Hi, I am Marrie pro writer, an expert academic writer and editor. I am proficient in both American and British English languages. My fields of specialization include Law and Legal Issues, Nursing, Business and Entrepreneurship, History, Psychology, Healthcare, Accounting, Communication Strategies, but can do more. I always complete projects on time and open to communications with the client, as I think this is a great way to kn...
Hi, I am Marrie pro writer, an expert academic writer and editor. I am proficient in both American and British English languages. My fields of specialization include Law and Legal Issues, Nursing, Business and Entrepreneurship, History, Psychology, Healthcare, Accounting, Communication Strategies, but can do more. I always complete projects on time and open to communications with the client, as I think this is a great way to know what is expected from me. I am open to any suggestions and comments about my work and ready to revise if necessary.
America has always been touted as the “promised land.” Abramitzky and Boustan (2017) assert how “the United States has long been perceived as a land of opportunity, a place where prospective immigrants can achieve prosperity and upward mobility” (p. 1). Such a widespread perception provided the impetus to the immigrants’ surge to the nation from around the world. Even though there were substantial benefits that immigrants brought to the United States, the high cost of transportation during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries created long periods of indentured immigration (Abramitzky & Boustan, 2017). In the mid-nineteenth century, the developments in the shipping technology, as well as a “growing reliance on migrant finance,” started the Age of Mass Migration from Europe (Abramitzky & Boustan, 2017). By 1917, a strict literacy test was introduced and later, in 1921, strict immigration quotas were also imposed (Abramitzky & Boustan, 2017). Furthermore, rendering the immigration quotas slightly lenient resulted in constrained mass migration, particularly from Asia and Latin America.
Europe went into a downward spiral of poverty and food shortages, added with the religious revolts that seemed to destabilize its economic balance. To the European immigrants, America was undoubtedly a land of financial prosperity, providing them with a high quality of life. Eastern European Jews were persecuted for their religion after the Czar Alexander II’s assassination. Besides, the Russo-Japan war forced many people to leave Europe to avoid conscription in the army. Around 150,000 Jewish immigrants entered America from Russia in 1906. It was helped by the advancements made in the steam engine technology, which made transportation across the sea faster. With the outbreak of war in 1914, Americans started raising concerns about the unrestrained entry of immigrants. Nationalism formed the centrality of immigration discourses.
The Immigration Act of 1924 regulated the number of immigrants based on nationality quotas ("Outstanding Features of the Immigration Act of 1924", 1925). By then, the Italian Americans and Jewish immigrants had already assimilated themselves into the US social and political environment. But immigration had created widespread fear among the American population, centered on high unemployment rates because of low-paid immigrant workers replacing the native ones. The restrictions were placed to preserve “the historic ‘national origins’ of the American population” (Hirschman, 2007). According to Hirschman (2007), each new wave of immigrants was met with a collective hostility from the Americans because the latter feared that the newcomers would harm the stability of the society and will refuse to adhere to the American way of living.
Nevertheless, the immigrants played an important role in shaping the social, economic and political strata of the US. They helped the nation to elevate itself to the urban industrial economy during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (Hirschman, 2007). Three-quarters of the population of cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, and Milwaukee was composed of immigrants.
They have played an important role in American politics, especially in the Roosevelt coalition of the 1930s and the election of John F. Kennedy of the 1960s. Hirschman (2007) asserts that although the wave of mass immigration ended by the 1920s, the potential electorate of 1960 was majorly comprised of the immigrants’ children. White Protestants outside the South formed the foundations of the Republican party; Democrats were disproportionately Catholic and Jewish voters. The immigrants were also integral to shaping the American popular culture, forming the foundations for creative arts. The 20th-century mass immigration promoted the image of the American Dream, which enabled the concept of American consumerism and opulence.
In essence, America would have been significantly different from the current nation if these events of immigrations had not happened. They entirely transformed the entire social, political, and economic scenario, promulgating America as the land of dreams.
Immigration of Early 20th Century
Type of paper: Essay (Any Type)
Pages: 3 (275 words per page)
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