Immigration is a serious issue that has occupied the minds of many government officials throughout US history. Lately we notice that it has surfaced again and it has become a key issue for the Presidential candidates in the on coming elections. I will focus on some of the tensions that have been present in the past and that have influenced or changed America. I have noticed in the presented documents that society in the period 1880-1925 was split between those who favored the flow of new immigrants and those who opposed it. The tensions vary between those related to racial issues and those questioning the effect of the influx of immigrants on the job market and the social stability and integrity.
One particular tension that has been present during the specified time is the racial difference between the people and the common believe that somehow the Anglo-Saxon white people were superior to those of other color or ethnic background. The difference between the white and non-white Americans have always been the center of discussions and the core of many social problems. In “The Passing of the Great Race” by Madison Grant we notice how explicit and open this question was at that time. The “superior” Nordic race is accounted for great “leadership, courage, for loyalty, for unity”, those attributes to a healthy and successful society. Based on Mr. Grant’s words we should believe that only the white Anglo-Saxons are responsible for the greatness of this nation. Of course this perception faced its opponents of the time. The tensions between the supporters of this theory and those who opposed it triggered events that shaped the future of the American society. In his speech Booker T. Washington presents the opposite of this theory of superiority. He calls for equality, understanding and appreciation of the black race and the achievements that have brought up the “progress of the South”.
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