanAmerican War and ceded the currently known Southwestern states of New Mexico. and patriarchy remained strong despite the loss of status and increased economic competition for jobs from new European settlers and temporary Mexican workers. However. the new laws about land property. labor system. By the late 1800s one third of family households were headed by females. at least on paper. which may include grandparents. and brothers and their children. California. The traditional two-parent married family dramatically decreased due to the need to find jobs outside the local community. married sisters. Indian Reservation Families 7 . and trades disrupted the traditional family arrangements and turn them into an exploited group at the bottom of the social and economic ladder. The extended family was a source of support for dealing with migratory labor and transmitting the Mexican customs and values of familism - Family definition: Group composed of extended kin. Nevada as well as Montana and Texas to the United States The resident population of these areas (about 100. aunts. Spanish language. Arizona. and also ‘compadres’ and ‘padrinos’ (Griswold del Castillo 1984). uncles. Colorado.

and cultural Indian values and styles of living. native families have experienced dramatic changes in size. the education of Indians was synonymous with the loss of tribal culture and values” (Taylor. American Indian families are characterized by an ability to adapt. From this point forward.doi.gov/bureau-indian-affairs. “Beginning in 1802. and preservation of native culture. cit. tribal organization.com/index.everything2. withstand. p: 245) The record about Native American families is scarce and mostly compares American Indian families along a continuum from ‘traditional’ to ‘non-traditional’ patterns. See B pp: 64-66 In addition to their current diversity.g. racial. and endure changing social conditions as evidenced by their historical survival. where traditional is defined in terms of linguistic.pl?node_id=1776833 Since the encounter with Europeans. and living conditions. the Trade and Intercourse Act paved the way for federal involvement in Indian education. Beyond the political domination e. op. American Indian families have undergone forceful “family policies” by the federal government aimed to assimilate adults and children into American society with the consequential result of loss of tribal language and way of life as experienced in the reservations.Bureau of Indian Affairs (1831) http://www. composition.html http://www. Trail of Tears and creation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 8 .

mining. limited business opportunities. The Chinese Exclusionary Act of 1882 denied entry of Chinese on the basis of their racial and ethnic traits. denied unification with family left in China.The exclusion was originally planned to last 20 years. . and railroad construction jobs while women worked mainly as domestic servants for Whites.From their arrival the Chinese were deemed as second-class people with strange and pagan customs.With the expansion of the economic power of the United States. As the jobs dwindled they were officially made “persona non-grata” through a campaign known as the “yellow peril” that denied them most civil rights while imposed special taxes and business limitations to earn a living.New immigrants from China were not allowed. strengthening of Chinese traditions due to bans of intermarriage and women forced to prostitution brought to US 9 . . pressured to return to China. low fertility rates. good only for labor. and whenever possible. . Males came as peons to fill in the agricultural. but it was later expanded in time and extended to the Japanese and Koreans.The Chinese were the first non-Western immigrant group. China offered an opportunity for cheap labor power fueled by an unstable local economy and displaced peasants in search of a livelihood for their families in a new land.Asian families Immigration Policies 1840s-1868 Chinese Exclusionary Rules 1882-1920 `. Consequences for Asian families: confinement into areas known as Chinatowns. . they were confined to limited geographical areas to live. As a result.

10 . society. followed by single-parent headed families (46%) (US Bureau of the Census 2000. only 60 % of African Americans remained in the South. Today married couples are the most common type of family structure (52%). March 1999) To the degree that Black families differ in family organization with regard to White families merely reflects their limited access to economic resources. The goal was to engineer the social conditions to breed the “best American-born” family and consequently. 1920s – 1950s National Origin Policy of 1921 With the decrease in immigration. the national feeling was to seize the moment and create a policy that would foster immigration from Northwestern Europe and drastically control and even curtail immigration from elsewhere. African Americans were granted citizenship by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 or 250 years since their first arrival The benefits of Emancipation were eroded by the end of Reconstruction with the expansion of Jim Crow Laws in traditional Southern states To escape the hardships of Southern life coupled with those caused by the Depression. benefits and rewards in American society. African Americans moved northward By 1960.1868 – 1964 African-American Families - Family definition: The two-parent family was the common pattern after Emancipation up to the second half of the twentieth century.

Consequently. Country of origin was no longer the determining condition for granting entry. Germany. b) protection and expansion of the American economy. - 11 . Due to the preference for highly educated immigrants.- The policy formula allowed 3 percent of immigrants from each country based on the number of residents in the US who originally migrated from that country. and composition of the American population. the implementation of the INA has produced a “brain drain” of qualified individuals who are much needed in their homeland. such as Italy. c) growth of highly skilled. d) political and religious asylum to refugees fleeing from Communist countries. immigrants from Great Britain. and other Northwestern European countries were allowed entry in much larger numbers than those from countries with more recent history of immigration. yet decide to immigrate to the US. Ireland. diversity. though not as large as the earlier one. France. The policy fostered another wave of immigration. and professional American labor market. It increased the size. Greece. and. or Russia Pure American families Families during WWI – Depression Years – WWII – 1950 1960s – 2008 Immigration and Naturalization Act 1965 This policy has several goals: a) reunification of families. specialized.

and sets penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants.Latin American Families South/East Asian Families Middle-Eastern Families Asian Indian Families Consequences for families Ethnic diversity of American families Reform of Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1986 The original goals of the 1965 INA are not changed. Documentation of this sort is needed to request social services in states like California and Florida 12 . The reform establishes the showing of documents that legitimate residence or permit work when applying for jobs in the US. The purpose is to include a proviso in the policy to deter the flow of illegal immigrants looking for jobs.

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