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Week of March 28th

by: HIST289V

Week of March 28th HIST289V



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Week of March 28th lecture notes
What Does it Mean to be an American?
Dr. Howard Smead
Class Notes
history, American History
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by HIST289V on Saturday April 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST289V at University of Maryland - College Park taught by Dr. Howard Smead in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see What Does it Mean to be an American? in History at University of Maryland - College Park.

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Date Created: 04/02/16
3/28/16  Immigration Laws  1790: Naturalization Act  2 year residency required for all immigrants  Foreign-born free and white could become citizens  1795: Naturalization Act  Immigrants required to live in the U.S. for 5 years  “Free white persons”  1868: 14 Amendment  All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside  1875: Page Act  First federal immigration law  Prohibited the entry of undesirable immigrants  Excludes all Chinese women (considered prostitutes)  Restrictive Immigration Legislation  1882: Immigration Act  Federalized immigration  50 cent Head tax  Banned “idiots, lunatics, convicts and person likely become a public charge.”  1882: Chinese Exclusion Act  1885: Contract Labor Law prohibits long term work contracts  1891: Immigration Act  Excludes communicable diseases, mental disorders  Ellis becomes official depot for first arrivals  Where the majority of immigrants now come into  1894: Immigration Restriction League formed  Prompted by ideas of Social Darwinism  Several anti-immigration bills passed in the senate  1903: Exclues radicals (socialists, communists, anarchists)  1903-1916: 13 separate legislative acts passed  1907: “Gentlemen’s Agreement”  1917: Immigration Act  Triumph of Nativism  1921: Johnson Emergency Quota Act  1910 Census  3% quota requirement on 1910 ethnic population  1924: National Origins Act  A.K.A. Johnson-Reed Immigration Act  Lowers quota to 2%  Based on 1890 census  1929  Quota increases to 150,00 (and then a few times thereafter)  Used the 1920 Census  Immigration Reform Act of 1965  A.K.A. Hart-Cellar Immigration and Nationality Act  “Placed a new emphasis on reuniting families and granting asylum to refugees, while also favoring immigrants with desired skills and ending the longstanding preference for Western Europeans.”  Abolishes most restrictions  Policies abolished:  170K immigrants in each year from Europe, Asia, Africa  No more than 20K from a single country  Preference to those whose immediate relatives are American citizens  Raised quotas slowly – from 297,000 to 850,000 (2000)  Prior to 1965:  9 of 10 immigrants from Europe and Canada  >1/2 from Asia or Latin America  Trends of the immigration era  By 1990, 45% of documented aliens came were from Asia and Middle East  Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese  Increased Asian population by 100% (3.5 million)  “Boat people”  Result of war in Southeast Asia (Vietnam War)  Vietnamese and Cambodian  Mostly educated  The era made the USA the most ethnically diverse society in the world  A New America  A truly pluralistic, multicultural society  Whether native born Old and New immigrant stock liked it or not  Decline of WASP dominance  White Anglo Saxon Protestant  Demonstrated by the election of 2012  In 2016, GOP candidate needs >70% of white vote to win  Immigrants often vote for Democratic candidates  In addition, 12-15 million undocumented aliens in the U.S.  Nativism  Every wave of immigration has produced nativism  Africans in the 1770s  Germans in the 1780s and 1830s  Irish in the 1840s  Essentially, all of the newest immigrants sparked some sort of nativism  Recent wave has produced this among both white and black middle class  Amnesty Act of 1986  Adopted under Ronald Reagan’s presidency  Implemented in1988  Gave amnesty to the illegal immigrants living in the U.S.  Number of unauthorized immigrants soared  5 million in 1986 (estimated) to 11.1 million today (estimated) 3/30/16  Key Immigration Issues  Path to citizenship – Dream Act  Enforcement of exisiting laws  Employers hiring illegal immigrants  Human smugglers  Employment opportunities  Social services, including health care (CHIPS)  Denying automatic citizenship to “anchor babies”  Denying access to free public education  Taxes  Walling them out  Stepping up deportation  Stop and Identify laws  In Arizona, police are allowed to stop everyone who “looks illegal”  Critics of immigration  Tom Tancredo – former Congressman from CO  “We are in a clash of civilizations…” (2006)  Samuel Huntington – Harvard professor, author of Who We Are: Challenges to America’s National Identity (2004)  “The American Creed is the unique creation of a dissenting Protestant culture.”  Both agree U.S. is a nation of immigrants; however they believe they are challenging the American identity  Factors challenging American Identity (according to Huntington)  Globalization: economic, cultural  In a world that is becoming even more globalized, how does a country continue to keep its identity?  End of Cold War reduced importance of national identity  Politicizing of issue by politicians  Attempts of sub-national leaders to enhance personal and group status  Bending the Constitution “not necessarily in the ways the framers intended.” (14 Amendment)  National sympathy and guilt of academic elites for past U.S. actions  Changing views of race and ethnicity fostered by Civil Rights Revolution and reflected in Immigration Act of 1965  The Turner Thesis, the West, and American Violence  The Turner Thesis  “The frontier is the line of most rapid Americanization.”  Stated that coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness, practical inventive turn of mind, and masterful grasp of material could all be attributed to the influence of the West  The epitome of the U.S.  In his eyes, the West has had a democratizing influence on the United States  Turner - The Frontier was the chief influence in shaping these aspects of American life:  Social Equality  Growth of political democracy  Nationalism  Faith in the future  Economic independence  Safety valve for factory workers  Invention  Individualism  Code of the West  Honesty, Humility, courage, loyalty and hard work  Honor: a man was only as good as his word  A man is loyal to his friends and those he rides with  “No Duty to Retreat”: imperative of self-redress  The Rugged Individualist  Mike Fink, Davey Crockett, Natty Bumpo, Ronald Reagan, George W., The Marlboro Man have all taken on the persona of this rugged individualist


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