What is the difference between a dominant and subject nationality?In class we are doing a ' historical role-play.' i was given new england. one of the questions is 'would you be a dominant or...

What is the difference between a dominant and subject nationality?

In class we are doing a ' historical role-play.' i was given new england. one of the questions is 'would you be a dominant or subject nationality?' i don't know what that means. someone please explain it to me. 

Asked on by phantasia

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When thinking about this, the important thing is to understand what "subject" means in this context.  In this context, a subject is someone who is subordinate to another.  A subject nationality, then, is one that is on the bottom in a society while the dominant nationality is the one that is on the top.

In New England during colonial times, the English were clearly the dominant nationality.  New England was a colony of England and it was run by and for Puritans from England.  Africans were one subject nationality.  They were not present in huge numbers, but they were clearly seen as inferiors and were often slaves.  One could say that Native Americans were a subject nationality, but that is a little more of a stretch because they were mainly outside the society, not a part of it.

So, a dominant nationality is the one that is most privileged in a society.  A subject nationality is one that is oppressed and subjugated in some way.

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