Why Did the Us Government Try to Limit Immigration After 1918?

Topics: United States, Immigration to the United States, European Union Pages: 4 (1399 words) Published: October 17, 2010
America was known as the Land of the Free, in the early 1900s. The place where all could live peacefully, in harmony, safe from the turmoil of the outside world. The people there were proud of their “open door policy”, proud that their offered safety and protection to many people who sought it. So, why did the US government suddenly try to crush this tranquillity, destroy this place of refuge where many could find comfort? Why did they not let the desperate, hungry and frightened masses in when they knocked on America’s door? That is question a very crucial question in American history which we will now try to answer.

One major factor, I think, in the decision to exclude many immigrants, was the threat of revolution that loomed in many people’s minds, the fear of communism. Communism had already grasped European countries such as Russia. The citizens of the newly communist nations who feared such a change flocked to America, the magic country they had heard of, where the man clad in rags could become one of the wealthy. This did not seem to be too much of a problem until the effects of letting certain groups, not all of which were anti-communist, began to show. In 1919, there were huge waves of strikes in the USA. There was a nationwide strike of steelworkers, many of who were unskilled and semi-skilled workers, recently emigrated from Southern and Eastern Europe. This only a small part of the “red scare” that swept the USA in 1919. The “red scare” was a sudden fear of communism that American citizens experienced in 1919 -1920. Red is the colour of communism, and in some areas of the US, the colour red actually became ferociously frowned upon during this time. This was soon portrayed as the work of the revolutionary immigrants. This scare understandably worried many Americans, fearing for their country after witnessing the force of the swarm of immigrants, who they thought could easily seize control, should they put their mind to it. So, they shrank back from...
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