Red de Desarrollo Social de América Latina y el Caribe
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The Historical Construction of Race and Citizenship in the United States


Autor institucional : UNRISD
Autor/Autores: George Fredrickson
Fecha de publicación: Octubre 2003
Alcance geográfico: Nacional
Publicado en: Suiza
Descargar: Descargar PDF
Resumen: This paper reviews how race has been socially constructed in the United States since the founding of the republic, and how conceptions of racial difference and inequality have affected, and been affected by, prevailing views of citizenship and American national identity. The American Revolution appealed to universalistic conceptions of human rights deriving from the Enlightenment. But the Constitution of 1789 authorized exclusions from citizenship resulting from the enslavement of people of African descent and the consignment of conquered indigenous peoples to a dependent status. The Naturalization Law of 1790 made a colour bar explicit when it limited the right of naturalization to “free white person[s]”. In the 1820s and 1830s, suffrage was extended to all white males, but was taken away from some free blacks who had previously been granted the right to vote.



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