Social Studies - 2018-19

VUS.8c - Immigration

The student will apply social science skills to understand how the nation grew and changed from the end of Reconstruction through the early twentieth century by

c) examining the contributions of new immigrants and evaluating the challenges they faced, including anti-immigration legislation


Adopted: 2015

BIG IDEAS

Unit Themes

Unit Essential Questions

Equality

Is there one American Experience?

Economic Systems 

To what extent does the American economy shape the American experience? 

Reform Movements 

How do people affect change in their society?


UNDERSTANDING THE STANDARD

A new wave of immigration at the turn of the twentieth century transformed American society.

ESSENTIALS

Immigration 

 Prior to 1871, most immigrants to America came from Northern and Western Europe (Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden). During the half-century from 1871 until 1921, most immigrants came from Southern and Eastern Europe (Italy, Greece, Poland, Russia, present-day Hungary, and former Yugoslavia), as well as Asia (China and Japan). 

 Like earlier immigrants, these immigrants came to America seeking freedom and better lives for their families. 

 Immigrants made valuable contributions to the dramatic industrial growth of America during this period. Chinese workers helped to build the Transcontinental Railroad. Immigrants worked in textile and steel mills in the Northeast and the clothing industry in New York City. Slavs, Italians, and Poles worked in the coal mines of the East. They often worked for very low pay and endured dangerous working conditions to help build the nation’s industrial strength. 

 During this period, immigrants from Europe entered America through Ellis Island in New York harbor. Their first view of America was often the Statue of Liberty, as their ships arrived following the voyage across the Atlantic. 

 Immigrants began the process of assimilation into what was termed the American “melting pot.” While often settling in ethnic neighborhoods in the growing cities, they and their children worked hard to learn English, adopt American customs, and become American citizens. The public schools served an essential role in the process of assimilating immigrants into American society. 

 Immigrants were often exploited by urban political machines that provided useful services in exchange for immigrant votes, which increased animosity toward them. 

 Despite the valuable contributions immigrants made to building America during this period, immigrants often faced hardship and hostility. There was fear and resentment that immigrants would take jobs for lower pay than American workers would accept, and there was prejudice based on religious and cultural differences. 

 Mounting resentment led Congress to limit immigration through the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Emergency Quota Act of 1921. These laws effectively cut off most immigration to America for the next several decades; however, the immigrants of this period and their descendants continued to contribute immeasurably to American society.

KEY VOCABULARY

Terms & Events

Transcontinental Railroad

Immigration

Cowboy Era

Cattle drive

Homestead Act of 1862

Mechanical Reaper

Industrialization

Old (pre-1871) and New Immigration (1871-1921)

Textile Industry

Clothing Industry

Steel Mills

Statue of Liberty

Assimilation

Melting Pot

Ethnic neighborhoods

Resentment

Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)

Immigration Restriction Act (1921)

Public services

Trolleys

Streetcars

Corporation

Bessemer steel process

Light bulb

Electricity

Telephone

Airplane

Assembly line

Steel

Finance

Oil

Railroads

Laissez-faire capitalism

Big business

People

Cowboys

Poles, Slavs and Italians

Immigrants

Chinese

Alexander Graham Bell

Wright Brothers

Henry Ford

Andrew Carnegie

J.P. Morgan

John D. Rockefeller

Cornelius Vanderbilt

Thomas Edison

Places

Great Plains

Rocky Mountains

Coal Mines

New York City

Ellis Island

Industrial Cities: Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York

Tenements

Slums


Updated: May 18, 2018