Státní maturita – MINORITIES
ETHNIC MINORITIES IN ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES
In the 17th and mainly in 18th century Great Britain had dominance on the sea and became the main colonial power. It had control over the Caribbean (pirates plundered Spanish merchant ships), established important ports in North America (Boston, NY), expanded in the Pacific. It established colonies there. The British had contact with different cultures, ethnics and indigenous (domorodci) people. The call for working power on plantations increased and slave trade was growing. It was the first step in formation of English speaking minorities.
They lived in harmony with nature, in different living conditions. They had their own culture (art, spirituality, social strategies and habits, clothing end dwelling/obydlí, aeting habits, weapons/zbraně etc.). They had respect to ancestors (předci) and all living beings (animistic belief in spirits).
The European settlement was deadly for them. Epidemic diseases (flu, measles, smallpox) killed thousands of them all over the world. The indigenous population was pushed into the position of a minority. The white people looked down on them and treated with them like they were worse. There was huge social gap between them (poor living standards, low education, problems with alcohol and criminality).
They were hunters and fishermen (they used spears/kopí, bows and arrows, variety of traps/pasti). In the south (southwest) women cultivated a variety of crops (maize/kukuřice, beans). They lived in pueblos or wigwams. Nomadic tribes of Great Plains usually lived in teepees. They spread quickly all over the continent after the horses were introduced there by Spanish settlers.
Lots of them died because of epidemic diseases. They became involved in fur trade (obchod s kožešinami). In the late 18th century they played an important role in French-British conflict on Canadian frontier. In the first half of the 19th century territorial expansion brought the first major problems. U. S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act (1830) and Indians had to remove from fertile land along the Mississippi. After the Civil War the problem grew bigger. There were transcontinental railroads (železnice), it increased pressures (tlaky) on western tribes (especially Siouxes). At that time first Indian reservations were established. The government took huge parts of Indian territories (they were really important for especially nomadic tribes hunting for buffalos/bizoni). There were many Indian Wars because of that (most famous was the Wounded Knee Massacre of Sioux tribe).
Contemporary Native Americans (1 % of total population) have a unique relationship with the USA. They are independent from the U.S. government. They organize huge gathering (akce), practice their traditional rituals, they can kill eagles (it is an important symbol of spiritual life). But most of them try to assimilate (přizpůsobit se) with the majority society.
They were hunters and fishermen. They hunted big sea mammals (whales/velryby, seals/tuleni, and walruses/mroži). Some of them also hunted deer (jeleni, mainly caribou or moose). They were perfectly adapted to their enviroment. They had many strategies to survive in the arctic climate. The lived in igloos and used dog sledge to transport their catch (úlovky). They had kayaks and harpoons. They also invented a sort of sunglasses against snow blindness. They had to use what they had. They did not have a lot of wood. They had to eat raw meat (syrové maso) and use bones and skin as the main materials. Bones were used to make tools (like hatchets/sekery, huge knives for chopping ice-blocks, harpoon heads, or fishing lines and hooks/háčky, used as parts of skeleton for kayaks). They used sealskin/tulení kůže (elastic and waterproof), fur (polar bears, foxes/lišky) was used for some parts of clothing. They lived in arctic and subarctic areas in Canada and Alaska.
ABORIGINES AND MAORIS
The Aborigines were original inhabitants in Australia. They arrived there 50 000 years ago. They were hunters and gatherers (sběrači). They made their tools and weapons from wood and stone. They were not farmers (they do not have plants suitable for cultivation and animals for domestication). The best known type of their weapons was boomerang (makes hunting for small birds). Their small family clans (15 – 30 people) kept moving across their territories as seasons changed to get enough food. Men used to catch birds, kangaroos, snakes, crocodiles. Women with children used to dig (kopat) for roots (kořeny), pick fruit and berries (bobule), and collected caterpillars (housenky), ants (mravenci), eggs and even honey. They were divided into about 250 different nations and tribes that spoke different languages. They were named after their totemic animal (ancestor, gran forefather) which was their main hero of myths and linked them with the spiritual world, called the Dreamtime. The Dreamtime and its story telling played a key role in their days. Corroboree was the main ritual festival, it was based on dancing, singing songs and playing the didgeridoo (long pipe from eukalyptus tree, special sound). They believed in spirits of the landscapes (Uluru, Alice Springs – considered sacre among all tribes).
