The Immigration Act Of 1924: Factors That Influenced Congress To Pass It

Essay by KittyG122High School, 11th gradeA+, July 2005

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The 1920's in America were classified as the "Roaring Twenties" marked by a period of American prosperity and optimism. However along with the good comes the bad with the rise of the Klu Klux Klan and rising intolerance with the end of World War I and the increase of immigrants coming to America. Many restrictive laws on immigration had been imposed before 1824's Immigration Act, but they were not enough for the US citizens who felt threatened by the new influx of immigrants. As stated in Document A, the Immigration Act of 1924 restricted "the number of each nationality who may be admitted annually is limited to 2 per cent of the population of such nationality residents in the United States...". Some factors that influenced Congress to pass the Immigration Act include the need to preserve American ideals, the need to preserve jobs for the "native" Americans, and to restore national and personal income.

In Thomas Bailey Aldrich's poem, "The Unguarded Gates", he describes immigrants as "bringing with them unknown gods and rites". Aldrich's poem in its entirety displays the worry that US citizens had for immigrants bringing with them religions, ideals and values that were strange and sometimes unknown to them. Immigrants and anyone else who were perceived as "un-American" seemed to threaten the "old ways" that the citizens were trying so hard to preserve. They appreciated that this country was founded on these "old ways" and so they felt they had to preserve these ideals and set of values. Document F stated: "... many of these alien peoples are temperamentally and racially unfitted for easy assimilation." Americans read many newspaper articles with similar arguments like the one above, that these immigrants would not be able to accept the ways of American life and would only shelter themselves in...