Relevance of the research topic
At present, it is quite difficult to find a state in the world that would be completely homogeneous in its ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic composition.
When considering race and ethnic relations and the situation of national groups, the United States of America deserves special attention, since, first of all, the country is a diversity of different peoples, races, cultures, traditions and customs. We are talking about the experience of state regulation of interethnic relations, about legal support for the extension of civil rights to all residents of the state, regardless of their ethnic and religious affiliation. The United States is one of the most ethnically heterogeneous national communities that has managed to establish, although far from ideal, a relatively stable and democratic political system in a multi-ethnic context. First of all, it is a country with a unique population structure. It contains: an autochthonous component -Indian tribes, Aleuts and Hawaiians, the main “core”, which conventionally unites immigrants from Great Britain and immigrants from Western and Northern Europe, and” new immigration ” – mainly descendants of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as a large number of African Americans. At the same time, an important feature of the American legislation on civil rights is that by providing all American citizens with equal rights, it does not assign them any special rights as representatives of a particular group of the population. Moreover, the legislative consolidation of group rights is considered by American constitutional law as a violation of anti-discrimination norms.
The most important element of the American ethnic model was the administrative and legal mechanism of regulation in the field of racial and ethnic relations, which was born literally in the fire of social battles, under the pressure of mass movements and demands. Thus, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was widely used to protect the rights of minorities, and the most important result of this amendment was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Representatives of racial and ethnic groups won their civil rights and anti-discrimination guarantees in the course of mass organized struggle. The depth of the socio-political crisis caused by this struggle contributed to a broad public awareness of the need to create an effective State-legal mechanism to ensure the rights of representatives of racial and ethnic groups, the main purpose of which was to prevent further explosive exacerbation of inter-racial and inter-ethnic problems and conflicts.
Its main components are:
First of all, the immigration legislation, which acquired its main features in 1965 after the adoption of a new law that amended the principle of “selection” of immigrants: the gradual abolition of the racial-national principle of their selection was proclaimed – all countries and nations were given equal shares, but they should not exceed 20 thousand annually from each country. A distinctive feature of this law was that the closest relatives of US citizens living abroad, scientists, doctors, representatives of “scarce” specialties, including skilled workers and even agricultural workers, the need for which was felt in some areas, took advantage of admission to the United States. For the first time in the history of the United States, restrictions were imposed on the entry of immigrants from Latin American countries.
Second, civil rights laws aimed at ensuring constitutionally protected equality of rights of citizens regardless of their racial, ethnic origin, gender and religion. The legal basis of this system is a number of presidential decrees adopted since the 1940s, in particular, Decree No. 11246 (1965)3, as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination in employment and education on the basis of race, gender, religious beliefs and ethnic origin.
It is important to emphasize that laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of national origin classify discrimination based on a particular person’s place of birth, origin, culture or language as illegal.4 This means that people cannot be denied equal opportunities because they, or their family, are from another country, because their name or accent indicates that they belong to a group of a certain national origin, because they have certain customs that indicate that they belong, or because they are married or related to persons belonging to a group of a certain national origin.
A separate part of the US legislation is the policy towards the Indian population, which has taken quite complex and ambiguous forms at various stages of history. Despite all the complexity, the American government managed to resolve this issue by passing certain legislative acts. So, on June 28, 1973, the Congress adopted resolution No. 37, which defined specific areas of activity of the federal government.
3 The US political system. Actual measurements. M. Nauka, 2000. 0,212.
4 Civil Rights Journal. Washington. Winter 2002. P. 13. Governments in the Indian question: a) restoration of the status of the terminated communities and confirmation of Indian sovereignty; b) strengthening of the economic foundations of community self-government; c) guaranteeing the freedom of traditional worship. 5 years later, July 18, 1978 Congress passes joint Resolution No. 738, which guarantees the Indians the opportunity to practice their beliefs, ” to have and use the so-called holy places,” but with the significant caveat that this will not harm the environment and “will not violate laws issued in the interests of the whole society.”
Third, the establishment of government committees dealing with the settlement of conflict situations arising on the basis of racial and ethnic hostility, as well as their interaction with various public ethnic organizations.
Of course, each country with a multi-ethnic population has its own specific problems and ways to resolve them, but the fact remains indisputable that the experience of other countries and peoples in this area is of great scientific and practical importance.
The relevance of this dissertation research is also determined by the degree of scientific development of the problem.
The degree of scientific development of the problem of ethnopolitical processes and the situation of ethnic groups in the United States is still not high enough in Russia. This is primarily due to the lack of objective information about the scientific schools of the United States in the USSR for many decades, as well as in different scientific approaches to understanding the term national minority.
An important step on the way to familiarizing with foreign experience was the Institute of the USA and Canada, opened at the Academy of Sciences, the American
The Center at the Library of Foreign Literature, as well as thematic scientific conferences, “round tables” and symposia1.
In addition, more and more scientific research is being produced on issues of national and racial relations in the United States2.
When conducting research work on the chosen topic, the dissertator relied not only on works and scientific research
* 5 contemporary American authors on this issue, but the works published in Russia also provided great help. In particular, the research conducted by the Department of National and Federal Relations of the Russian Presidential Academy of Public Service under the President of the Russian Federation is an important contribution to the scientific development of problems of national relations, national politics and the situation of ethnic groups.4
The practical basis of the dissertation was made up of the works of domestic authors5, whose works address the following issues:
1 One America in the 21st century: Forging a new future: The Advisory Board rep. to the President/ The President’s Initiative on Race. Wash. 1999.
Civil Rights Journal. Washington. Winter 2002; Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America. Vol.1. Gale research Inc. 1995. P.XXI, XXII; Washington Information Directory 2000 – 2001. CQ Press. A division of congressional Quarterly Inc. Washington D.C., 2000; Minority business development act.
Hearings. H.R. 100th Congr. Wash., 1988; US Political System. Actual measurements. – M.: Nauka, 2000. p. 272;
3 George Washington. Writings. Ed. by H. Lodge. N.Y., 1904, v. 8; The Works of Alexander Hamilton. Ed. by H. Lodge. N.Y., 1904, v.8; B.M. Solomon. Ancestors and Immigrants. Cambridge, 1956;;F.S. Cohen. Handbook of Federal Indian Law, Wash., 1945, p. VIII; Handlin O. Race and nationality in American life. – Englewood Gliffs, 1957; Dinnerstein L., Reimers D.M. Ethnic Americans: a history of immigration and assimilation. — New York; Gordon M.M. Assimilation in America: the theory and reality// The ethnic factor in American politics.- Columbus, 1970; The New York Times. 27.02.2001; Heilbrun J. Urban economics and public policy. N.Y., 1981.
4 See: Questions of National and Federal Relations, Vol. 1-V. M.: RAGS Publishing House, 1995-2001
5 Shlepakov A. N. Ethnonational groups of the USA. In the book. “National minorities and immigrants in the modern capitalist world”. Kiev, 1984, part 2, sec.1.; V. V. Sogrin. USA in the XX century. Trends and results of socio-historical development. “USA and Canada”, 1999, No. 9; I. P. Dementiev. Ideological struggle in the United States on issues of expansion. – M., 1973; I. Geevsky, N. Setunsky. American mosaic. – M., 1991; Pittman J. The United States is a country of racial and economic, social, and political status of ethnic groups, including the indigenous population of the United States, taking into account their state, legislative regulation, and authorization.