The Golden Door

1298 Words 6 Pages
The United States has always been known as the land of the free, where opportunity is available to anyone. However, throughout our country 's history, these principles the nation built upon have not always been upheld. The country 's “golden door” has remained open to those seeking better opportunities, but for those already living in the United States, the door was closed. Many groups of Americans have been oppressed, and not given the equal access to the liberties they were entitled. Following the Civil War, African Americans, women, and Native Americans have not had the same rights as affluent white men.

The Civil War fragmented the country, and following the victory of the union, African Americans were freed. The Emancipation Proclamation
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Congress however left out Native Americans from being covered by this bill, and they were not entitled to equal rights. During the 1860s, the United States began to expand to the west, and create the new frontier. Upon beginning the expansion to the west, most Americans were inclined to let the Native Americans remain on the Great Plains. Soon after, the discovery was made that the land owned by the Native Americans held many riches. The plains could sustain ranching, and agriculture, and valuable minerals were hidden in the mountains. During this time, war was waged on the Native Americans to capture their land, and they were given smaller reservations with less fertile resources. The Native Americans were viewed as savages, and the expansion of American industry was regarded more important than an ancient way of life. The Native American people’s way of life had been destroyed by expanding industry and railroad through the west. The forced relocation onto reservations created a struggle to preserve their traditions and culture. Not only were they forced from their land, the Native Americans were forced to abandon their culture and adopt new ways of life. The new lives they were forced into on reservations were harsh. Reservations were plagued with illness, alcoholism, and high unemployment. The population of Native Americans by 1900 had become lower than 250,000. Overall the Native Americans were treated like savages, they had their land stolen, and they were forced into a culture with no opportunity, which destroyed

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