The Melting Pot

Topics: Immigration to the United States, Melting pot, United States Pages: 2 (634 words) Published: July 3, 2013
The origins of the term comes from the eighteenth and nineteenth century, and used as a metaphor it describes the fusion of different nationalities, ethnicities and cultures. It was used together with concepts of the United States as an ideal republic or new promised land. It was a metaphor for the idealized process of immigration and colonization by which different nationalities, cultures and "races" were to blend into a new, virtuous community. The exact term "The Melting Pot" came into general usage in 1908, after the premiere of the play “The Melting Pot” by Israel Zangwill. The melting pot is a theory used to describe the American society in its first years. In the very beginning, the settlers in the “New World” had to create a totally new nation from many different origins and the proximate result of this situation was the birth of the melting pot theory. The idea behind it is that every immigrant arriving to the coast of the new world has to give up his or her national identity, culture and language in order to be accepted as part of the American society. The process of cultural assimilation can be seen as some sort of melting process, in which all immigrants from different origins melt together in a bit pot: as they step out of it, their old identity is gone. With the Immigration Act from 1965, large number of Latin-Americans and Asians followed the wave of European immigrants, but they assimilated harder than Europeans did. Non-white groups especially began to emphasize their culture and heritage, so that the American society could no longer be as an homogeneous structure. By that time, the society of United States was described as a “salad bowl”, the metaphor explaining that the variety of different ethnic groups in the modern American society symbolize the “ingredients” which reserve their own flavor and texture, while contributing to the aggregate “salad”. As the US populations was always been a mixture of different races and nations, there also have...
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