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Essay on Opposition to Immigration in 19th and 20th Century America

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Immigration in 19th and 20th Century America During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many American nativist groups opposed free unrestricted immigration. Although racism is a main reason, there were many others. Economic, political, social and moral standards seemed to be threatened by these newcomers. The immigrants were unfamiliar of the language and customs that we take for granted in our everyday lives. The fear that gripped the nation was why people reacted so strongly against immigrants. The people feared change might distort the course of our prospering country. We did not want to become what those immigrants were fleeing. Many economic changes were changing the pace of our nation during the late nineteenth…show more content…
This was not a single view, but a reflection of how the entire nativist nation felt. Many political changes were also being made during this abstract time period. Immigrants were new to our elaborate and tangled web of politics. In fact many nativist Americans didn't understand our political system all to well. Many people had the conception that immigrants were too half-witted to follow American politics. After all they were not even born here. Immigrants tended to vote in blocks together. In document 7, according to magazine writer, E.A. Ross thought that foreigners were underhanded and corrupt. They polluted everything "good" about our "pure and honest" political system. Ross gives a clear exaggeration on how the foreigners managed to change the outcome of an election. From intimidation at the polls, ballot frauds, vote purchases, and saloon influence. Also the support of the vicious and criminal. This is clearly a stretch on the reality of the situation. He contradicts himself at the end by saying its root is the "simple minded foreigner". With all this criminal masterminding to change an election outcome, its foundation are immigrants who do not completely understand our political system. Thats fails to make any sense to me whatsoever. Most immigrants wanted a better future for their families and that was all. Social changes played a huge role in the nativist campaign against immigrants. Many changes were occurring in our social
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