Social Science, Education and Immigration Timeline
The history of the United States is marked by historical structures that have been continuously used through various generations as conveyor belts for transmitting social disparities and inequalities and maintaining the status quo. These conduits of social inequalities and status quo have a complex interconnection and work together to the disadvantage of immigrants and African Americans. These systems have incessantly sought to maintain a historical social equilibrium within the greater American society. Education, immigration and social science have been used interconnectedly to maintain this balance since the advent of slavery.
When the first public opened in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635, slavery was at its height as thousands of Africans arrived at American shores in crumped slave ships. Due to their sheer numbers, there was growing need for provision of education especially for their children. This saw the opening of the New York African Free School which admitted African American children. This growing need for education and the subsequent opening of such a school challenged the status quo which used the denial of education as a conduit for transmitting social inequality. The passing of the Immigration Act in 1819 alleviated the conditions in which the slaves reached American shores. It pushed for better ship conditions including the provision of adequate space and food. However, even with such strict conditions which were punishable by heavy penalties, more slaves arrived.
A significant number of states and individuals opposed the new education idea introduced in New York. States like North Carolina, like many Southern states, passed an 1830 law that sought to maintain the social equilibrium by the illegalizing provision of education to slaves. It was deemed that educated slaves would challenge the social order by revolting against the conduits the slave masters had historically used to transmit social inequalities. However, there was an increasing call for an end to slavery and provision of education and citizenship to slaves. The 1868 passing of the 14th Amendment was a landmark event in the United States history especially when it comes to slavery, social science and education. It declared all residents born in the country as citizens which allowed them access to important social services and civil rights such as education. With compulsory education for all citizens being declared in 1918 and the passing of the Immigration and Naturalization Act in 1924 Alien Registration Act in 1940, more education opportunities were availed to more immigrants and children of slaves. Further barriers were broken down during and after the Civil Rights Movement and the passing of laws such as the American Disabilities Act of 1990. But some of these gains have been rolled up following 2001 terrorist attacks which saw tightening of immigration laws and policies which affected many immigrant children as some were deported.
Understating the historical context of immigration, education and the social sciences helps in appreciating the various milestones that have been overcome especially by immigrants and African Americans. It also helps in mapping out future projections on the next frontline where conduits for transmitting social inequalities might emerge and how to deal with them. Immigration and education, like many social issues are faced with dynamic challenges which are continuously evolving. The American societies has historical evolved new ideas to tackle these emerging challenges. Understanding their history can offer insight on how we can tackle such emerging issues at the present and in future.