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1. IMMIGRATION

IntégréTéléchargement
3. USA, 1918-1968
5 essays to learn BUT only
1 to write in the exam
Issue 1
An Evaluation Of The Reasons For
Changing Attitudes To Immigration
Factor 1: Prejudice And
Racism
Factor 2: Isolationism & The
First World War
Factor 3: Economic Fear
Factor 4: Social Fear
Factor 5: Fear Of Revolution
AIMS OF ESSAY:
To understand why
hostility towards
immigration grew in
the USA
To explain why the
American public
supported
immigration
restriction
Aims Paragraph 4:
To understand why economic fears led to
changing attitudes towards immigrants
To Understand The Reasons Why ‘Native’
Americans Blamed Immigrants For Social
Problems
Have the background knowledge & argument
to write your final paragraph on the
influence social & economic factors had on
changing attitudes to immigration
PLAN FOR PARAGRAPH
Social & Economic Factors Changing Attitudes
1. Start with an Opening Argument e.g. state there is a link between the isolated
factor & the question
2. Knowledge – details on unemployment & soldiers returning
3. Analysis – explain why this changed attitude towards immigration competition
4. Knowledge – details of immigrants used as strike breakers
5. Analysis – explain why this changed attitude towards immigration – trade
unions
6. Knowledge – details of life in the slums
7. Analysis – explain why this created resentment
8. Knowledge – details of crime & drunkenness
9. Analysis – explain why this lead Americans to dislike the immigrants
10. Evaluation – make a judgement:
Read Through Paragraph 3 & 4 On
Handout
Example Paragraph
1. ECONOMIC FEARS
We already know that anarchists/communists
only made up 0.1% of the population
therefore there must be another explanation
to the strikes & unrest in America…
At the end of WWI, approximately 9 million
people worked in war industries such as steel;
wheat fields (food for allies) & munitions
factories, while another 4 million were
serving in the armed forces
Once the war was over, these people were
left without jobs and war industries were
left without contracts - unemployment more
than doubled from 5.2% to 11.7% by 1921
Competition For Jobs
As a result of competition, there was
increased anger towards the seemingly
endless pool of cheap labouring immigrants
as they were blamed for ‘stealing jobs’
WASPs believed that they were either being
deprived of work or forced to accept
lower wages because of the abundance of
cheap immigrant labour
Employers could pay immigrant workers less
because they were desperate for work and
were willing to accept lower wages than
WASP workers
Acceptance Of Poor Working Conditions
Many of these immigrants were unskilled and
therefore accustomed to long hours, low pay and
harsh working conditions as desperate for work
The acceptance of these poor working and living
conditions angered poor, native-born
Americans who believed that the abundance of
immigrant labour kept wages low & condemned
them also to poverty & terrible conditions
Trade unions believed that anything they did to
improve conditions or wages was wrecked by
Italian or Polish workers who were prepared to
work for longer wages for lower wages
Employers would not negotiate with trade
unions because there was a wealth of workers
who would accept the current pay & conditions
STRIKE BREAKERS
Following WWI, there were many strikes in
1919 (as we know) across the USA as emerging
trade unions fought for better wages, shorter
working hours and better conditions
While trade unions were trying to get better
working conditions for their members by
striking, employers were able to break these
strikes by employing immigrant workers to
replace the strikers
They had no bargaining power when employers
knew that they could always use cheap
immigrants to break their strikes
Immigrants therefore gained the reputation of
‘strike-breakers’ or ‘black legs’ - this caused
huge resentment and an increase in the desire
to stop immigrants coming into the country
ECONOMIC FEARS AND WWI
KNOWLEDGE 1:
ARGUMENT 1
•Unemployment statistics
It can be argued that after WWI
there was great competition for
jobs which led to changing
attitudes towards immigrants
as WASPs believed that they
were either being deprived of
work or forced to accept lower
wages because of the abundant
availability of cheap immigrant
•Soldiers returning to the
workforce
ECONOMIC FEARS AND WWI
KNOWLEDGE 2
ARGUMENT 2
Strike breakers
It can be argued that while trade
unions were trying to get better
working conditions for their
members by striking, employers
