Comparing Waves of Immigrants in Joseph Healey’s “From Immigrants to White Ethnics

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Joseph Healey’s “From Immigrants to White Ethnics” is a generalized comparison between the varying groups of individuals that accompanied the colossal waves of immigration to the United States from Europe in the nineteenth century. Immigration to this country resulted from a number of reason such as religious persecution, individuals seeking to find employment after industrialization in their home countries limited their livelihood, and political oppositions to name a few. On arrival the immigrants knew immediately they were of the subordinate group and faced “discrimination and prejudice” (Healey, 2012, p. 54), although some more so than others. Among the first immigrants to arrive in the United States were Northern and Western European citizens. Unlike the immigrants from Ireland and Southern and Eastern Europe that chose the United States for their new homeland these individuals were probably the most accepted by the majority, even if considered just nominally superior to the others. Included in this group were the “English, Germans, Norwegians, Swedes, Welsh, French, Dutch and Danes” (Healey, 2012, p. 56). This acceptance was due in part to the similarities that the dominate group held as ideals such as their religion, along with cultural values and characteristics. If the Northern and Western Europeans found acceptance difficult, individuals from Ireland and the Europeans from the south and east had an even more traumatic experience. Whereas the more accepted group had

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