February 2013 Archives

Revised Schedule and Paper #1 Handouts

Wed. Feb. 27: Immigration Restriction and Exclusion

Immigration Restriction
-By class (Coolie Act of 1862 and Foran Act of 1885)
-By gender (only "moral" women allowed to enter)
-By sexual orientation ("mentally defective," "sexually deviant" in 1917, 1952, 1965 Immigration Acts)

"Same-Sex Couples Granted Protection in Deportations," New York Times, September 28, 2012
"Gay couples left out of immigration plan," SF Chronicle, February 21, 2013

Race Theories: 19th Century Scientific Racism
-The use of "scientific" methods to investigate the differences between the races often supported or validated the belief that there was a hierarchy of superior and inferior races
-"Pseudo-scientific" methods were used to "prove" the innate differences and abilities of certain races by measuring skulls to determine cranial size. This was supposed to be a measurement of intelligence
-Science was used to justify white supremacy, eugenics (selective breeding) movements, apartheid

-These theories also argued that race was tied to intellectual abilities, physical abilities, and certain characteristics, values, and attributes.
-Thus, different races had different intellectual abilities, characteristics, etc. Some were more intelligent; some were savage.
-And that these differences were innate and fixed. (i.e. one could not learn to be moral if one's race was more prone to criminal behavior; one could not assimilate into another culture if their race was so different from that host culture).

Exclusion by Race

Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882
-Excludes Chinese laborers for a period of 10 years; explicitly allows only 5 "exempt" classes to enter: students, teachers, merchants, travelers, and diplomats. First time in U.S. history that the U.S. bars a specific group of immigrants based on race and class. 1882 Immigration Act excludes lunatics, idiots, persons likely to become public charges and places a head tax on all immigrants

1907 "Gentlemen's Agreement"
-"Gentlemen's Agreement" between Japan and U.S. ends immigration of Japanese and Korean laborers; has one loophole - it allows migration of family members

South Asian Immigration and the 1917 Immigration Act
-Immigration Act creates the "Asiatic Barred Zone" (all of Asia except for the Philippines, China, Japan, and Korea) from which all immigrants are excluded. Also excluded are illiterates, persons of "psychopathic inferiority," men and women entering for immoral purposes, alcoholics, stowaways, and vagrants

European Immigration and the 1921 and 1924 Quota Acts
-1921--Quota Act limited European immigration to 3 percent of the number of foreign-born people of each nationality residing in the United States in 1910. The act was designed to limit the immigration of southern and eastern European immigrants, whose populations had been much smaller in 1910. By the same token, the act was designed to favor the immigration of northern and western European immigrants who had as a group already been a large presence in the United States in 1910. Though the numbers of southern and eastern European immigrants decreased greatly after 1921, nativists pushed for even greater restrictions.

-1924--National Origins Act passed. Border Patrol established. Reduced the percentage admitted under Quota Act from 3 to 2 and moved the census date from 1910 to 1890, when southern and eastern European immigrants had yet to arrive in large numbers. All "aliens ineligible for citizenship" (i.e. Asian immigrants) are excluded, but no numerical limitations placed on immigrants within the Western Hemisphere (allowing Canadians and Mexicans to keep on entering)

Feb. 20: Immigration from S and E Europe - Labor and Gender

"Triangle Fire, 1911" (PBS American Experience)
Documentary website with special features

3862_QUIZ_2_Guidelines_2013.docx (Feb. 25)

Quiz #2 Study Sheet (Mon., Feb. 25)

| No Comments

Feb. 18: Ellis Island

Immigration in the News:
California Eases Tone as Latinos Make Gains, New York Times
First Senate hearing on immigration features calls for action, but also tensions and dissent

Ellis Island Immigration Station - 1892-1954
-12M immigrants processed, mostly from Europe
-About 3/4 of migrants to US b/w 1892 and 1924 went through Ellis Island)
-20% detained, mostly for just 8 hours
-2% excluded

Given its mostly European immigrant clientele and U.S. immigration laws that favored European immigration until the 1920s, Ellis Island was primarily a processing center. It's intention was to facilitate entry and Americanization.

Documentary: "Face of America: The Ellis Island Immigration Museum" (Great Museums)

Flipped Classroom: Ellis Island Oral Histories
-In groups of 3-4, choose one oral history to listen to and answer these questions on the board:

Date of arrival
Country of Origins
Experiences on Ellis Island (specific quote if possible)
Why is this individual story significant? What does it say about immigration regulation, immigrant hopes, immigrant memories, the ways in which we understand Ellis Island today?