were prepared to break these
strikes by employing immigrant
workers to replace the strikers
2. Social Fears
The flood of new immigrants increased during World War 1 as millions
came to escape the war and the economic depression which followed
The majority of immigrants settled in four large cities: Chicago,
Boston, Pittsburgh & New York
These immigrants “enclaves” became identified by names such as
Little Italy, Irishtown and Chinatown
They wanted to be close to other people who spoke their language &
felt safer in their own communities who continued the traditions and
customs of their home countries
They had their own shops selling their own food, their own forms of
entertainment & sometimes their own schools
Many old immigrants were worried that
foreign cultures and religions would
threaten the American way of life This heighten suspicion toward
immigrants
City Slums
Immigrants lived where they could find work – in the big cities
They had little money and low wages so could only afford the cheapest
housing in the worst areas
Whole families sometimes 10 or 12 people had only one room to live in
They were damp, dark and filthy with no water supply, toilets or
drains - rubbish and sewage was thrown into backcourts or streets
However landlords could still put rents up due to the high competition
which resulted in natives becoming hostile towards immigrants
Immigrants were blamed for the poor conditions and overcrowding
even though in reality it was the responsibility of the city
authorities rather than the immigrants
Crime
Statistics showing soaring crime rates in
neighborhoods with high concentrations of
immigrants were held as proof of the bad
influence of the immigrant on their environment
• Out of the 17,328 persons arrested in New
York in 1858
• 14,638 were foreigners, 10,477 of these were
Irish
Italian immigrants were thought to be connected
to the Mafia and high profile gangsters like Al
Capone seemed to confirm this image
This shows America already had preconceived
judgements about people of a certain nationality
Sacco and Vanzetti
The Case Seemed To Confirm The Link Between Political Extremist,
Foreign Influence & Crime - Yet Showed Racism & Prejudice At The Time
• They were arrested in May 1920 and charged with armed robbery
and murder
• Both men were from Italy and both spoke little English
• Both were known to be anarchists and draft-dodgers
• 61 people claimed that they saw both men at the
robbery/murders
• BUT 107 people claimed that they had seen both men elsewhere
when the crime was committed…
• Regardless of this both men were found guilty & spent 7 years in
prison while their lawyers appealed
• Despite many public protests and petitions, both men were
executed by electric chair on August
24th, 1927
• Riots followed in Paris, Geneva, Berlin
as there was little evidence against them
Drunkenness
Many native Americans despised the lifestyle
of certain immigrant groups
Especially the Germans and Italians whose
cultural traditions involved what seemed to
be the large consumption of alcohol
This offended the rigid sensitivities of the
native immigrants
As early as 1820s Puritans (anti-Catholics)
saw their Sabbaths ignored by drunken Irish
navvies fighting, swearing and gambling in
the slums of Boston and New York
They regarded the immigrants as lower class
SOCIAL FEARS
KNOWLEDGE 1:
ARGUMENT 1
•Describe the conditions
of the City slums &
congregation of the
immigrants
•It can be argued that many
Americans began to resent
the immigrants because…
•Landlords $$$
•Threat to American
life/suspicion
SOCIAL FEARS
KNOWLEDGE 2
ARGUMENT 2
•Crime rates
•It can be argued that
immigrants were blamed for
social disorder in American
society, especially in the
cities & making it a less
desirable country to live in
•Drunkenness and
cultural traditions
OPENING ARGUMENT
Changing attitudes towards immigrants
increased as Americans felt that their jobs
were being threatened & brought major social
problems to America’s city and made it a less
desirable country to live in
Economic & social fears were another important
factor in changing attitudes towards
immigration among ordinary workers
PREJUDICE AND RACISM
Evaluation
Overall economic & social fear lead to the racist
beliefs that new immigrants were too different
from regular Americans, were undermining their
living standards through competition for housing &
crime rates and needed to be to be limited in their
numbers which shows that prejudice was the most
important factor in explaining changing attitudes
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