A look at the first two waves of immigration to America
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 20 years ago
"A Century of Immigration, 1820-1924" is another one of the volumes in The Drama of American History" that really benefits from the "central core" approach used by Christopher and James Lincoln Collier. The idea is "to draw in bold strokes" and "bring out the basic themes of the American story." By focusing on the topic of immigration, without having to entwine it with the other threads of American history, young students will get a much better understanding of what was happening with immigration during this period.The Colliers quickly break down immigration from 1820 to 1924 into two distinct waves (arguing that a third wave of immigration followed World War II and continues today). Those two waves effectively divide the six chapters of this volume in half: (1) A Nation of Immigrants talks about the uniqueness of the United States in terms of the (general) acceptance of immigrants because of the huge amount of empty land to be cultivated and because of the rise of the industrial city. Within this context the first wave of immigration is presented as having two distinct components. (2) The Irish Immigrants are the largest part of that first wave, unique as well because of their ability to assimilate (most knew how to speak English) and their establishment of the Roman Catholic Church as a socio-political power. (3) The Germans and Other Immigrants of the First Wave are different from the Irish in terms of not wanting to assimilate, but preserve their own culture. The Germans also tended to be more skilled at trades. The contrast in the two dominant groups of immigrants for the first wave is quite striking.The second wave of immigrant lasted from about 1880 to the time of World War I: (4) The Second Wave Begins draws a contrast between the first wave of mostly Northern Europeans with the Southern and Eastern Europeans who dominated the second wave. The Italians are presented as the paradigmatic example of this wave. (5) The Second Wave: The Jews deals with the second-largest group to come to the U.S. in the late-19th century, as well as immigrants from Asian nations who also found an unfriendly reception in their new nation. By the 20th-century immigrants from Southeastern Europe were the largest percentage of those coming to the U.S., which explains what happened next. (6) The Anti-Immigration Movement resulted from Americans fearing that the newest immigrants were going to replace traditional American ideals with new ways of thinking and behaving. The result was a series of political attempts to not only limit immigration but also curtail the political activities of immigrants already in the country (e.g., keep Catholics out of office so they would not take orders from the Pope). In this last chapter the Colliers not only cover anti-immigration legislation and the fight against parochial schools, but they also evaluate these efforts in light of what they see to be the American ideal (i.e., it is ironic that a nation of immigrants w
Eye-opening look at the past
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 22 years ago
An examination of the first two huge waves of immigration to the United States. The Irish, Germans, Italians, Jews, and Chinese came for different reasons and with varying resources and talents. Many faced prejudice and even looked down on each other. A chapter on the anti-immigration movement discusses assimilation versus preservation of cultures and the quota system. Useful for reports; recommended for students who know little about this time. Balanced look at several sides of an often controversial topic. Pen and ink illustrations, photos, bibliographies for students and teachers, and index included.
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