Models of American Multiculturalism: The 'Melting Pot' vs. 'Salad Bowl'

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Melting Pot:

A place where a variety of races, cultures, or individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole. (Webster)

Salad Bowl:

A place where cultures are juxtaposed, like salad ingredients, but do not merge into a single homogeneous culture. Each culture keeps its own distinct qualities.

The American 'Melting Pot':

The phrase metaphorically describes the absorption of immigrants in America. It was originally the title of a play by London-born Jewish immigrant writer and political activist Israel Zangwill.

The Native-American Crack:

By the 15th century A.D., it is estimated that 50 million people were already living in the Americas, 10 million of those in what became the United States. Between 1778, when the first treaty was made with the Delawares, to 1872, when Congress ended the treaty-making period, the United States Senate ratified 370 treaties. At the beginning of the 1830s, nearly 125,000 Native Americans lived on millions of acres of land in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida - land their ancestors had occupied and cultivated for generations. By the end of the decade, very few natives remained anywhere in the southeastern United States. The Indian Removal Act, which authorized a plan to appropriate 25 million acres of land in the southeast owned by Native Americans, was passed by Congress in 1830 when Andrew Jackson was president. The act involved the appropriation of their Indian land and the segregation of Native Americans onto poor land. In 1838, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the 'Trail of Tears' because of its devastating effects. The migrants faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. Over 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokee died.

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