AP US history essay immigration DBQ
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During the late 19th century and early 20th century, immigration to the United States was wrought with challenges. The newly arriving aliens were met with racist native-borns who feared that they would threaten their way of life. This tension between these new groups facilitated the U.S. government’s anti-immigration laws, which also caused political outbursts from those who supported immigrants.
Despite gaining the Chinese exclusion act during the 19th century, nativists were not satisfied. The national people’s party, or populist’s party, demonstrates this best. The populist’s party was mostly comprised of farmers, who happened to be of Anglo-Saxon decent. Because they viewed immigrants as a threat to their moral values (immigrants remained in urban areas and practiced urban values, which rural Americans did not agree with), they quickly labeled them as “paupers” and “criminals” that would take jobs from native workers, in an attempt to gain more governmental regulation (Doc.C).
These nativists also gained support from an unexpected source; African Americans, such as booker T. Washington, who wished to support them in an effort to gain their own equality (Doc. D). These two pressures caused the government to capitulate and pass laws, such as the quota act that would greatly limit immigration until as late as the 1960s. The U.S. government not only placated its people foreign governments such as japan that wished for their people to stay within their own borders, showing that nationalism also contributed to decreased immigration (Doc.E).
Despite tensions between the Anglo-Saxons, who “the nation must chiefly depend”(Doc.G), and the immigrants, many Americans, such as James Bryce, felt that immigrants were beneficial to American society. Bryce argued that some immigrants usually did not stay to “pollute” American society and that they also provided cheap labor which would aid the economy (Doc.B). This argument, although logical, did not convince the nativists or the federal government to abandon to abandon their opinions and laws respectively. As a result, others attempted to persuade the general public through satirical political comics.