Africans first came to the American colonies as slaves. By 1680, they were crucial to Virginia tobacco planters. Since most people thought that Africans were not Christians, they were looked down upon. According to the Encarta Online Encyclopedia, white people who wanted slavery said that African Americans were “biologically inferior” They also thought that white people should rule over black people. Most white people considered black people as second-class. It was socially acceptable for white people to be racist towards African Americans until the late 1950’s and early 1960’s when the Civil Rights Movement took place.
Around the time of the American Revolution, thousands of immigrants from Scotland and France came to America. This worried the American citizens, who began to restrict the number of immigrants who could enter the country. Congress passed a law in 1790 declaring that immigrants had to live in America for two years before they could become a citizen.
Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, some American citizens wanted to rescind the government’s ability to give the rights of American citizens to new immigrants. They wanted all African Americans to be sent out of the country. Other citizens, such as Benjamin Franklin, thought that German people could never adjust to American ways because their culture was so different.