Immigrant Dbq

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Written on side of one of America’s most notable landmark, The Statue of Liberty is the iconic line “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breath free”(Carnes 640). The message that “Lady Liberty” conveys is one of acceptance and embracement of immigrants no matter how poor, outcaste, or unwanted, because America was the “Land of Opportunity.” The cartoon in Puck Magazine depicts the United States as a US Ark Refuge with Uncle Sam opening his arms to the poor and decrepit immigrants looking for freedom. (Doc A) Shortly after this cartoon was made America’s open door policy began to diminish replaced by nativist legislature. America’s welcoming nature had throughout its history been selective to whom it applied, whether it be the Irish and German immigrants during the early 1800s who experienced racial discrimination upon arrival (Carnes 492). During the time period between 1880 to 1925 America’s open arms to immigrants became even more selective in the wake of WWI, when a new flow of immigrants from Europe among other places arrived on American soil looking for a new life (Carnes 640). Instead of a “Land of Opportunity” they arrived in a hostile climate fueled by nativist, who believed in White American superiority, and feared cheap immigrant labor was a threat to their livelihood (Carnes 641). The United States government during this time period did protect America’s status as a “Land of Opportunity,” but instead made life as an immigrant more difficult with nativist legislature such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and Immigration Act of 1917 (Carnes 436).

Both social and economic issues led to the tension between Americans and immigrants resulting in a major cultural divide between the two camps. One major source of tension people during the late 19th century and early 20th century was the issue of job stealing. During the early 1800s government supported American manufacturing to the point that they became lenient on immigration policies...
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