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Immigration - Essay Example

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Explore the reasons for a pervasively anti-immigrant sentiment in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Focus on at least three immigrant groups, their motivation for coming to the U.S., what they were hoping for versus the reality of their new lives…
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Immigration
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Download file to see previous pages In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, famines, job scarcity, increasing taxes, crop failures and religious and political maltreatment forced people belonging to different parts of the world to leave their countries and immigrate to the United States of America mainly because it was considered to be a land of economic opportunities. Almost 12 million immigrants arrived and settled in United States of America during 1870 to 1900 with elevated hopes for their bright future. The majority of the immigrants belonged to Germany, Ireland and England. In the beginning, the immigrants settled near the areas of entry, however, they succeeded to make their way inside the country with the passage of time. Keeping in view the continuous influx of immigrants and their immense need to get jobs, employers stated taking their advantage. No amount of jobs was enough to accommodate all the immigrants.
Men were paid less as compared to other workers and women in turn were paid even less ("Immigration to the United States, 1851-1900"). Immigrants were often labeled and stereotyped by the people residing in America. This prejudice led to social tensions among the immigrants and the Americans. Moreover, they were frequently discriminated against Americans and made to suffer stereotypical attitude, physical and verbal abuse only because they were different. Apart from social strains, the new comers brought their culture with them resulting in huge diversity in various cities as well as states. Another reason which contributed the social tension was the clash between what immigrants sought after and what the government required of them. By offering attractive jobs and land for farming, the states with meager populations tried to attract the immigrants towards them. However, immigrants, on the other hand, wanted to settle themselves in the communities set up by the people previously living there from their own home countries ("Immigration to the United States, 1851-1900"). The official class of Norway openly showed their disdain towards other Norwegians who left their country to migrate to America and mocked everything even remotely related to America. The main reasons for this dislike included Negro slavery and American humbug. However, the tenants or extremely poor Norwegian farmers, after collecting some money that barely paid for their travel to as far as Chicago or Milwaukee, immigrated to America with the hopes of a better future. They considered America safer and more suitable place to live as compared to their own homeland. Norwegians mainly settled in the Midwest, Minnesota and Dakotas in particular. On the other hand, the letter they received from their fellow Norwegians already working in America were disheartening. They conveyed how they had acquired almost nothing and these otherwise proud farmers would not be able to think of going to America without feeling humiliated and self-ashamed. The Americans received them with kindness but having little knowledge about Scandinavian countries at that time and seeing their bewildered state, they considered them not only less fit but also inferior to them in every aspect. Consequently, this made the immigrants feel disgraced and dishonored and they set about to prove that they were not inferior to Americans in any way. Furthermore, they had to endure political discrimination as well. They lived in farming communities and they did find people sharing their cultural values but it separated them from the American community permanently. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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