A History of Immigration

Length: 8 Pages 1891 Words

Bernard A. Weisberg refers in his article’s title to the United States as a “Nation of Immigrants” rather than a unique, ancient grounded nation. As Joe R. Feagin states in his “Racial and Ethnic Relations” textbook: “Immigration in the United States is its foundation, its uniqueness and its great strength”. Weisberg particularly emphasizes this idea because some American people, especially of white-dominant ethnicity, have forgotten that. This is the base of a present day controversy that discusses whether the united States should give up its “immigration” status due to economic and political causes, actually originated since the first immigrant wave set on North American shore. According to our Western Civilization history, the first people to emigrate from Europe and colonized this North American land were the English, the Colonization migration of the XVII century. Some years after the first settlers arrived, the first British mass exodus landed from the Mayflower, approximately 155,000 in number, mostly as indentured servants, contracted for a specific term of years. Some Scottish and Irish-Scottish peoples came along with them, approximately 12,000 a year. The English government instituted later Continue...


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In addition by 1924, the Johnson-Reed Act was passed and the immigration policy was now limited to 150,000 immigrants from outside the Western Hemisphere. There was a distinction, however, between the two; the Irish Catholics were: "the most miserable of the English paupers" while the Germans, mostly located in Pennsylvania, Texas and other Western lands as well as New York, were re-creating "Little Germanys" in those towns. In the early XIX century, though, Jefferson"tms optimistic vision on an enlightened and open-minded society and also the increase in industry manufacture brought back a substantially mass migration of Europeans to North American shores, specially among 1815 to 1850s. Now the American society was clearly divide into two kinds of people, the "old" Americans and the "new" immigrants. The outside views of these immigrants were very different. After World War I, a sentiment of 100 percent Americanism was on the rise. From those new immigrants the most accountable of them were the Italian and the Jewish immigrants. Hence the word "dominant" society versus the word "subordinated" people came into the context. The following biggest wave of migration was the one in which 84,500 chained Africans slaves were sent to the colonies to work on the land. Immigrants themselves also organized their own newspapers, theaters, social clubs and other social organizations to help new immigrants to feel more comfortable in North America. Hopefully, this fear of new immigrants coming to the United States to change its rules would be reduced by the encouragement of these immigrants, including myself, to know more about our cultures in order for us to be fully accepted by the white American society. The next period between 1865 and 1929 was characterized by the American industrial leadership; the United States was the world"tms leading producer of steel, coal, automobiles and trucks, electrical equipment and much more. The first joint-stock companies, formed by merchants under the law of James I, settled in Jamestown and this was the English colony that bought Africans from a Dutch ship in 1619. The Germans were considered a "Model Minority" due to theirs limited but successful opportunities, yet the Irish Catholics were viewed as a "Problem Minority" due to their low waged jobs such as constructing railroads, canals and turnpikes.

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