Date of Award

Fall 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

History, MA

Program

School of Arts and Humanities

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

JoAnna Poblete

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Joshua Goode

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2020 Andrew Ruben Rodriguez

Abstract

Different events in the nineteenth century have transformed America’s sociopolitical,

physical and cultural landscape and contributed to the formation of an American identity based on political liberty, a concept that revolved around the notion of freedom. The concept of slavery, which was opposite of liberty, would be a powerful force throughout American history. As Reverend John A. Ryan explained, liberty “consists mainly of the right to engage in an occupation, to make contracts, and to acquire property. From the beginning of our history as a nation, the constitutions of the various states protected this sphere of liberty for members of the Caucasian race.”1 It has been an inherent part of American history that those of lighter skin tones had social benefits that those with darker skins did not; this type of social structure based off race and color would be instilled into the American psyche and be a major component of American life and is a major concept in this paper.

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