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Immigration in American history


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Title: Immigration in American history

Immigration in American history a new
  • Opening
  • Centrality of immigration in American history
  • Changing paradigms
  • Changing immigration patterns
  • Immigration and citizenship policies
  • sources

Immigration and citizenship policies and other
events 1
  • 1607 -- Founding of Jamestown, Virginia by
    English colonists.
  • 1620 -- Voyage of the Mayflower, carrying
    Pilgrims to the New World.
  • 1790 First naturalization act only free white
    men could be naturalized.

Immigration and citizenship policies and other
events 2
  • 1846-47 -- Irish potato famine, causing
    large-scale Irish emigration.
  • 1848 -- Gold discovery in California, starting
    the Gold Rush. Chinese
  • immigrants (first Asians) were also about to
  • Revolution in Germany, sending many immigrants
    to the United
  • States.
  • 1854 People vs Hall, a California Supreme Court
    case, which rules that no Chinese could give
    testimony against white people in the court of
  • 1868 The 14th Amendment
  • Impact
  • Limitations Chinese
  • 1868 The Burlingame Treaty between the United
    State and China
  • 1875 -- The Page Act, restricting the entry of
    Chinese women.
  • 1880 Anti-miscegenation laws in California
  • prohibiting marriage between a white person and
    "a Negro, mulatto, or Mongolian.
  • (Colonial origin Maryland in 1661) in many
    states, the law stayed in the books until
    recently racism nazism.
  • 1882 -- The first Chinese exclusion act,
    terminating Chinese labor
  • immigration for ten years (extended afterwards),
    and declaring
  • Chinese immigrants ineligible for citizenship.
  • 1886 -- Statue of Liberty dedicated, and at the
    same time the efforts to
  • restrict immigration increased.

Immigration and citizenship policies and other
events 3
  • 1907-08 -- The Gentlemens Agreement between the
    United States and
  • Japan, ending Japanese labor immigration. But
    certain people, such
  • as wives and children of those already in
    America could continue to
  • arrive.
  • 1910 -- January 21, The detention center on Angel
    Island (another AI site) (video) was put in
    use--until November 4, 1940.
  • 1913 -- Alien land act passed in California.
  • 1917 -- Literacy test established as a way to
    restrict general
  • immigration, especially immigration from
    southern and eastern
  • Europe. Creation of a Barred Zone in order to
    exclude Asian
  • immigrants.
  • 1922 -- The Cable Act, making it difficult for
    female U.S. citizens to
  • marry non-citizen Asian immigrant men. Those
    who did would lose
  • their citizenship.
  • 1922 -- Takao Ozawa v. United States. The
    Supreme Court turned down
  • the Japanese-born immigrants application for
  • 1923 -- United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind. The
    Supreme Court decided
  • that although Thind was an Aryan (white), he
    could not be naturalized.
  • How was race defined?
  • 1923 -- Numerous U.S. Supreme Court cases
    upholding the Alien Land Acts

Immigration and citizenship policies and other
events 4
  • 1946 -- The War Bride Act, admitting
    foreign-born wives of U.S. service
  • men.
  • 1948 -- The Displaced Persons Act (modified two
    years later), intended to
  • allow 400,000 Europeans to enter the U.S as
    refugees in four years.
  • 1952 -- McCarran-Walter Act, preserving the quota
    system by creating
  • the Asia-Pacific Triangle allowing Asian
    immigrants to be
  • naturalized.
  • 1960 -- Cuban refugees were paroled into the
    United States after the
  • revolution led by Castro in 1959.
  • 1965 -- The Immigration Reform Act, abolishing
    the quota system, setting
  • a ceiling for both the Western and Eastern
  • 1975 -- The fall of Saigon and the beginning of
    Vietnamese and other
  • southeastern

1790 naturalization act
  • Act of March 26, 1790 (1 Stat 103-104) (Excerpts)
    That any alien, being a free white person, who
    shall have resided within the limits and under
    the jurisdiction of the United States for the
    term of two years, may be admitted to become a
    citizen thereof, on application to any common law
    court of record, in any one of the States wherein
    he shall have resided for the term of one year at
    least, and making proof to the satisfaction of
    such court, that he is a person of good
    character, and taking the oath or affirmation
    prescribed by law, to support the Constitution of
    the United States, which oath or affirmation such
    court shall administer and the clerk of such
    court shall record such application, and the
    proceedings thereon and thereupon such person
    shall be considered as a citizen of the United
    States. And the children of such persons so
    naturalized, dwelling within the United States,
    being under the age of twenty-one years at the
    time of such naturalization, shall also be
    considered as citizens of the United States. And
    the children of citizens of the United States,
    that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits
    of the United States, shall be considered as
    natural born citizens Provided, that the right
    of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose
    fathers have never been resident in the United
    States . . .

