M5 Personalizing History
M5 Personalizing History Project: Final Paper For this assignment, I want you to take a broader, thematic view of American History (From 1865). You must choose from history one of the themes below and prepare a written historic narrative of how that theme has unfolded throughout the last 150 years of American History. HIRE BEST TUTORS FOR BEST GRADES.
The themes that you can choose from are: • Preserving Civil Liberties while Protecting National Security • The Growth of Federal Regulation in a Free Market Economy • The Expansion of Civil Rights (this can focus on a specific group) • American Foreign Policy • Immigration • The Growth and Impact of Technology Using the Empire State College library, and other resources, research the theme from 1865 through the present to prepare a historical analysis of the theme that includes the following: • An overview of the theme and its relevance to American society.
• A historic context that examines how the theme has been addressed throughout American History including relevant examples, legislation court cases etc. • An overview of how the theme has changed or not, over time The format for your project should be a written essay of 1,000 – 2,500 words Please note: You may choose a different topic for your final project if you wish. Please consult with me, if you wish to do so. Evaluation Criteria Your Assignment will be assessed on the strength of the historical question you ask as well the extent to which you develop your argument based on the selected documents along with the Historical Writing Guidelines.
Name of Student
In the 1800s, people from different parts of the world decided to leave their homes and immigrate to the United States. Many of these people were fleeing their homes due to many reasons like famine, land and job shortages, and rising taxes, history while others came to seek refuge from religious and political persecution (Kitch, 2009). The United States is perceived as the land of economic opportunities and development, and this attracted many of the immigrants to settle.
Between 1877 and 1900, there was net immigration of approximately 7,348,000 people into the United States, with the Germans being the largest group at 28%, followed by the British at 18% and Irish people at 15% (Joranger, Terje, Hasle, 2009). The rising population of immigrants raised much more concern as compared to the black or Indian people among the native white Americans. It was around the same period that the country’s population increased from 49 million in 1880 to roughly 76 million in 1900. Before 1880 the Immigrants came mostly from Western Europe and China. Still, by the end of the century, there was an influx of immigrants from southern and Eastern Europe to America, commonly referred to as “New Immigration”.
The native white Americans have always thought the United States to be a white Protestant republic, and the sudden influx of immigrants worried them. The catholic immigrant numbers were overwhelming, and this increased the prevalent fears of the natives. It is said that the Catholics, controlled by the Pope in Rome, were seen as hostile towards the American values, but this did not stop people from coming in.
Immigrants entered the United States through several ports. The ones from Europe entered through the East Coast facilities while those that came from Asia entered through the West Coast centers. However, more than 70% of all immigrants entered the United States through New York City, which was later known as the ‘Golden Door.’ (Daniels, 2004).
In January 1892, the United States’ first immigration station known as Ellis Island was opened in the New York harbor. Annie Moore, a teenager from County Cork in Ireland, history became the first immigrant to be processed. This station also processed over 12 million immigrants between 1892 and 1954. 1907 was the year that recorded the highest number of immigrants, with 1.3 million people entering through Ellis Island alone.
Between 1880 and 1920, a time when industrialization was at its peak, the United States welcomed immigrants because they were essential to its developing economy. Corporations were accused of history using contract labor workers who came from abroad, underpaying them compared to American workers. This was to undermine the American working conditions and the American family, which comprised of a working man while the wife stays at home to maintain the family. This fear made them oppose certain kinds of immigration. Contract labor was outlawed by the Foran Act of 1885, but it was difficult to enforce it since immigrants were always willing to work for less leading to a decline in general wages for everyone, including the natives.
Each group demonstrated a unique migration pattern in terms of the gender balance within the migrant pool, their literacy rates, and longevity of their migration, the equilibrium between grownups and kids, and so forth. (Kitch, 2009).But they all shared one predominant characteristic: they clustered to urban areas and created the majority of the United States industrial labor sector. This led to the emergence of industries such as steel, automotive, coal, textile, and garment manufacture ranking the United States among the world’s top economic giants.
But nativists were against the immigrants and thought of them to be exotic, inassimilable, and antithetical to American culture and society. Immigration together with the end of the Reconstruction period prompted an anti-democratic movement to limit access to the ballot box. By the 1870s, advocates of restricting suffrage said democracy was a mistake even after having defeated an early push for women’s suffrage.
As a way to marginalize immigrants and black people, they advocated for voting restrictions as they believed the inferiors were incapable of meeting the requirements of republican politics. The political changes they were seeking would make it more difficult for the poor and immigrants to vote. It took time for these people to work their way up through poll taxes, residency requirements, literacy requirements, and more, to be able to vote. (Marback, 2015)
Efforts to restrict suffrage were part of a strong political and social backlash against immigrants that developed over the century.
The second wave of controlled xenophobia was triggered by the rising numbers of the immigrants, their tendency to occupy urban areas, and most like the antipathy the natives had towards the foreigners. By the 1890s, immigration was considered a threat and posed as a danger to the country’s health, literacy and security levels by many Americans, especially from the well-off, white, and native-born. A group of these natives formed the Immigration Restriction League in 1893, and it, alongside other equally motivated establishments, history began to pressure Congress for serious restrictions on immigration.
However, in certain situations, nativists had friends who were immigrants or the children of immigrants. Some of the states began to pass their own immigration laws, making the U.S Supreme Court declare immigration a national responsibility in the year 1875. In the same year, the first immigration law was passed. The Page of Act 1875, also known as the Asian Exclusion Act, banned the importation of contract laborers from Asia.
