Native American Social Inequality

1080 Words 5 Pages
Economic and social inequality today can be traced back to settler colonialism. Settler colonialism originated from English colonies which ventured to the Americas. Settlers established colonies there to farm the land and produce raw materials. Raw materials were then exported back to England where they were refined for exporting once more. However, the profit was limited so expansion was necessary. Thus, colonists were required to find more land to use for their colonies. However, there was a large obstacle as the lands colonist desired belonged to natives. This introduced a need to eliminate the natives to use the land. The arrival of settlers in the Americas and their need for land to produce goods kickstarted economic and social inequality …show more content…
Native Americans were interferences for securing land, land which was essential for establishing colonies and producing raw materials. However, to justify taking the land, the natives needed to be made into an inferior race as well. “The erasure and subsequent memorialization of indigenous peoples served the colonial goal of refuting Indian claims to land and rights and became a primary means by which European Americans asserted their own ‘modernity’ while denying it to putatively ‘primitive’ Indian peoples” (Kauanui 134). The natives were further marginalized as legislation passed later on led to more removal of natives. For example, “ the eastern Cherokee’s catastrophic ‘Trail of Tears,’ one of many comparable 1830s removals whereby Indians from the South East were displaced west of the Mississippi to make way for the development of the slave-plantation economy in the Deep South” (Wolfe 391). Overall, the racialization of natives for colonial benefits is best summarized by the “logic of elimination”, where colonists removed or assimilated natives in order to gain land which could then be used for …show more content…
Since racialization involves ideologies that affect the social representation of these people, African Americans and natives were subject to being represented as inferior people. This perception of inferiority affected how they were treated in the long term as the hegemonic thinking that they are inferior established a thick “ceiling” in terms of the social ladder. Thus, the need for land and labor resulted in social inequalities. For example, slaves did not have the right to vote nor property and natives lost their culture due to the elimination and assimilation of native people. Consequently, the marginalization of people affected social structures, such as laws, which placed economic restrictions on African Americans and natives. For example, even after slavery was abolished, former slaves could not leave plantations since they had no money, so they had to work which actually incurred debt, forcing a slavery like system to revive. Overall, settler colonialism led to the need for land and labor which was acquired by the racialization and exploitation of people, such as African Americans and native

Related Documents