Foreign languages in the US 1990
  • Population 5 years and older 230,445,777
  • Only English 198,600,798
  • non-English 31,844,979
  • Total percent of non-English 13.8
  • French (and Creoles) 1,930,404
  • Spanish (and Creole) 17,345,064
  • German 1,547,987
  • Chinese 1,319,462
  • Italian 1,308,648
  • Tagalog 843,251
  • Polish 723,483
  • Korean 626,478
  • Indo European 578,076
  • Indic 555,126
  • Vietnamese 507,069
  • Portuguese (and Creole) 430,610
  • Japanese 427,657
  • Greek 388,260
  • Arabic 355,150

Language 2005
  • Total population 5 years old and
    over 268,110,961
  • Speak only English 216,176,111
  • Spanish or Spanish Creole 32,184,293
  • Chinese
  • French (including Patois, Cajun) 1,383,432
  • French Creole 548,986
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese 1,142,328
  • German
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Italian 802,436
  • Arabic 686,986
  • Portuguese or Portuguese Creole 661,990
  • Polish 607,585
  • African languages
  • Hindi 462,371
  • Japanese 457,836
  • Persian 325,892

  • North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and
    Oral Histories
  • http//
  • Articles on immigration from the Atlantic
  • http//
  • Center for immigration studies
  • http//
  • Search Immigration Emigration Records
  • http//
  • Angel Island
  • http// http//
  • Angel Island Poetry
  • http//
  • Video
  • http//

  • the future of the historical profession is in the
    hands of high school history teachers.

Centrality of immigration in US history
  • "Once I thought to write a history of the
    immigrants in America. Then I discovered that the
    immigrants were American history --Oscar
    Handlin, The Uprooted The Epic Story of Great
    Migrations that Made the American People (1951.)
  • A Nation of Immigrants by JFK (1964)

Centrality of immigration in American history
  • Two quotes
  • Studying immigration helps us better understand
    topics specified in California Content Standards,
    such as industrialization, urbanization, food,
    ethnicity, food, etc.
  • It also helps us comprehend fundamental changes
    in American society.
  • It helps us better understand political,
    socioeconomic and cultural changes in America
  • The immigrants are changed by the New World and
    they have also changed America.
  • The immigrants are changed by the New World and
    they have also changed America.
  • It reveals the global connections in American
  • We are at a historic moment

Fundamental changes in society
  • Of particular importance is the change in the
    character and nature of American society.
  • Who are included and excluded? Who should have
    the essential rights as an American?
  • the class, gender, and especially dimensions of
    these questions.
  • The meaning of American-ness has changed
    profoundly historically, as we will see. For a
    long time, Asians were regarded as non-American.

Changing paradigms in the study of immigration
  • Every generation writes its own history.
  • Assimilation theory the most powerful and most
    influential model for understanding immigrant
  • Third-generation theory
  • From The Uprooted to The Transplanted (By John
    Bodnar, 1985).
  • Another important for the revision of history
    the demand by the descendants of newer

Assimilation theory
  • Robert Park (1864-1944)
  • Chicago School of Sociology
  • assimilation is inevitable and it has four
    progressive and irreversible stages contact,
    competition, accommodation, and assimilation.
  • Influenced Chinese American scholars Paul Siu
    Rose Hum Lee

misassumptions of the assimilation theory
  • There is a fixed, never-changing norm of being
  • It is based on European immigrant experiences in
    the early 20 century.
  • It focuses on the American setting.
  • It believed that assimilation brings upward
    social mobility, assuming that everyone starts
    from the bottom.
  • A tool used to judged the immigrants the good
    one assimilated and the bad ones do not.
  • It is the ultimate goal of the immigrants, and it
    is inevitable.
  • The immigrants were seen as a problem
    socioeconomically and culturally.

