Week 6 Readings

The focus of this week’s readings was on American immigration law that favored immigration from Nordic countries from the north-western part of Europe over immigration from eastern Europe. Throughout American history, nativists manipulated origin and changed the definitions of race in order to prevent certain people from obtaining citizenship in the United States.
One of the ideas I found particularly troubling in this article was the idea created by nativists that immigrants came in and stole jobs from white people. This idea was created by nativists like Francis A. Walker and persists in America today as a way to create fear in native-born white Americans and get their votes. As well it surprised me to see that Hoover campaigned opposing quotas and won, however, he did so to pander to immigrant voters and still ended up passing the quotas soon after his election.
As well as barring Chinese immigrants, nativists in the US focused on changing the status of other nations in order to bar them as well. Nativists found that changing the status of Mexicans was a particular challenge, as the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo allowed Mexicans who lived in the land stolen from Mexico in the Mexican- American war to become United States citizens. Mexican people were classified as white until the 1930 Census Bureau declared Mexicans as a separate race.

2 thoughts on “Week 6 Readings

  1. I also found the idea that immigrants came to America to steal jobs from whites upsetting, however it didnt surprise me that, that was an argument that has been around for so long. Madison Grant’s theory, however, that the Nordic race was at risk of extinction because the “introduction of immigrants as lowly laborers means a replacement of race” was shocking to me because I find it surprising how those “connections” were made. How it is possible for immigrants that came to America to look for work could lead to the outright extinction of the white race is illogical.

  2. Make sure that you spend a little more time with your writing. You need more transitions between topics/themes. Full credit.

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