Diversity DBQ Throughout history, there has been a problem that has been faced by every major civilization and their leadership, whatever form that leadership might have taken. This problem is the diversity of people, and the many different ethnic, social, and religious backgrounds that people can belong to. This diversity can have a number of effects on a civilization depending on the actions that the leadership of the group takes regarding this diversity, and the entire spectrum of results has been displayed over the course of history.
The places where diversity has benefited nations include the United States, where there is a wide variety of cultures that all represent their own ethnic background, while challenges placed by diversity can be seen in Central America and Africa, where different ethnic groups slaughter each other. The effects of diversity on a nation such as the ones previously described can be directly traced to what policies and actions were taken by the government regarding this diversity and how the people responded.
Having diversity benefit your nation is difficult to come by, and that is why when a nation is able to achieve success it is a big deal. In fact, just reducing the challenges placed is an accomplishment to be proud of. For instance, in Kenya, the people were able to put aside their tribal differences brought up by a diverse cultural background, and unite in a struggle against a common enemy: a ruthless dictator (Doc 9).
In other nations, such as Turkey, the benefits of diversity come in the form of a society that was able to overcome the challenges placed by a diverse population to create a nation where the citizens were equal before the law, and not discriminated upon based on religious or racial affiliations (Doc 2). Another example of a nation that was able to make its diversity benefit it was Argentina under the rule of Juan Peron. Peron was able to move past the challenges caused by having a nation full of people with different backgrounds to catalyze a revolution and benefit people of all backgrounds (Doc 3).
However, this point of view could be skewed it is taken from the wife of Peron, and it would be hard to imagine her saying anything but good things about her husband’s rule. To show that the stretches of this idea reached over all continents, an example from Europe is in the Italian nationalist movement, where major leaders believed that diversity could lead to good things if it was treated properly (Doc 1). This shows that the idea that diversity can be used properly extends to Africa, South America, Europe, and Asia, showing that this momentous idea really does cross borders in its influence.
Despite the fact that some nations were able to get passed their diversity, others were plagued by the challenges that diversity provided, including the differences that it brought out between ethnic groups. These challenges can result from any number of things, as in many countries, there are a large number of different religions, languages, and ethnic groups (Doc 8). In Guatemala and Yugoslavia, the challenges were from mostly ethnic groups and the differences between them.
In both locations the diversity of ethnic groups led to different groups turning on each other, leading to mass violence and huge numbers of casualties (Doc 6) (Doc 7). The deaths and struggles of these people could have been avoided if the nations had been able to make their diversity benefit them as in Turkey and Argentina, instead of harming their nation’s people. In Doc 6, Rigoberta Menchu Tum was in a perfect position to document the struggles of Guatemala, and as a result, this first person account is as good as it gets in terms of authenticity, making the document invaluable.
The reason that there is such a discrepancy between the effects of diversity is because of the influence of large organizations on the nations’ actions. These organizations range from the Church to the government, with each having their own opinions on how diversity should be treated and dealt with. The Church was for the unification of people across religious lines, as it was mostly concerned with having as many members as possible. It promoted unity of people under Christianity, and it believed that in the end, unity will prevail (Doc 4).
In Doc 4, however, the man writing the book is a Roman Catholic priest and not a man in high power. This could mean that his opinion represents a fringe outlook, rather than what the majority of Christians think. The idea of diversity has been a controversial one throughout history, to say the least, and it has been the cause for many problems in different nations. To help my argument, it would have been helpful to have a table that listed the percentages of ethnic groups for different countries so I would have been able to compare document eight with another source.
Another additional source that would have been helpful would have been an account of the tribal violence described in Doc 9 from an African rather than an American journalist. This would have been helpful as the view would have a different bias, and I would be able to compare the two to get an idea of what the reality was in African nations. Overall, however, the idea of diversity is a relatively simple one to understand, although it is anything but simple to deal with. In the end, the best we can do is keep trying to prevent the challenges presented by diversity, and hope to make the most out of the benefits.