Immigration of 1870 to 1910

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In the beginning of the era of 1870 through 1915, massive influx of immigrants

came into the United States of America. These immigrants came from varies of nations

and came for numerous different motives. Each individual group had their own

uniqueness of experiences that assisted to shape the economic and social climate of their

day. Their experiences in this country, whether it was positive or negative, and their very

own presence, forced Americans or even yet, non-immigrants, to take notice and adapt to

new circumstances in countless ways. These ‘non-immigrants’ however, played a

common role in society and that common role was to discriminate immigrants who were

originating along their path. The objective for them is simply evident. The native born

Americans in the United States are all for money making and when it comes to work

ethics, they clearly had none.

These immigrants or as we now call them, Americans, came to the United States

in numerous varieties. Out of the many varieties, Chinese people were one of the

broadest. The Chinese came to the United States in the late 1800's to find their desirable

possession, which is fortune. Majority came because of stories and legend they had

heard about the wealth that could be found in America. However, these can be seen in

the many stories found in histories of America and China itself. It is obvious from their

stories that Chinese immigrants were very resentful workers. They contributed to the

economy, especially in the Western settlement, by providing many essential uses and

services. Some opened laundries, while others functioned on the railroads. It was even

said that employers would hire no one else, but the Chinese if they were available due

to their thriving work ethic. However, this would be the starting point of their problems.

The treatment of the Chinese in this country is all mean and wrong. “It persisted

in merely because China is not a fighting nation. The Americans would not dare to treat

Germans, English, Italians or even Japanese as they treat the Chinese, because if they

did there would be a war.” (63) With this saying so, prejudice against the Chinese

steadily increases. Chinese immigrants had a lot to offer the Americans and this is where

Americans started taking advantage on the differences these immigrants perceived.

“They are not allowed to bring wives here from China, and if they marry American

women there is a great outcry.” (63) Just like this document had stated, Chinese

immigrants are often shut down, making it extremely difficult to call the United States

home.

Native born Americans did not take kindly to this ‘conquer’ as they saw it. Since

the Chinese were such tough and hard workers, they were in high demand by employers

and their strong risk-taking business skills were enabling them to open Laundromats and

small stores wherever they went or whenever they want. This was seen by those who

were native born as an offense to their right to gainful employment. The Chinese

Exclusion Act was then passed to stop Chinese Immigration and with an ability, cut them

off. Therefore, propaganda sprouted up around the country directing to Chinese

immigrants as inferior and out to erode stability of the United States. This great wave

of immigrants caused an anti-immigrant backlash. Nativism, which is a term used to

signify anti-immigrant underlying feeling, became widespread during the early twentieth

century. Groups such as the KKK and other nativism groups used violence against the

Chinese as a technique to scare them off. While these violent tactics did erode the

efforts of Chinese immigrants, their risk-taking business spirit allowed them to start over

again and again.

Different immigrant groups around the country experienced hardships...
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