United States History II

UnitedStates History II

Historyof Immigrants in US

Immigrationin the US has been a foundation of the country`s growth for over along period throughout the American history. All the individuals whodwell in America with an exemption of the Native Americans either arethe descendants of the immigrants or are themselves immigrants whooccupied the country in search of a better opportunity or for freedomto practice out their faith. Although some of the immigrants foundtheir way to America voluntarily, a majority of the immigrantpopulation found their way in the country as slaves where they werekidnapped in the European cities and sold to their slave masterswhere they were forced into servitude (Barnes, &amp Bowles, 2014).Another portion of the immigrant groups who arrived in the countryagainst their will were the black slaves mostly from West America.The high influx of the immigrants in the US led to an anti-immigrantsentiment among the American native-born who occupied a largersection of the country.

Theimmigrants were always perceived as the unwanted population to theirhigh competition for jobs and other social amenities in the county.Between 1877 and 1900, the issue of immigrants was a prompt among thenative-born Americans. The immigrants occupied nearly every sectionof America in larger quantities except in the southern part wherethey were very few in numbers. The paper will discuss the historicalperiod of the immigrants in America and explain in details the fourevents that occurred from 1877 to present. The paper is going to dealwith two events for the period between 1877 and 1945 and two otherevents from 1945 to the current time. The events are listed below, asthey appeared (Bodnar,1985).

GreatIndustrialization and Urbanization

The year 1880 and 1920 was a period of great industrialization andurbanization and America as a country received about 20 millionimmigrants over this short period. In the 1890s, the majority of theimmigrants were from Eastern, Central and Southern Europe. The Jewsthat were fleeing religious persecution from their countries alsojoined other immigrants in the country over this period of rapidurbanization and industrialization (Bodnar,1985).During this period, immigrants moved from rural areas towards themanufacturing centers in the urban areas to seek employmentopportunities as most of the jobs in agricultural farms became lesscommon. Urbanization was also resulted in a large influx of unskilledimmigrants in the country seeking for employment in the rural farms.This period was important in the development of America. It led tomany Native, and immigrant Americans opt to search for skills fromthe urban areas to compete for the available resources (Barnes, &ampBowles, 2014).

Mostof the people in America acquired a formal education to be competentin the job market and fit the changing work environment. Theindustrial expansion that followed immediately after the Civil Warled to significant changes in America. The country developed to alarger extent where the cities and urban centers grew not only interms of the number of individuals living in it but also in the sizeof the towns with very many and exciting buildings. The era ofurbanization and industrialization was important in the Americanhistory such that it shaped the way individuals in the country spenttheir daily lives and how they spent their leisure times. This periodsaw many skyscrapers and mass transit in the country. As more andmore immigrants crowded the cities, the value of the urban lifeincreased (Jensen,1988).Many improved social amenities were established to serve theincreased number of people in the urban areas. It is, therefore,evident that the era of industrial revolution and urbanization wasvery important in shaping the life of the people in America whetherthe natives or the immigrants. The increased urbanization andindustrialization changed the urban life to a large extent in termsof politics and the social life of people. The living standards andthe level of education of people increased to greater levels due tothe high competition that was created by the increased number ofimmigrants looking for better life in the country (Yans-McLaughlin,1990).


In late 1870`s, the whole economy of America revolved aroundrailroads. The railroad increased the American economy in the 1890sas the major sector of the economy supplied some of the materials tobe used in the construction of the rail. The history of theimmigrants in America is closely linked to the development ofrailroads. The immigrants were the central figures that wereimportant in the construction of railroads. The railroads led to theexpansion of major cities and urban centers in the US and, therefore,most of the individuals could be settled in the new emerged urbancenters (Bodnar,1985).

Therailroad era led to massive cultural and racial discrimination suchthat the black-Americans were discriminated against by the Nativewhite Americans. During this period, racial tensions were reported inlarge numbers in the West as many immigrants especially the Chineseturned up in search of employment in California. In 1882, thepresident set up a legislative that barred the Chinese immigrantsfrom entering the country, and those that were already in Americawere denied the right for naturalization until the end of his tenure.This discrimination led the black Americans to be united and at theend, it led to world war. All the immigrants were then treated withthe same measures as the white Americans, and they all received thecountry`s resources with equal measures (Barnes, &amp Bowles, 2014).This era was a major step to ending racial discrimination in the US.

Establishmentof the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

This event occurred during the period of global depression that tookplace in the 1930s and during the World War II. After the SecondWorld War II, the country came up with legislation to control thenumber of immigrants entering the country. After the Cuban revolutionthat occurred in 1859, many refugees get access in the US(Yans-McLaughlin,1990). Tocontrol the increasing population in the country, the Congress passedlegislation limiting the number of immigrants entering the country.This law was very important as it enabled the country prevent theproblem of overpopulation in major cities of US and, therefore, thecountry was able to supply its citizens with the best socialamenities. As a result of the establishment of the legislation, thecountry experienced a change in the immigration patterns. Today, USis one of the developed countries with few cases of racialdiscrimination than most of the European countries. The legislationensured that the immigrants do not compete with the Natives for thecountries resources and employment opportunities that were the majorcause for racial discrimination (Jensen,1988).

Formationof African-American Civil Rights Movement

This period encountered the end of the Vietnam War and other CivilWars in the country. The end of the Civil War was a major boost tothe country`s economy since the economy was able to experience greatdevelopments. In the 1960s, the country achieved liberalization thatimplied that every citizen whether an immigrant of the country was tobe accorded the social justice. The period is important as it showsthe country`s milestone in ending racial discrimination and socialinjustice to the individuals (Bodnar,1985).


Manyevents have taken place throughout the history of the immigrants inAmerica for over a long period until the current time. The countryhas advanced in its political landscape, social interaction, culturalpractices and the state of the economy from 1877 up to the currenttime. The immigrants have helped to a large extent in shaping thecountry from the worse condition to the better where it is currentlyas the most developed country than other countries in the world. Theperiod of rapid urbanization and industrialization was a milestonefor the country`s development agenda, and this was facilitated by therapid immigrants who entered the country during the period of rapidindustrialization and urbanization. They gave the already existingimmigrants and the Native-White Americans a challenge such that theyhad to acquire new skills to survive in the urban centers and securethe white-collar jobs in the manufacturing centers. Every stage inthe country`s history was important as it served as a challenge inthe development process of the country.


Barnes,L. &amp Bowles, M. (2014). The American story: Perspectives andencounters from 1877. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Bodnar,J. E. (1985). Thetransplanted: A history of immigrants in urban America(Vol. 416). Indiana University Press.

Jensen,J. M. (1988). Passagefrom India: Asian Indian Immigrants in North America(p. 42). New Haven: Yale University Press.

Yans-McLaughlin,V. (1990). Immigration reconsidered: history sociology and politics.