1920s Immigration Research Paper

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Explain how immigrants coming to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries differed from those who came before this era? How were these immigrants viewed and treated by native-born Americans in this era? What explains the rise of immigrant restriction legislation by the early 1920s?

Unlike the majority of earlier immigrants, who had come from northern Europe, most of the more than 20 million people who arrived during this period came from southern and eastern Europe. A smaller number of immigrants came from Asia and Mexico. Most remained in cities, which grew as a result. Urban immigrants were welcomed by political bosses, who saw in them a chance to gain the allegiance of millions of new voters. At the same time, their coming …show more content…

That changed with the 1921 Emergency Quota Act and the 1924 Immigration Act, which imposed for the first time, a limit on the number of immigrants allowed to enter the United States. The two laws were targeted squarely at the New Immigrants: they established a new National Origins system that created different quotas for immigrants from each country, pegged to those countries' representation in the population of the United States in either 1910 (the 1921 law) or 1890 (the 1924 law). Because countries like Italy and Poland had contributed a tiny proportion of America's population before 1890, they received miniscule quotas. The effect was startling. Prior to the quota, immigrants were arriving at a rate of more than 850,000 per year, with just under 700,000 of those coming from Southern and Eastern Europe and only 175,000 coming from Northern and Western Europe. The strict 1924 act imposed a very mild restriction on immigration from Northern and Western Europe, still allowing 140,000 arrivals per year from those countries. But immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe was limited to just 22,000 per year, a 97% reduction from pre-restriction levels.While the immigration restriction acts of 1921 and 1924 well reflect the nativist, anti-immigrant attitudes of many Americans during the Roaring '20s, it's important to note that the laws' practical effects weren't as great as one might expect. Because of difficulties in determining the precise proportions of the 1890 population that belonged to each country, the law didn't take effect until 1929, at which point the economic collapse brought about by the onset of the Great Depression naturally reduced the immigrant flow to a

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