"Ellis Island Oral Histories," National Park Service

"Ellis Island Oral History Project" (Ancestry.com) - requires free registration

"Save Ellis Island Oral Histories"

"Ellis Island" (Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation)

Other Resources

"Ellis Island Family Histories" (Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation)

"Interactive Tour of Ellis Island," Scholastic Publishing Co.

"Save Our History: Immigrant Reflections from Ellis Island to Staten Island" National Park Service

Feb. 13: Immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe

Overview of Industrial Migrations (1870-1930)
Map of Emigrant Areas (PBS)
European Homelands
Economic Factors
-Mechanization of agriculture makes it harder for small landowners to be profitable
-Migration from rural to urban areas
-Unemployment and underemployment
Demographic Factors
-Dramatic population increases > landlessness
"Culture of Migration" (letters of immigrants, in Gjerde)

Conditions in the U.S.
-1890: "End of the frontier"
-Social and economic crises (depression, populist movement)
-Transportation revolutions (trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific steamship travel; transcontinental railroad)
-Rural to urban migration
-African American migration northward (7M left the south from 1916 and 1970)
-Nativism and immigration restriction


Poland: 1.5M immigrate to U.S. from 1899-1924
Italy: 4.5M immigrate to U.S. from 1870-1930
Greece: 421,000 immigrate to U.S. from 1881-1930
Turkey: 359,466 immigrate to U.S. from 1881-1930

-Migrants are increasingly single, male laborers intending to return home
-"Birds of passage"
-Exceptions are those fleeing persecution, like Jewish immigrants

Italian Immigrants
-Mostly from the south
-Intended to return home to buy land (Dino Cinel). c. 1.5M returned to Italy between 1900 and 1914
-Worked as unskilled laborers, in fishing, agriculture, largely in urban areas in NY, NJ, PA, MA, CA, CT, IL, OH, MI, MO, LA
-Italian American Collection, Immigration History Research Center
Diego Delfino letters, IHRC

Jewish Immigrants
-1881-1924: 2.3M from Eastern Europe: Russia, Poland: 68%; Austria-Hungary: 14%; Romania: 6%
-Freedom from persecution: segregated lives in shtetls in the Pale of Settlement, driven out by anti-Jewish pogroms beginning in the 1880s
-1881-1914 - 1/3 of East European Jews leave region; 60% go to New York City
-Family migration: 1/3 are children under the age of 16; 42% are women

Mary Antin, The Promised Land (1911) - digital ebook from the University of PA

Lower East Side Tenement Museum Virtual Tour


[Readings: See: "A Racialized Description of Immigrants from Europe," "Sociologist Portrays the Racial Dimension of Immigrants," "Immigration Restriction League"]

1921 Quota Act: limited European immigration by placing a limit on the number allowed into the country
-Quotas were designed to limit the immigration of southern and eastern European immigrants
-Quotas were based on 3 percent of the number of foreign-born people of each nationality residing in the United States in 1910, when southern and eastern European populations in the U.S. were small
-Quotas were designed to favor the immigration of northern and western European immigrants who had as a group already been a large presence in the United States in 1910

1924 National Origins Act
-Revises quotas to further privilege northern and western European immigration and further limit southern and eastern European immigrants
-All "aliens ineligible for citizenship" (i.e. Asian immigrants) are excluded
-No restrictions placed on Canadians and Mexicans (but Border Patrol established the same year in separate legislation)

Feb. 11: Irish Immigration and Anti-Catholic Nativism

Immigration in the News: "Second-Generation Americans: A Portrait of the Adult Children of Immigrants" (Pew Research Center)

The "Great Hunger:" Irish Potato Famine, 1840s
-30-40% of the crop is destroyed in 1845
-1846 - blight returns and destroys 80% of the crop
-More than 1 million people died of starvation and famine-related diseases

Famine Migration, 1846-1855
-1.5 million fled to the United States
-"America Wake": modified funeral wake to say farewell to immigrants and to express despair and loss over parting (Kerby Miller)

Irish Immigrants in America
-"Exile" migration (Kerby Miller)
-Poverty, crime, family conflict (Hasia Diner)

Anti-Catholic Nativism in 19th Century America
-"Nativism"- opposition to immigrants and immigration; privileges the "native-born" peoples of a nation
-Growth in immigration produced anxiety amongst native-born Americans because "new" Irish Catholic immigrants were not assimilating and they not desirable citizens

"Know Nothing" (American) Party
-formed 1849
-National platform including assimilating immigrants and modifying naturalization laws to require 21-years of residence
-Ideology (see Tyler Anbinder)

-"Irish Americans" Cartoons from Harper's Weekly

Overview of Pre-industrial Migrations (1790-1870)
-One of the largest periods of international migration in U.S. history in proportion to the U.S. population. From 1820-1880: 10M immigrants from diverse origins come to the U.S., especially Northern and Western Europe
-National expansion and "opening" of the West = conquest and removal of indigenous peoples and land

Manifest Destiny and American Expansionism
-Coined by NY newspaper editor John O'Sullivan in 1845 to describe U.S. expansion westward as God's will
-Justified and inspired U.S. expansion for economic reasons
-Based on pervasive belief in American cultural and racial superiority in comparison to inferior and uncivilized Native Americans
-"American Progress" painting by John Gast (1872)
-"Mapping History" (University of Oregon) on U.S. territorial expansion
-1862 Homestead Act

Colonizing the U.S. Southwest
-Mexico declares independence from Spain in 1821
-By the 1830s, American-born "Texians" outnumber the Mexican-born by 3:1
-Texas declares independence in 1836 and requests admission to the U.S. as a slave state
-U.S.-Mexico War (1846-1848) results in annexation of northern half of Mexico (CA, AZ, NM, NE, UT, CO)
-1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: Treaty guaranteed Mexicans the right to vote, but certain districts denied them the right to vote or granted only limited participation (victims of conquest)

European Immigrants and National Expansion
-German and Scandinavian immigrants to the Upper Midwest, 1840s-1870s
-"Emigrant Settlers" pioneering, colonizing, and settling newly acquired land
-"America Fever" spreads: letters and return visits by immigrants highlight economic opportunity and encourage migration
-Migration is a "radical attempt to conserve:" migrants make a radical move to the U.S. in order to conserve traditional agriculture-based family economy. Irony is that immigration brings immeasurable change

Dakota Conflict, 1862 (MN) - see "Dakota Conflict" film
-1851 Treaty of Traverse des Sioux treaty between the Dakota and the U.S. ceded most of what would be come MN to the U.S. for 5 years in exchange for a reservation, schools, trade, annual payments
-Payments to be made through white traders who did not transfer all funds to the Dakota
-White settlement increases by land-hungry settlers and speculators
-1858: Dakota Sioux travel to Washington, DC to be told that their 5 year lease had expired and that the government would take ½ of their land

-In 1862, payments were late and Dakota began to starve
Trader Andrew Myrick:  "So far as I am concerned, if they are hungry, let them eat grass."
-Broken treaties and threat of starvation led to Dakota raids on white settlers, leading to open warfare, including 600 Sioux and 1400 person MN army
-Open warfare begins in fall of 1862: 500 white settlers killed; 303 Dakota found guilty
-Dec. 26, 1862: thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged in Mankato in the largest mass execution in U.S. history
-First in the Indian Wars for control of the Great Plains (to 1890 Battle at Wounded Knee)

"Minnesota's Uncivil War," Minnesota Public Radio

Feb. 4: Nation and Citizenship in the Age of Revolution

Ethnic Diversity in the Revolutionary Era
-1790 Census shows that less than half of the population in the new U.S. were of English background
English = <50%
African origin = 20%
Scotch-Irish, German, Scottish, French, Spanish, Dutch = 30%
-Slaves and Servants - From the early 1600s until the Revolution, nearly three-fourths of all immigrants to the thirteen colonies arrived as slaves or servants

New Identities in Colonial America
-Creole communities became more fixed around racial hierarchies by the end of the 18th century
-During the Revolution, Americans tried to define principles of membership that included ideals of liberty and equal rights
-Citizenship = "volitional contract" between governed and government (James Kettner)
-Ethnic Tensions (fear of slave uprisings, xenophobia, religious intolerance)

Meanings of Freedom during the Revolution
-Many Americans concluded that a large immigration of slaves, convicts, and servants was incompatible with the egalitarian ideas of the Revolution
-Transformation from immigration of servants, convicts, and slaves to free settlers by the 1780s and 1790s

1790 Naturalization Act: both inclusive and exclusive
First major act of the U.S. government
Declared that free, white men who are resident for two years can be American citizens after taking an oath of allegiance to the U.S. Constitution
Inclusive of European immigrants ("E Pluribus Unum" - out of many, one)
Shows confidence in assimilation
Citizenship = a "volitional contract of governed and government in new system of the 'republic'" (Historian James Kettner)

"Free" and "white" excludes African Americans and American Indians as well as all women as fully participating Americans
Lack of citizenship = lack of political power
Connection of citizenship with both freedom and whiteness would have clear and long-ranging consequences
Whiteness = "American" and "free", but who is "white?"
Blackness = "unfree"
Not until 1952 did naturalization law become totally non-race based

U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 (MN Historical Society)

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2013 is the previous archive.

March 2013 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.