Immigration in the early 1900's.

Essay by RubyTuesday16University, Bachelor's July 2003

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Immigration has played a major role throughout the history of the United States. Beginning in the early nineteenth century there have been massive waves of immigration. The immigration waves that I will focus on in this paper are those from China, Russia, and Ireland. I will show how these groups were assimilated and/or acculturated by discussing their family, work, and community structures as well as communicate the mixed reaction to these incoming foreigners by the established white, Protestant community. While these immigrants provided industries with a cheap source of labor, Americans were both afraid of, and hostile towards these new groups. Nonetheless, with a strong sense of community and the maintenance of their native customs and religion, they were able to succeed where as the African immigrants were stripped of all of this thus leaving them with no sense of self-identity. This paper will show how when given a chance to acculturate into the American way of life rather that being forced to assimilate, immigrants had a better of succeeding in society.

According to chapter 8 of Takaki's book, A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, a series of wars, rebellions, civil disorders, floods, famines and droughts made earning a livelihood in China difficult. When news of the discovery of gold reached China, many Chinese immigrated to California with hopes of making money to send to their families back home. Due to the gold rush, America at the time was expanding west and needed the cheap labor of Chinese men to connect the country via railroad. Therefore, immigration laws were placed on Chinese immigrants so that only males were allowed in the country thus splitting families. As time went on and white workers were finding themselves without work, the boarders were shut to the Chinese which...