Immigration Dbq

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Throughout the twentieth century the United States did not maintain an open and equal policy of immigration and citizenship. Additionally, immigrants generally did not integrate easily into American Society. Several instances of discriminatory ideology and action can atest to this conclusion. With fear of internal subversion as a basis for government action during World War 1, many immigrants found themselves in the crosshairs even after the war. Afterwards, Urban domination over the nation's political and cultural life and sharply rising economic disparity drove rural Americans in vile, reactionary directions. When the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, almost a third of Americans were either first or second-generation …show more content…

After the war, large scale immigration resumed (800000 immigrants arrived in 1921) at a time when factory labors were no longer needed (Roark 606). Positions were filled by returning veterans, as well as the migrating african and mexican minorities. Union leaders feared that immigrants would undercut their efforts to organize american workers. Additionally, rural America's protestants were disturbed that most of the immigrants were Catholic or Jewish. So in 1921, congress responded by severely restricting immigration (Roark 606). The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants to no more than 161,000 a year, and also established a limit from each European nation. This act clearly revealed the racist undertone of nativist ideology. Since America in the eyes of some became the “garbage can and the dumping ground of the world” , quotas were manipulated to ensure entry only to “good” immigrants from western Europe. This act virtually reversed the trend of immigration from southern and eastern europe, which use to account for 75 percent of immigration (class notes). This push for “good” immigrants and the exclusion of other immigrants is a racist ideology held even by thirtieth president of the united states “There are racial considerations too grave to be brushed aside for any sentimental reason. Biological laws tell us that certain divergent people will not mix or blend. The Nordics propagate themselves successfully. With other races, the outcome shows deterioration on both sides” (Whose Country Is This). This aversion to immigration on the basis that the immigrants dilute America is one that resonated with many Americans “There can be nothing so dangerous as for us to allow the undesirable foreign element to poison our civilization and thereby threaten the safety of the institutions that our forefathers have established for us” (Debating

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