Americans’ Conceptualization of Citizenship before the Civil War and the Influences of Race and Region

A crisis of citizenship appeared to wrack the United States for a long period preceding the Civil War. From the naissance of the United States to a period before the beginning of Civil War, the significance of American citizenship has laid on denial of citizenship to the black race contained by its border. For a period during the 1850’s, there arose debate regarding citizenship and slavery for the blacks and the immigrants, as well as the rights applicable to these groups was intense (Samito 13). Hence, major controversies lay upon what citizenship meant and who compromised the American citizen. Competing impulses with influence from race and region of origin were responsible for heightening the crisis of citizenship. This research paper endeavors at exploring the means in which Americans conceptualized citizenship in the decades prior to the Civil War as well as how these conceptualizations perceived influence from race and region.