The Growth of Portuguese Immigrants and their ensuing importance in America Society

1505 WordsJan 29, 20186 Pages
The Portuguese came to America for the opportunity and chance to obtain the American Dream. While most immigrants that came to America worked factory jobs, the Portuguese came for whaling, fishing, ship making, and the aquaculture industry. There was a need for the new wave of Portuguese immigrants to be close to the water since Portugal resides along the Atlantic Ocean, so therefore they settled in regions such as: Southern New England, San Francisco Bay, California, and Hawaii. Considering Portugal’s close approximation to the water, one may understand why mostly all Portuguese immigrants worked in maritime industry. Unfortunately, even considering all the labor and business the Portuguese brought to America, there was still discrimination towards them and their contributions to America’s industrial growth. The ideology, nativism, was the concept of protecting the interests of established inhabitants, which henceforth created countless difficulties for the Portuguese. Nativist beliefs which marginalized against Portuguese immigrants where laws such as the Naturalization act of 1798, which required a citizen to have lived in America for 5-14 years before applying for citizenship, as well as the Johnson Quota act, which limited immigration to 2% of the country’s current population . Portuguese still continued to attempt to make America their home while struggling to make a living and while avoiding the hardships caused by the nativist laws. Even with the constant resentment
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