In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress. This enacted law strictly curtailed the population of Chinese immigrants allowed in the United States for ten years. It was until 1892 and 1902 when this law was eventually renewed but during this time, the Chinese gained illegal entry to the United States using the loosely secured Canadian-U.S border. (Ngai, 2004). The Immigration Act of 1891 recognized a Commissioner of Immigration in the Treasury Department, and in 1894 through the Canadian Agreement, the U.S extended its immigration limitations to the ports in Canada. Immediately after World War I (1914-1918), Congress changed the nation’s basic policy on immigration. Congress amended the nation’s basic policy about immigration. The rate at which immigrants entered the United States was limited also slots were allocated in accordance to quotas centered on nationalities as stated in the National Origins Formula of 1921 (and its final form in 1924). This complex piece of law favored immigrants from Central, Western, and Northern Europe, harshly restricting the numbers from Southern Europe and the Soviet Union, while all prospective immigrants coming from Asia were declared unworthy to enter the United States. The Western Hemisphere was excluded from this quota system and the 1920s shepherded in the second last era of the United States immigration history.
The Equal Nationality Act of 1934 allowed children born of American moms and foreign fathers and entered the U.S before they were 18 living there for over 5 years to gain American citizenship. This law was later modified by other laws like the Nationality Act of 1940. In 1942, during World War II, the labor shortages prompted the U.S and Mexico from the Bracero Program, which lasted until 1964, allowing Mexican agricultural laborers to enter the United States temporarily. The first refugee and resettlement law in the United States was passed in 1948 to accommodate the Europeans seeking a permanent settlement in the United States after World War II. (Truman, 2012)
At the end of the war, the immigrant numbers skyrocketed as people coming from war-torn Europe entered the United States. This is after Congress passed a law allowing immigrants from the Soviet Union to enter. It was until 1952 that marked the end of exclusion of Asian immigrants in the U.S under the McCarren-Walter Act. In the same year, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 confirmed the national-origins quota system of 1924, and the total yearly immigration was limited to a sixth of the 1% of the inhabitants in the United States in the 1920s. Children and spouses of U.S nationals and those born from the quota system in the Western Hemisphere were excluded. The refugee status was extended to other people who did not come from Europe in 1953 through the Refugee Relief Act.
In 1954, the U.S government created the Operation Wetback to return large number of illegal Mexican immigrants that were increasing the illiteracy, criminal, and disease rates in the states.
1956-1957: The first Cold war refugees came from Hungary. (Steidl, Annemarie, 2017). This was after a failed uprising against the Soviets, making the United States admit approximately 38,000 immigrants. As the Cold War progressed, the United States ended up accepting over 3 million refugees. In 1959, a communist revolution happened in Cuba, leading to thousands of refugees fleeing their Island nation to the States. Roughly 14000 children who were unaccompanied fled Fidel Castro’s government and came to the United States to become part of a secret anti-communism program named Peter Pan.
The Immigration and Nationality Act overhauled the American immigration system in 1965. The Act ended the national origin quotas passed in the 1920s, which preferred some ethnic and racial groups over others. The seven category preference system replaced the quota system on stressing on skilled immigrants and family reunification. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the new bill hoping that it would correct the ‘cruel and enduring wrong in the conduct of an American nation.’ He also referred to the old immigration bill as ‘un-American.’ The next five years were characterized by a surge of immigrants from war-torn countries like Vietnam and Cambodia. All for family reunification.
President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, which granted amnesty to over 3 million immigrants settling illegally in the United States in 1986.
In 2001, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) proposed the first Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which provided a way for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children, to obtain legal status. (Acer, Eleanor; Byrne, Olga, 2017)
President Barack Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012, which temporarily protects some Dreamers from deportation, but doesn’t offer a path to citizenship.In 2017, President Donald Trump put out two principal commands—both titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”—which aimed at limiting immigration and travel from six mainstream Muslim countries (Iran, Chad, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen) together with Venezuela and North Korea. The travel bans from these two countries have been challenged in state and federal courts. The travel restrictions in Chad were lifted in April 2018, while in June the same year, the U.S Supreme Court issued a third version of the ban to the seven countries.
Acer, Eleanor; Byrne, Olga. “How the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 Has Undermined US Refugee Protection Obligations and wasted Government Resources” Journal on Migration and Human Security. 5(2): 356-378. doi: 10.1177/233150241700500207. ISSN 2331-5024. 2017.
“Harry S. Truman. “Statement by the President Upon Signing the Displaced Persons Act” Presidency.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
Joranger, Terje, and Mikael Hasle. “A Historiographical Perspective on the Social History of Immigration to and Ethnicity in the United States”, Swedish-American Historical Quarterly, Jan 2009, Vol. 60 Issue 1, pp. 5–24
Mae M. Ngai. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. 2004. Pp 227-264
“OPERATION WETBACK”. The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)”. Tshaonline.org. July 27, 1946. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
Richard Marback. Generations: Rethinking Age and Citizenship. Wayne State University Press. pp 203-. ISBN 978-0-8143-4081-3. 2005
Roger Daniels. Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882. 2004. pp 27-58
Sally Kitch. The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States. SUNY Press. pp 179-. ISBN 978-1-4384-2754-6. 2009
“Statistical Abstract of the U.S. 1950″ (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-18.
Steidl, Annemarie et al. From a Multiethnic Empire to a Nation of Nations: Austro-Hungarian Migrants in the US, 1870–1940(Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2017). 354 pp.