Imagine being forced out of your home by a war only to have to travel on a long journey to a completely new place because you heard it was safe there. For many immigrants, this was a reality. While not every immigrant came to America because they were forced out of their homes, some did. Others came to America for the opportunities that they were promised. Work was a major pulling factor, in the early 1900s, when America was still growing, jobs became rapidly available and many immigrants used this as an opportunity to come and start a new life.
In the late 19th century, America underwent several changes that transformed the American way of life. The American Civil war played a significant role in the process of urbanization and industrialization, the rise of the corporate powers, and an increase in the wealth of rich people. The expansion of America towards the west was one of the significant reasons that contributed towards these changes. It was the time full of opportunities, and many people understood the importance of it. Many industrialists such as Andrew Carnegie made huge amount of money by investing in the steel and expanding the railroads. However, the poor people were getting exploited by the owners as they were forced to work at lower wages. Due to which, the workers used to strike often to get their rights and make living. But, the companies used to suppress these strikes. One of the important example was the Lattimer Massacre, under which several hundreds of unarmed miners, who were marching on the Lattimer mine, were shot on the back by the private policeman, working under the mine owners.
Toward the end of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the United States was becoming an increasingly powerful nation and world power. The country was competing with other nations also expanding. Their motives for expanding were to gain land and resources. While there was a slight departure from past expansionism, the United States mostly continued as it had been in the previous years. In order to accomplish expansionism, the United States needed to acquire foreign territories to increase their global presence.
Just getting out of a war, Americans were scared. In the past, immigrants had been accepted and even welcomed, now they were feared and labeled as a danger (The 1920s Government, Politics, and Law: Overview). Americans cried out for a restriction order keeping immigrants out for fear that they would bring foreign elements to America. The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the amount of immigrants to come to America greatly (Congress, U.S.). Although, some Americans were very against the immigration act and Robert Clancy (an American against both the KKK and Republican decisions) even went as far as to call it "un-American" (Rose.
Approximately between the years of 1850 and 1920, millions of immigrants traveled to America from all over the world in search of hope, escape from religious persecution, wealth from the gold rush, and to start their life over. This is what gave the United States the nickname, the melting pot, since so many different nationalities had to live within a single country. However, many native born Americans began to feel that the various cultures of these immigrant groups posed a threat to the American lifestyle, developing feelings of hatred towards them. This would directly lead to the rise of nativism and various anti-immigrant acts. However, these two actions were simply excuses and blames that Americans placed upon these unfortunate immigrants
A hatred for immigrants caused nativism to spread throughout the nation. Immigrants who believed in socialism were deported, without trials and some thought, against the ideas of liberty the U.S. stood for (Doc 9). Some immigrants faced accusations that led to jail and even execution
America had a booming population and they needed more land to satisfy the growing nation, even though america was a young nation we needed to grow. America was willing to sacrifice many things to be able to expand. 2,000 Americans died on the Oregon Trail in search of new land (SOU). We also did many things to keep the power to only whites. We had limited civil rights to only pure whites (Crash Course).
This is why I believe that America was not a land of opportunity for immigrants, it was filled with oppression. To begin, nineteenth century America was not a great time to immigrate into because it was filled with poverty. The immigrants yearned for to come to America. they had many high hopes and dreams to come to what they called the “Golden Country”, and the statue of liberty drove them to want freedom even more.
Immigration began when the Civil Rights movement was growing, and people wanted to enter the US. Congress created the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, which is when the US population increased dramatically with the new immigrants. “Between 1965 and 2000, the highest number of immigrants (4.3 million) to the U.S. came from Mexico, in addition to some 1.4 million from the Philippines” (US Immigration par. 6). The Act created two new amnesty programs for unauthorized aliens and granted amnesty to the majority of the illegal immigrants. Amnesty also provided the admissions of immigrants from a variety of countries to increase the diversity of the immigrant flow.
Have you ever been too cramped and need more space? The U.S. was once in that position until the great expansion began. During the US expansionism process, The US has become closer to having better opportunity, liberty, and more rights because of the start of American democracy, Mexican war, and the Mormons. These are the three ways that the US has expanded. The first step of the US expansion started with the birth of American democracy.
At the end of the Spanish-American War, in 1898, The United States of America acquired many new territories and protectorates, making it a global colonial power. America was able to achieve Cuba, Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico as protectorates as an outcome of the Spanish-American War. Other nations were also occupied by America. America was able to do this through imperialism; when a nation expands its influence and power through economic, military, and diplomatic means.
The USA was founded by immigrants and continues to grow economically and culturally today by immigrants. most came because they were forced out,but some came for the hope of wealth and freedom. america was the land of opportunity to most struggling foreigners. immigrants came because of push and pull factors those were what drove them from their country and what attracted them to america. the irish famine is an example of what drove many people out of ireland.