Descriminationn Against Irish-American Immigrants and Native Americans
Racism is a problem with roots reaching as far back as biblical times, and it is questionable as to whether or not racial discrimination will ever vanish. Many different groups of people have been subject to racism over time. Two historical examples of people who were discriminated against because of their nationality are Native Americans and Irish-American immigrants. Although the situations they faced are not quite identical, they have an abundance of similarities. The Native Americans and the Irish citizens who immigrated to the United States suffered a similar plight in the sense that both peoples were persecuted for their cultural differences as well as exiled from their own homelands.
Before all others, varying tribes of Native Americans inhabited North America. The eleventh-century Norse seaman Leif Eriksson glimpsed very small portions of the continent, yet his discoveries never became public knowledge.(Brinkley, 8) It was not until Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of North America that Europeans began to develop an interest in the so-called New World. British, French, and Spanish colonies sprouted up along the eastern coast of America soon after Columbus’s expedition. Once the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain and formed the United States of America in 1776, the westward expansion of the white settlers inflated tremendously. This intrusion upon the lands of the Native Americans produced many conflicts between the two groups.
The Americans began to repeatedly intrude upon Native American property, and force the Indians off of their rightfully owned land. One person who is often associated with the poor treatment of the Native Americans is Andrew Jackson. A wealthy planter and general in the Tennessee state militia, “Jackson’s fortunes, both economic and political, were tied to what happened to the Indians.“(Brinkley, 84) Jackson led his troops of the Tennessee militia against the Creek Indians in the Battle of Horse Shoe Bend on March 27, 1814. In this bloody encounter, Jackson’s forces slaughtered nearly eight hundred Indians, including many women and children. “His soldiers made bridle reins from strips of skin taken from the corpses; they also cut off the tip of each dead Indian’s nose for body count.“(Brinkley, 85) The Creeks were forced westward, off their homelands, and Jackson won a commission as major general in the United States Army.(Brinkley, 212)
Andrew Jackson fueled his troops by describing the Native Americans as “savage bloodhounds” and “blood thirsty barbarians.”(Brinkley, 212) The General made every attempt to depict the Indians as the enemy, who should be suppressed for the benefit of the white man. After the triumph at Horse Shoe Bend, Jackson told his troops:
The fiends of the Tallapoosa will no longer murder our women and children, or disturb the quiet of our borders . . . . They have...