Prevalence[ edit ] In the political philosophy of multiculturalism, ideas are focused on the ways in which societies are either believed to or should, respond to cultural and religious differences. It is often associated with "identity politics", "the politics of difference", and "the politics of recognition". It is also a matter of economic interests and political power.
Sometimes the juxtaposition of religious groups created conflict, as when Spanish settlers sought to impose Roman Catholicism on the Pueblos in the Southwest, leading to the Pueblo uprising ofseventy years after the founding of Santa Fe as the first European capital city in North America.
At other times, religious groups have accommodated to one another, as in the Middle Colonies, where rampant ethnic and religious diversity forced various groups to find some way to coexist. New Netherland provides a particularly graphic example.
In Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian navigator in the service of France, discovered the inlet to what is now New York harbor through the Narrows that now bears his name. Hudson failed in his search for a northwest passage to Asia, but he opened the way for immigration.
The first group of settlers to disembark Accepting cultural diversity in todays america essay Manhattan were Walloons, French-speaking Belgians, followed soon thereafter by a modest influx of Dutch, Germans, and French.
The English Conquest of New Netherland a decade later further added to the diversity of the colony renamed in honor of the Duke of York, and English attempts to tame some of the religious and ethnic diversity of their new colony met with considerable resistance.
In contrast with most of New England, where the Puritans sought to impose religious uniformity, other colonies in the Middle Atlantic were also characterized by pluralism. Further south, the Swedes, flush from their crucial engagement in the Thirty Years War, sought to establish a beachhead in the New World with settlements along the Delaware River, settlements that yielded to Dutch rule in and then to the English nine years later.
Williams, a Puritan minister who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts, inquickly ran afoul of the Puritan ministers because he recognized the dangers to the faith of too close an association between religion and the state. The notion of disestablishment, the absence of a state religion, was utterly unprecedented in England and Europe, but New York had been functioning for decades with de facto disestablishment, proving that religious pluralism posed no threat to the secular order and that government could function without the backing of a particular religion.
The absence of an established religion means that all religious groups are free to compete in this marketplace, and to extend the economic metaphor American history is littered with examples of religious entrepreneurs who have competed for a market share.
This system in theory, at least disadvantages no one, so all religious groups, regardless of their historical or ethnic origins or their theological inclinations, are free to compete in that marketplace.
The Crucible of Pluralism Americans, however, have not always welcomed religious newcomers with open arms.
The immigration of the Irish, following the Potato Famines in the Old World, met with resistance from American Protestants, who wanted to retain their hegemony.
Religious diversity not only had an ethnic valence, it was racial as well. Many Africans, who were brought forcibly to the New World as slaves, adopted the Christianity so-called of their captors. But others sought, against formidable odds, to retain vestiges of their ancestral religions; more often than not, those expressions manifested themselves in enthusiastic worship.
African-Americans also sought independence from white churches, finding at least a measure or institutional autonomy in such organizations as the African Methodist Episcopal Churchthe African Episcopal Methodist Zion Churchand, later, in the Moorish Science Temple of America and the Nation of Islam.
African American Religion, Pt. To the Civil War Asians began to arrive late in the nineteenth century, many to the West Coast to help with the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The numbers of immigrants prompted the Chinese Exclusion Act ofand other Asians also met with resistance.
Living Up to American Ideals The movement for civil rights in the s and s paved the way for a greater acceptance of religious diversity, not only for African-Americans but for other Americans as well.
Jews, who had their own struggles for acceptance following their immigration to the United States in the nineteenth century see also: Antisemitism and Assimilationjoined the civil rights movement, and Native Americans also began to assert their religious and ancestral identities, as with the occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay and Wounded Knee, South Dakota, site of one most brutal massacres of Sioux Indians at the hands of the United States Cavalry in When President Lyndon B.
Johnson signed the Hart-Cellar Immigration Act in Julyimmigration quotas finally were removed. This opened the way for a new wave of immigrants, many from South Asia and Southeast Asia. As before, the newcomers met resistance. Guiding Student Discussion American history generally—and American religious history in particular—tends to be presented through the lens of New England, especially in the colonial era.
The story of how these groups learned to live together provides a rich contrast to New England, where the Puritans sought—unsuccessfully—to impose religious uniformity.
This translates, in turn, to the formation of the new nation. The founders adapted the ideas of Roger Williams, a Puritan dissident and founder of the Baptist tradition in America, along with the experience of religious diversity in the Middle Colonies to provide for freedom of religious expression and no state church, as encoded in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
The First Amendment itself, much debated throughout American history and especially in recent years, is worthy of examination and discussion, emphasizing that this notion of a government that was not buttressed by a state religion was utterly unprecedented in the eighteenth century.
The First Amendment provided, in effect, a free marketplace of religion unimpeded by the state, thereby allowing a rich variety of religious groups to flourish.
One suggestion would be to study both New England and the Middle Colonies and then ask students which region more nearly anticipated the contours of American society. Another exercise would be to read the Flushing Remonstrance ofwhen the citizens of Flushing, New Netherland now New Yorkprotested against the attempts of Pieter Stuyvesant, director-general of the West India Company and governor of the colony, to prohibit Quaker worship.
The Flushing Remonstrance is often cited as the first expression of religious freedom in America, and it is notable that none of the thirty-one signatories was himself a Quaker. The story of religious diversity in the nineteenth century is tied inextricably to immigration. The arrival of non-Protestant immigrants, especially Roman Catholics and Jews, threatened Protestant hegemony; many Protestants resisted.
A good topic for discussion here might be what role the cities played in bringing about religious accommodation. With the massive urbanization of American society late in the nineteenth century, various religious and ethnic groups—Jews from Germany and Eastern Europe, Roman Catholics from Ireland and Italy—were thrown together into the cauldron of urban life.
Despite inevitable differences and conflict, these groups eventually learned to coexist in the cities. The twentieth century saw the spectrum of religious diversity expand even further, from Protestants, Catholics, and Jews to a wide range of Asian religions:Essay on Cultural Diversity!
Cultures change and cultural diversity is created, maintained and lost over time. Social learning and choosing, acquiring and assimilating and rejecting information and knowledge is a necessary aspect of the formation of cultural repertoire.
Apr 26, · Creative life may be flourishing in widely different ways across Europe, but the most common cultural link across the region now is a devotion to American popular culture . Understanding and Celebrating Cultural Diversity in America ` Many people mistakenly use phrases such as “American culture,” “white culture,” or Western culture,” as if such large, common, and homogenous cultures exist in the United States today.
The Importance of Cultural Diversity in Health Care Posted by Meredith King on September 25, As America undergoes health care reform, it’s important to consider what “universal access” means in a country undergoing significant demographic change.
Successful performance in today's diverse workforce requires sensitivity to human differences and the ability to relate to people from different cultural backgrounds. Mar 13, · Cultural Diversity Essay. Addressing Cultural Diversity in the Classroom.
Words | 16 Pages. Cultural Diversity in America: Examination of African Americans and Asian Americans Many ethnic groups reside and persist in America. strong, and accepting society. Today, the nursing field is one of the few .