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Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 2,3, Free University of Berlin (John-F. Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien), course: Slavery and Race in the Period before the Civil War (1820-1860), language: English, abstract: Exactly 400 years ago, English settlers founded the first settlement called Jamestown near the Chesapeake Bay in the state that today is Virginia. The following four-hundred years were filled with battles for land, struggles for independence and the building of the myth of a new, promised land that held life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everybody.Many books have concerned themselves with the history of the United States of America, painting a glorious picture of a country which emerged to become one of the world's leading countries in less than 200 years after its foundation in 1789, when the first 13 states formed the United States of America.Historians work on writing books about great wars like the Civil War, about the great authors and artists that this so called 'New-Republic' produced, about the ups and downs in the economy and the promise of that new 'Virgin Land' which had been given to the Europeans to form a new, better country in which all men are considered equal and possess the same inalienable rights on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.Those books report about the flawed system of the American South, which was based on slavery and therefore on depriving a certain group of humans of just those promised rights. And they report about how the slaves were freed and integrated into the society over a century. They are mentioned as an integral part of this wonderful new country, which, after the civil War ended, managed to unify again into one, becoming today's world's most powerful country.Undoubtedly, minority problems are mentioned, there are the Jews, the Chinese-Americans, the Hispanics and all the other immigrant groups, which are constantly being discussed in the politics, the media, even at school. Programs are started, bilingual schools are offered and other efforts are made to include those people into the melting pot of infinite possibilities.But one race, that one which possesses the oldest rights to that land, because they have been there for centuries before the Europeans had even head or dreamed of this so-called 'New World', has constantly been ignored throughout history - the Native American people.
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