Immigration
A History of the United States
The New Colossus
by Emma Lazarus
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to
breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your
teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless,
tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden
door.
(inscription on the base of the
Statue of Liberty)
The Melting Pot Theory
Belief that individual
immigrants were
blended together to
create one uniform
“American”
 Assimilation required!

The Mosaic Theory

Belief that the
individual immigrants
retained their unique
characteristics as they
adjusted to life in the
U.S.
The Salad Bowl Theory
Belief that individual
characteristics of
immigrant past can
still be identified
within the United
States society
 (US is a salad with
recognizable
individual ingredients)

Push – Pull Theory

Immigration to the
United States is
affected by conditions
that “pushed” people
out of their home
country and “pulled”
them to the United
States
Ellis Island



Processing center for
immigrants entering the
east coast
More than 12 million
immigrants passed
through Ellis Island
seeking a new life in the
United States
Ellis Island - FREE Port of
New York Passenger
Records Search.mht
Angel Island was the processing
center on the West Coast
Old Immigration
Before 1860
 Most immigrants came from Northern &
Western Europe
 They were farmers who found land in US
that was cheap or free; readily adapted to
US
 They were generally welcomed by the
people of the US because the country
needed workers and consumers

Exceptions to the Norm

Irish immigrants
 Came
in greater numbers
 Settled in cities (not enough money to move
inland)
 Took jobs as unskilled laborers (RR’s, canals)
 Faced discrimination because they were
predominately Catholic; more difficult to blend
into the American society
Old Immigration
Britain
Germany
Ireland
Other
Europeans
Non-Europeans
New Immigrants
Between 1860 & 1920
 Most came from Southern and Eastern Europe
 They were unskilled laborers who settled in
ethnic neighborhoods within the big cities
 They faced discrimination because their religion
(Catholic, Jewish, or Greek Orthodox), their
languages, & customs were very different from
Native-born Americans

New Immigration
Italy
Russia
AustriaHungary
Balkans
Britain
Ireland
Germany
Scandinavia
Other
Europeans
Non-Europeans
Immigration
(1821 – 1990)
Nativism
Belief that “native-born” Americans are
better than immigrants
 Nativism was evident in everything from
ethnic “jokes” to discriminating policies
(No Irish Need Apply) to laws passed by
the state and national governments

Americanization Process

Discrimination
 Lived
in ethnic neighborhoods (Little Italy)
 Spoke “broken English”
 Usually married within own ethnic and
religious group

Acculturation
 Conscious
effort to adjust to life in US
 Learned English but spoke with an accent;
often were bi-lingual
 Became citizens through the naturalization
process
 Often moved out of ethnic neighborhood
 Usually married within same religious group
but may marry someone of different ethnicity

Assimilation
 Difficult
to tell an immigrant from a nativeborn American
 Regional accent
 Changed names to lose ethnic identity
 May marry someone of a different religious
group
Factors Aiding Americanization

Schools – “the great equalizer”



Current news presented in languages of various nations
Immigrant organizations


Anna Kleibor - 962 Boston Road, NYC - 1904.mht
Immigrant press


Children learned American customs & government, took lessons
home to parents
Social organizations where immigrants helped each other (“Sons
of Italy”)
Naturalization process

Must learn about American government, civics, culture
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Immigration - Olean Middle School