Construction Of Race In Early America

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Early America consisted of the native Indians and of European colonists who didn’t see eye to eye in their everyday lifestyles. The natives were fairly welcoming to the colonists, while the colonists felt superior to the natives and were looking for expansion. Tension grew between both sides as the colonizers wanted to take and settle on the land that had been the Indians for many years. Takaki shows how the idea of race became constructed through these tensions; additionally, he uses the play, The Tempest, as a literary tool to express the beliefs by Brittan at the time. The British showed discrimination throughout history towards the Irish, for they treated them in an extremely mean manner. The English colonizers thought of them as sluggish people, who were criminals, and formed a two-tiered social structure; in addition they were prevented from purchasing land, bear office and could not marry other colonizers (Takaki 27). Altjough race was not the deciding factor for this discrimination, the English showed they felt superior to another group. The Irish were thought to be savages and this same type of thoughts was then directed toward Indians, for the first English colonizers in the New World found that the Indians reminded them of the Irish (29). However, with the Indians, race played a factor because they were of dark complexion unlike the Irish and the English wondered if they were different kinds of savages. The play, The Tempest, took place in the New World near Virginia which meant the savages referred to in the play were the Indians rather than the Irish, and the Indians were compared to Caliban in the play, while the British were compared to Prospero (29). The Indians were described as cruel and barbarous in the play; in addition in Nova Britannia they were described as “wild and savage people who were of tall stature, and of [black] swart
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