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The American West: Racial Turmoil

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"The American West: Racial Turmoil"

The Legacy of Conquest is an exceptionally written book about the West. This book does not sugar coat anything about how the west was. It gives new insight to topics that are rarely discussed because they are covered up by the Wild West comedies that Hollywood has made. Patricia Limerick goes into depth in many different subtopics of the west. She even shows how the west is still a lot like it was back when we were just expanding. She shines new light on areas that no one cares to look at. Her book gives us information about the dominant racial issues that existed in the West, which had not been looked at before.

Although racial issues are still dominant in parts of the country today, the west had and still has some of the most distinct. Race is not the only problem they had; religion played a part in promoting the racism. Not every sect of religion, mainly the Mormons in the west. The Mormons believed that the white race was superior to the black race based on their beliefs. They said that the reason black people were lower than themselves was because of being judged for "pre-existent" sin. They said that during a fight between God and Lucifer, black people stayed neutral. This is the reason they are black. The Mormons however, were not the only people causing racial intolerance. (Ch. 10)

Yet, this was just one little part of the huge racism that affected the American West. As Limerick puts it, there were people from every background. This included English, Irish, Cornish, Scottish, French, German, Portuguese, Scandinavian, Greek, and Russian. And, not to mention, the Indians and established Hispanic populations that were already set up. The question of which race was more inferior to the next came up. That is why all the Wild West movies and other historians just play up the whites vs. the Indians. By just putting two races in the mix, this made it easier than having to deal with multiple race issues. Therefore, Limerick introduced a new thought that no one had ever paid much attention to. (p260-261)

Chinese people were targeted as inferior also according

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