When we pivot the center to the experiences of diverse groups of actors in American history, we can pull away from a narrative driven by events such as the Civil War and instead focus on people. In the set of chapters you have read this week, Takaki calls this period “Contradictions” to emphasize how the bargain that was struck to pass the constitution embedded slavery not just in the South, but in the fabric of the country. Seeing this period as one dominated by conflict between the North and the South that will lead to Civil War overlooks how far race and slavery extended into the changing U.S., driving western settlement and the appropriation of Native lands, helping to fuel the Market Revolution, and showing immigrants from the East and West where their place in the American racial order would be.

In your first post for the discussion, draw on course resources (readings, videos, and document problems) to answer the following questions in a substantial (1-2 paragraph) response by Thursday night at 11:59pm. Return to the forum to make at least two substantial follow up posts by Sunday night at 11:59pm. You should use parenthetical citations to indicate when you are referring to a course resource i.e. (Takaki, 99)

How did the growth of slavery affect the identities of the groups covered in this week’s module (women, Native Americans, Irish immigrants, Chinese Immigrants, Mexicans, and African Americans)? Did it create conflict or coalitions between any of these groups? How did racial slavery impact how newcomers to the United States found their place in a revised racial hierarchy?

How did the growth of slavery affect the identities of the groups?