Analysis Of The Poem ' Liberty ' By Emma Lazarus

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"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" (Statue of Liberty)
This poem by Emma Lazarus has been proudly emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty for more than 130 years and for many of those years had been one of the first things that immigrants coming to the United States of America saw on their journey in search of a better life. This poem has long reflected the best America has had to offer immigrants, an unadulterated hope for their future. America has always liked to fashion itself as a beacon of hope in a dark world for people of all nations, races, and religions in
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This was especially true when most immigrants at that time were primarily white and fleeing for similar religious freedoms found in fledgling America. With such a largely similar group there were few culture clashes amongst these immigrants or those that had begun to establish themselves around the United States at the time.
The start of the Second Wave of American Immigration can be traced to when backlash against immigrants truly began to take the form. It was at this time that people began subscribing to the Nativist ideology that favored people born on American soil over the new immigrants. This shift in perspective from the First to Second Wave of Immigration was due to the increased diversity of the incoming immigrant group that made up the Second Wave. Immigrants were now entering the country from places like China, Scandinavia, Ireland and Germany (Cunneen). These immigrants were introducing new languages and vastly different beliefs than those of the relatively similar First Wave group. With resentment of the new wave of immigrants and the perceived threat of the ‘Yellow Peril’ brought on by the high quantity of Chinese immigrants entering the country to fill low paying jobs like building the railroads and the religious threat of the Irish Catholics, tensions began to rise until formal actions were taken by the government. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act which stopped Chinese immigration. Racial prejudice

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