In the first half of the 19th Century, a number of groups within the United States struggled to assert their rights. In the case of both Native Americans and African Americans, the obstacles to full inclusion in the U.S. polity, economy, and society gave a special importance to the articulation of a unique identity distinct from the dominant white culture. However, it also meant that these groups would need to assert their identity as American in order to claim equal rights. Attempts to improve or escape the condition of bondage/exclusion were complicated by the fact that they encountered a range of attitudes from the white people they encountered.
Discuss the ways in which these two groups were denied rights and freedom yet sought as much control as possible in any relevant primary sources from Sources, Vicki Rozema’s Voices from the Trail of Tears and Frederick Douglas’ Narrative of the Life of an American Slave.
Remember to consider the different circumstances of their marginalized conditions.
The sources are below: