Nativism

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1. Nativism- the belief that the needs and wants of established citizens are more important to listen to than those of recent immigrants 2. There is certainly nativism still in America today- we see it behind many racially based campaigns against immigrants and even other races, and it remains a popular belief in areas such as the deep south. This also would seem to be one of the dominating beliefs behind racist groups such as the KKK. 3. Following the potato famine in 1850, thousands of immigrants from Ireland were entering America at an exponentially astounding rate. Americans believed that the Irish, coming in at an astonishing rate, would bring new ideas over and ruin their (the established American’s) way of life. Primarily, that saw that the Roman-Catholic Irish would bring in “undemocratic” ideas and such, going as far to instigate a massive hate for the Irish. For example, Americans tried to pass legislation to limit the right to vote of new Americans. 4. The Know Nothing Party was a secret society based against the Irish and Catholics. They got their candidates up into very high positions, for example the mayor of Philadelphia. They were based on highly nativist beliefs, and scared the Irish and many immigrants. 5. The Kensington riots were a release of the extreme tensions between Catholics (mostly immigrants) and Protestants (mostly established Americans). After Catholics were the driving force behind the legislation in Philadelphia that stated that children shouldn’t be forced to read religious texts, Protestants were clearly irritated (as previously only the Protestant bible was taught). Next, the American Republic party, a protestant Nativist group was meeting and they were attacked by the Irish, which caused the riots. Nativism was clearly in place here, as generational Americans were mad at the new immigrant Irish for changing their style of life and wanted the new immigrants to have less rights than they did.
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