Foreign Relations By Donna Gabaccia Summary

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The newest literature, Donna Gabaccia’s Foreign Relations, conducts her research through a transnational lens, which adds a dimension to immigration history that has proven to be essential to the overall study. The new scholarship includes the emotion from Handlin and the vast scope from Daniels, but also suggests immigration is a foreign matter, not just a domestic issue. This new angle forced her to reassess the evidence and points made by previous authors and explain why immigration in America is a transnational issue. When introducing her work, Gabaccia states,
“immigration is an important, continuous, and contentious relationship between the United States and the rest of the world…and immigration policies might be better debated from a global rather than a domestic perspective.”

She was able to incorporate different types of sources such as personal anecdotes, charts, government legislation, and other immigration trends into her analysis. She does not focus solely on the stories of the immigrants like Handlin, but also does not fully cover the migrants of each century from every
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Immigrants who came to America after the 1880s “spoke strange languages and worshiped strange gods.” Daniels does not provide much detail about the xenophobia experienced in America during this time and how the immigrants felt alienated due to their native languages and beliefs. Many of the immigrants during this period were forced into urban areas, where they were expected to work and utilized for American economic gain. Readers have to assume that this was not the ideal condition that immigrants wanted, but Daniels does not provide a deep analysis of this evidence. The alienation that immigrants felt during the 1800s carried more emotion that Daniels neglected to
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