The political process of the United States and the historical progress that led to the present day America took place even before the civil war of the European nations. The major focus of the political and historical process centered on the various commitments of workers, immigrants, who came from other countries, and people of the different races and perspectives. The immigration of other nationalists into America provided a greater shaping of the political system in the United States. In particular, the 1965 immigration act was the main reason for the massive immigration and allowed unprecedented numbers of people from various countries to enter the United States.
Some of the immigrants included immigrants from Mexico, Asia, and Latin America. Different immigrants from all over the world, as well as particular groups of population, helped in the shaping of the cultural characteristics, economy, and demographic sectors of the American nation. Thus, the paper seeks to define the concept of agency as well as how the concept asserts a sense of agency among the American Indians, freed and enslaved blacks, poorer Whites, and women living in Spain, the USA, Britain, and France from 1500 to 1800.
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Concept of Agency
The idea of agency depends heavily on the ability of individuals to behave according to their free will and make independent choices with no coercion. Ethnicity, gender, social class, and religion are some of the factors that determine an agent’s decision. History defines any individual who can think as the one having the ability of an agent. However, social factors that are in play dictate the choices made by individuals. The concept of agency explains that every agent is authorized to act on behalf of their principals. The agents involved are also allowed to create legal relationships with certain other parties and behave independently. The agent and principals should not necessarily have an agreement in writing.
The agency of the American Indians lasted in the period between 1820 and 1853. The government of the United States led to the establishment of an Indian Agency that was regarded as military property. The person of the agency was an Indian agent who had been appointed by the United States president to act as an ambassador to the American nations that were Indian in the region. The agents had the power to listen, say, and act on behalf of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs within the communities, which were American and Indian based (“The U.S. Indian Agency”).
The United States government established the Indian agencies as a strategic plan that would ensure that the United States and American Indian Nations control the trade. In 1806, the federal office of the superintendent was created. It had to precisely monitor, control, and oversee the economic activities between the American Indian nations and the USA. Later in 1824, a bureau was established to manage the Indian affairs replacing the Indian trading office (“The U.S. Indian Agency”). The Indian bureau was responsible for settling disputes arising between the European Americans and the Native Americans while, at the same time, appropriating Congress funds to fund agents based in the American Indian regions.
Agents were supposed to report all the violations of law to the Bureau superintendents. The violations could either trade violations or even other laws of the United States. The era of agencies, however, collapsed in the late 1800’s as most agents moved to new reservations leading to the close down of agencies.
Free and Enslaved Blacks
The African Americans in the United States are believed to have emanated from African people, who came to America as a result of captivity in the form of slavery. Americans did not regard Africans as agents of their lives; they were either free or enslaved nationalists. The world had, therefore, imposed a notion that non-African forces should be the sole controllers of Africa. This tendency was the major reason the Americans in the early 1800’s dominated all aspects of the African individuals and considered themselves superior to them. The enslaved blacks were forced to work for the Americans while, at the same time, receiving torture from their masters and the American societies.
The lack of understanding that they could become agents of their free will was the main reason that led the American domination. The free slaves also could not live freely as the neighboring American societies despised them and regarded them as useless. The industrialization era came with the further erosion of the free and enslaved culture of the black people, and it led to more loss of the agency aspect. Despite the small bits of the African culture that remained, agency was not among the things that survived the erosion. The denial of African’s free right of expression is the primary reason for the cause of slavery in the United States.
There was a significant change in women roles in the period between 1500 and 1800 in the United States. The transformations were fueled by the evolution in attitudes and the shifts in the social classes with a significantly large group moving to join the middle class. The American nation started regarding women not only as functional beings but also sentimental and ornamental humans. The developing surplus of women in the United States ignited the change of view perspectives of the nation.
With the amplification of the women in the society, colonial women during the tenure represented active agents, and they greatly participated in the domestic economy. At the same time, women occupied a limited role in the American economy for the greater part of the 16th century. The activities of women included the participation in rural household chores, and individual farming. The Americans had, however, not considered that the woman’s role was critical for the proper functioning of the nation.
Agency in French Dealings
The French held an underground war with Great Britain from the period of 1793 to 1802. British agents, however, sought to exploit the French by sending their agents to Paris and gathering information from French agents. Britain wanted to defeat France in the war and, therefore, was willing to do anything at any cost. France, however, was not defeated as it proved to be more superior to Britain, as even with ground agents Britain was not able to defeat the French army. Later, the British and French agents united forces to assist the Irish country from collapsing and gaining independence. The French were acting in their capacity to defend both their nation and their territory while, at the same time, showing their military capabilities. This actions were out of agency thinking and not merely actions.
The immigrants that were from various origins, as well as the Native Americans and women, significantly influenced the United States historical and political background. They led to a significant change in the political sphere, social structure, and cultural activities of the United States. The agency concept explains that human beings act out of their free will with no coercion but dependency from the principal. Different groups have applied the agency concept to achieve different goals while others, such as African Americans, failed to use it during the slavery period. It is, therefore, quite clear that without agency concept the world would not only be ripped apart but totally broken.
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