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Social Studies help for American History, Economics and AP Government. There are class notes, numerous Supreme Court case summaries and information on how to write a research paper inside.

Immigration

Neil Diamond wrote the song "America" in tribute to the impact of immigration in America. It speaks of the quest for opportunity that embodied million who crossed into our nation. Click here to listen to the song. It is an MP3 file (4 megs and should take 2-3 minutes with a Cable Modem.) Choose open to play the song or save to save it to a disk and listen later. Let me know if the link stops working.

AMERICA

Written by Neil Diamond

Far
We've been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star
 
Free
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream
 
On the boats and on the planes
They're coming to America
Never looking back again
They're coming to America
 
Home, don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm
 
Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm
 
Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Every time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America
 
Got a dream to take them there
They're coming to America
Got a dream they've come to share
They're coming to America
 
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today
 
My country 'tis of thee
Today
Sweet land of liberty
Today
Of thee I sing
Today
Of thee I sing
Today


Immigrants came to America for many reasons. Beginning in the 1600's and 1700's America was seen as the land of opportunity. The Pilgrims came for the opportunity to have religious freedom. The Quakers and French Huguenots did as well. Economic opportunity was also a goal of many early immigrants. Whether it was the search for gold, the chance to own land and a farm or the chance to start a new life... even as an indentured servant; America was the "new world" and full of opportunities.

Immigration Before 1865

Before the Civil War America had an open immigration policy. Anyone could come here with no restrictions. Immigrants at this time were considered the "OLD IMMIGRANTS."

Old Immigrants - Came from northwestern Europe. These immigrants were mostly English and German. There were some French. These immigrants were light skinned and had light eyes and hair. They were Protestant.

 

Immigration After 1865

After 1865 Americans began to restrict immigration. Groups called nativists formed to oppose immigration. The Ku Klux Klan and the Know Nothings were nativists groups.

 

Immigration from 1890 - 1920

A look at the statistics below shows that immigration increased tremendously in the early 1900's until it was slowed by the Emergency Quota Act (also known as the National Origins Act) in 1920. These immigrants were different from the Old Immigrants and were called NEW IMMIGRANTS.

New Immigrants - Came from Eastern and Southern Europe. These immigrants were from Russian and Polish Jews, Italians and Irish. Their religions were different from the Old Immigrants (Catholic and Jewish). They were typically darker in color with darker hair and eyes.

 

Immigration from Asia

Chinese and Japanese immigration occurred throughout the periods listed above. It was Chinese labor that built the transcontinental railroad. Because of their unique racial background, however, they were discriminated against a great deal. As a result Asian immigrants are neither old or new immigrants.


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