Today there are about 400 000 Aborigines. They have all basic rights (including the right to vote). Most of them work as a cheap labour. They are poor and live in Northern Territory. They have sexual offences (trestné činy) – child abuse (zneužívání).
The Maori came from Polynesia to New Zealand. They settled islands in the Pacific in the 12th century. They used to live in village communities of 300 – 400 people. They ate fish, shellfish (měkkýši), birds from the forests. They developed simple farming, the most important crop was taro similar to potatoes. Later they were craftsmen (fine wood carving). Mokko tattoos (part of person´s identity). White people were respected because of their knowledge in technology. Maori were interested in firearms (střelné zbraně). They helped to promote British interests and thanks to it Maori had their rights and autonomy. But it was not fair to them, they lost almost all of their land after New Zealand wars.
The Maori form about 14 % of population today. They lived in cities as low–class people uprooted from their culture (they had alcoholic, drugs, criminality problems). Their haka warrior dance is performed by rugby players to scare the opponent.
Africans first arrived in 1619 (Dutch ship sold 19 blacks to Englishmen at Jamestown). The Africans became slavers (Massachusetts was the first colony to legalize slavery in 1641). Most of them came from the West African Coast (the way to America was much shorter). There was slave market (prisoners of wars between African kingdoms and tribes were used as slaves or sold into slavery). Slave trade in Africa expanded quickly. Most of them went to the Caribbean where they died quickly. Only 3 % went to the American colonies where conditions were much better (milder climate with less disease, more food, and work not as hard as in sugar fields).
SLAVES IN COLONIES
All the American colonies had slavery but it was form of personal servants in the North (sluha, 2 % slaves) and field hands in plantations in the South (25 % slaves). There were slaves for life and there were children of slave mothers. They could be sold or freed. The free black population lived in port cities along the Atlantic coast. The slaves in the cities had many more privileges. Most of the slaves lived on southern tobacco or rice plantations (groups of 20). They had some legal rights (to kill a slave) but they were often treated like animals and punished a lot. They could not easily escape and they did not get any money. They were put together with people of different religious and language, they could not own and play drums and so on because the plantation owners were afraid of possible rebellions. Later the slaves developer their own family system, religion and customs (African tradition, British christian culture, English language).
The U.S. Consitution declared that all men were born free and equal. But black people could not vote, they were excluded (vyloučeni) from public schools and so on. During the American Revolution there was idea that slavery should be abolished and it became widespread in the Northern states. On the other hand farmers in the Deep South established new cotton plantations and it increased the demand for imported slave labour. The gap between attitudes to slavery in the North and the South began to cause problems.
FIGHT FOR EQUALITY
In 1863 A. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which made slaves in the southern states free (Civil war). The slavery was abolished. African Americans had the right to vote (just men) and they were given full U.S. citizenship, they could be elected to the Congress and local offices. But in the South it did not change a lot. They were separated from white people and so on. In the 20th century people tried to fight for rights for black people. One of them was Martin Luther King. He delivered his historic I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He tried to put pressure on government to ban discrimination. The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964. In 2008 Barrack Obama became the first black president, he was elected as the 44th President of the USA. His inauguration speech took place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
In our country we have two main minorities – the Vietnamese people and the Romanies.
THE VITNAMIES PEOPLE
They came to the Czech republic during the communist era to study and later they set up the business to fill some gaps in market. Nowadays they have a lot of shops, they became often rich. They are hard-working – it is in their character. They send money to their families.
They came from Asia, in the past they moved a lot but during the communist era they were forced to settle down. Most of them will not adapt to our society, the criminality is higher around them. Some of them do not want to study so there is unemployment.
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