How the State Of California Once Tried To Ban African Americans

State of California

In 1849 when Peter Burnett took the stage in the city of Sacramento, he was facing a group of individuals who shared the same school of thought and ideas as him. These were men who had the determination to take the Golden state from an upstart territory to a state that was entirely fledged. Mr. Burnett had been elected the first person to hold the office of the Governor of California just a day earlier.

As the governor addresses his fellow lawmakers, he brought forward the issue regarding African Americans in the future of California. Black people and their destiny were at the time hotly contested issues being one of the primary causes of the American civil war which lasted for six years. After a heated debate, the state had made the firm decision to abolish slavery.

However, the vision that the first governor had did not include people of African American descent at all. Governor Burnett said that it could be no kindness and no favor to permit free African Americans to settle, live, study and work in California.

The governor added that such a decision would inflict injury if gigantic proportions to the white population in the states. Burnett added that he would not have given any measures to have blacks expelled from the state if they had been born in California and acquired the inherent rights found in the founding documents of America. He said that his first objective and mission in office was to have black people kicked out of the state. It wasn’t a surprise that there were many legislators and white residents of California at the time had the same school of thought as their governor to have black people banned from living freely in the state.

During the 1840s and early 1850s, lawmakers passed legislation that was targeted at ensuring black people were not allowed to live or immigrate in California. Although the efforts to banish African Americans from the Golden state failed eventually, they raised some very serious concerns about the racial discrimination and fear that African Americans faced in the western side of the United States. California became a place where black people would get both danger and opportunities and at the time most men of color were freed slaves after the bloody civil which led to the abolishment of slavery. The move to ban African Americans from California emanated from the row that had erupted on whether to allow slavery to continue or not.