Third generation theory
  • Marcus L. Hansen (1892-1938)
  • The first generation the society regards them as
    a problem looked down upon them survival.
  • The second generation pressure to assimilate at
    school constantly criticized and mocked
  • tension in the family
  • Eager to forget 100 Americanized.
  • ( Nothing is more Yankee that a Yankeeized
    person of foreign descent.)
  • The third generation more confident and eager to
    re-remember. that which the son wishes to
    forget the grandson wishes to remember.

  • The Transplanted
  • Continued connections with the Old World family
    ties and cultural traditions, etc.
  • Part of capitalism development locally and
    globally. As a calculated response by families
    and individuals in response to such developments.
  • Broader coverage of different immigrant groups,
    especially the new immigrants. Some coverage of
    Asian immigrants.
  • The Uprooted
  • Discontinuity from homeland and traditions
  • Forced escape from hardships at home.
  • Exclusively focused on European immigrants

Changing immigration patterns
  • Shifting waves of immigration
  • The saga continues
  • The number of Asian Americans
  • The Asian American experience challenges old

Shifting waves of immigration
  • During the 17th and 18th centuries, most
    immigrants came from Western and Northern Europe.
  • In the mid-19th century, large numbers of Irish
    immigrants arrived. So did Chinese immigrants
    the first large wave of immigrants from Asia.
    But it was soon banned.
  • Beginning from the late 19th century, Southern
    and Eastern Europe became the primary source of

Earlier Immigration Waves
  • During The century of immigration (1820 to
    1924), nearly 36,000,000 immigrants came to the
  • Peak decade 1900-1910, 8,800,000 arrived
  • 1910 one of every seven was born outside the
    United States
  • During the 18th 19th centuries, 20 of the
    businessmen, 20 of the scholars/scientists 46
    of the musicians were first generation immigrants.

New immigration patterns
  • The post-1965 period belongs to the third world
  • 1981 - 1990, over 7,338,000 immigrated to U.S.,
    only 9.6 of them were European. 38 of them are

Changing immigration patterns (post-1965)
Immigration numbers 1831-2005
1 of every 8 people is an immigrant
  • one in eight U.S. residents is an immigrants
  • In 1970 it was one in 21
  • in 1980 it was one in 16
  • in 1990 it was one in 13.
  • Since 2000, 10.3 million immigrants have arrived
    the highest seven-year period of immigration in
    U.S. history. More than half of post-2000
    arrivals (5.6 million) are estimated to be
    illegal aliens.  
  • The largest increases in immigrants were in
    California, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois,
    Arizona, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, Georgia,
    North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Chinese and other Asians
The Asian American experience challenges old
  • 1. The immigrant children will assimilate and be
    accepted automatically into American society.
    For a long time, Asian Americans were viewed
    outsiders. Unlike other groups, who became
    white over time, American-born Asians continued
    to face discrimination. Here, I should discuss
    the notion of whiteness.
  • 2. Everyone starts at the bottom. A
    significant number of Asian immigrants came with
    middle class resources money or education. In
    terms of their income and material wealth, they
    can join the middle class in a short period of
  • Many Asians came to America by way of higher
    education they came as students, mostly
    graduate students. An overwhelming majority of
    them study in the technical fields mathematics,
    engineering, sciences, and business.
  • The hi-tech revolution that started to transform
    the American economy in the late 1990s, provided
    additional opportunities for such Asian
  • 3. Race relations in the U.S. are simply between
    blacks and whites. The growing presence of
    Asians and Latinos helps us understand the
    complex nature of the issue of race in America.
    There have been Chinese in the south since the
    late 19th century. Back in the early 20th
    century, they were sometime classified as white
    and sometimes as black.
  • 4. The immigrant experience is to be understood
    only in the context of American society. The
    Asian American experience has been characterized
    by transnationalism. Like many other before
    them, they continue to maintain strong ties to
    their ancestral lands, facilitating socioeconomic
    and cultural interactions between the United
    States and these lands.
  • 5. Immigrants are passive recipients of American
    influence. They are also changing American
    culture food language, etc.
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