19th Century Immigration Analysis

Decent Essays
During the late nineteenth century, immigration into the United States boomed due to the many conflicts overseas and the great prosperity America offered. Immigrants flooded in from all parts of the world in search of better job opportunities and a better quality of life. However, this influx of migrants led to the spread of social and political controversy between the American natives and working immigrants. Therefore, immigration into America caused extreme tension between social groups and was very detrimental to the American society. The progression of immigration began in the late 1870’s because of the yearning to “escape poverty and oppressions in their homeland” (Brinkley 411). For example, Irish immigrants migrated into the United…show more content…
Americans began to become upset because of “the difficulty to advance, whatever their talents” (Brinkley 421). In other words, employers would be more willing to give unskilled immigrant workers job opportunities over educated Americans simply because they would work for a cheaper wage. This provoked “fear and resentment” toward the immigrants (Brinkley 421). Organizations began to rise, such as the American Protective Association, to preserve the rights and hierarchy of the Anglo-American culture above the immigrants’ and attempt the act of assimilation. They believed the immigrants were held in “shackles” and it was the American duty to “strike the chains of blind obedience…” (The Secret Oath of the American Protective Association). Also, ethnic discrimination began to peak in which businesses would refuse to employ immigrant laborers. Hanging NINA (No Irish Need Apply) signs in windows was a form of this discriminatory…show more content…
For example, a group named the Immigration Restriction League began to screen immigrants “desirable” or “undesirable” through literacy tests in order to preserve the standard to vote (Brinkley 421). “Undesirables” were identified as those who are considered “convicts, paupers, or the mentally incompetent” (Brinkley 421). Government also began to target major ethnic groups, such as the Chinese. They were able to accomplish this through the Chinese Exclusion Act, which stated that the laborers “endangered the good order of certain localities” (United States Congress). The Americans believed the inability to assimilate posed a threat to the culture and wellbeing of the native citizens, and their actions shadowed their
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