Making Americans

Author: Desmond S. King
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780674008120
Format: PDF
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In the nineteenth century, virtually anyone could get into the United States. But by the 1920s, U.S. immigration policy had become a finely filtered regime of selection. Desmond King looks at this dramatic shift, and the debates behind it, for what they reveal about the construction of an "American" identity. Specifically, the debates in the three decades leading up to 1929 were conceived in terms of desirable versus undesirable immigrants. This not only cemented judgments about specific European groups but reinforced prevailing biases against groups already present in the United States, particularly African Americans, whose inferior status and second-class citizenship--enshrined in Jim Crow laws and embedded in pseudo-scientific arguments about racial classifications--appear to have been consolidated in these decades. Although the values of different groups have always been recognized in the United States, King gives the most thorough account yet of how eugenic arguments were used to establish barriers and to favor an Anglo-Saxon conception of American identity, rejecting claims of other traditions. Thus the immigration controversy emerges here as a significant precursor to recent multicultural debates. Making Americans shows how the choices made about immigration policy in the 1920s played a fundamental role in shaping democracy and ideas about group rights in America.

Making Americans

Author: Prof Desmond King
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674039629
Format: PDF
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In the nineteenth century, virtually anyone could get into the United States. But by the 1920s, U.S. immigration policy had become a finely filtered regime of selection. Desmond King looks at this dramatic shift, and the debates behind it, for what they reveal about the construction of an "American" identity. Specifically, the debates in the three decades leading up to 1929 were conceived in terms of desirable versus undesirable immigrants. This not only cemented judgments about specific European groups but reinforced prevailing biases against groups already present in the United States, particularly African Americans, whose inferior status and second-class citizenship--enshrined in Jim Crow laws and embedded in pseudo-scientific arguments about racial classifications--appear to have been consolidated in these decades. Although the values of different groups have always been recognized in the United States, King gives the most thorough account yet of how eugenic arguments were used to establish barriers and to favor an Anglo-Saxon conception of American identity, rejecting claims of other traditions. Thus the immigration controversy emerges here as a significant precursor to recent multicultural debates. "Making Americans" shows how the choices made about immigration policy in the 1920s played a fundamental role in shaping democracy and ideas about group rights in America.

Selecting by Origin

Author: Christian Joppke
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674015593
Format: PDF, Docs
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Joppke examines the changing policies towards immigration across Western states in the past half century, as the trend has moved away from selecting immigrants according to their origins, to non-discriminatory practices.

The Liberty of Strangers

Author: Desmond King
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195349146
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Harry S. Truman once said, "Ours is a nation of many different groups, of different races, of different national origins." And yet, the debate over what it means--and what it takes--to be an American remains contentious. Nationalist solidarity, many claim, requires a willful blending into the assimilationist alloy of these United States. Others argue that the interests of both nation and individual are best served by allowing multiple traditions to flourish--a salad bowl of identities and allegiances, rather than a melting pot. Tracing how Americans have confronted and relinquished, but mostly clung to group identities over the past century, Desmond King here debunks one of the guiding assumptions of American nationhood, namely that group distinction and identification would gradually dissolve over time, creating a "postethnic" nation. Over the course of the twentieth century, King shows, the divisions in American society arising from group loyalties have consistently proven themselves too strong to dissolve. For better or for worse, the often-disparaged politics of multiculturalism are here to stay, with profound implications for America's democracy. Americans have now entered a post-multiculturalist settlement in which the renewal of democracy continues to depend on groups battling it out in political trenches, yet the process is ruled by a newly invigorated and strengthened state. But Americans' resolute embrace of their distinctive identities has ramifications not just internally and domestically but on the world stage as well. The image of one-people American nationhood so commonly projected abroad camouflages the country's sprawling, often messy diversity: a lesson that nation-builders worldwide cannot afford to ignore as they attempt to accommodate ever-evolving group needs and the demands of individuals to be treated equally. Spanning the entire twentieth century and encompassing immigration policies, the nationalistic fallout from both world wars, the civil rights movement, and nation-building efforts in the postcolonial era, The Liberty of Strangers advances a major new interpretation of American nationalism and the future prospects for diverse democracies.

The Oxford Handbook of American Immigration and Ethnicity

Author: Ronald H. Bayor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199766037
Format: PDF, Docs
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Scholarship on immigration to America is a coin with two sides: how did America change immigrants, and how did they change America? Were the immigrants uprooted from their ancestral homes, leaving all behind, or were they transplanted, bringing many aspects of their culture with them? Althoughhistorians agree with the transplantation concept, the notion of the melting pot, which suggests a complete loss of the immigrant culture, persists in the public mind. The Oxford Handbook of American Immigration and Ethnicity explores how Americans think of themselves and how science, religion,period of migration, gender, education, politics, and occupational mobility shape both this image and American life. Since the 1965 Immigration Act opened the gates to newer groups, historical writing on immigration and ethnicity has evolved over the years to include numerous immigrant sources and to provide trenchant analyses of American immigration and ethnicity. For the first time, this handbook brings togetherthirty leading scholars in the field to make sense of all the themes, methodologies, and trends that characterize the debate on American immigration. They examine a wide-range of topics, including pan-ethnicity, whiteness, intermarriage, bilingualism, religion, museum ethnic displays,naturalization, regional mobility, census categorization, immigration legislation and its reception, ethnicity-related crime and gang formation. The Oxford Handbook of American Immigration and Ethnicity explores the idea of assimilation in a multicultural society showing how deeply pan-ethnicitychanged American identity over the time.

Other Immigrants

Author: David Reimers
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814775349
Format: PDF, Docs
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Publisher description: In Other immigrants, David M. Reimers offers the first comprehensive account of non-European immigration, chronicling the compelling and diverse stories of frequently overlooked Americans. Reimers traces the early history of Black, Hispanic, and Asian immigrants from the fifteenth century through World War II, when racial hostility led to the virtual exclusion of Asians and aggression towards Blacks and Hispanics. He also describes the modern state of immigration to the U.S., where Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians made up nearly thirty percent of the population at the turn of the twenty-first century.

White Enough to Be American

Author: Lauren L. Basson
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469606437
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Racial mixture posed a distinct threat to European American perceptions of the nation and state in the late nineteenth century, says Lauren Basson, as it exposed and disrupted the racial categories that organized political and social life in the United States. Offering a provocative conceptual approach to the study of citizenship, nationhood, and race, Basson explores how racial mixture challenged and sometimes changed the boundaries that defined what it meant to be American. Drawing on government documents, press coverage, and firsthand accounts, Basson presents four fascinating case studies concerning indigenous people of "mixed" descent. She reveals how the ambiguous status of racially mixed people underscored the problematic nature of policies and practices based on clearly defined racial boundaries. Contributing to timely discussions about race, ethnicity, citizenship, and nationhood, Basson demonstrates how the challenges to the American political and legal systems posed by racial mixture helped lead to a new definition of what it meant to be American--one that relied on institutions of private property and white supremacy.

National Insecurities

Author: Deirdre M. Moloney
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807882615
Format: PDF, Kindle
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For over a century, deportation and exclusion have defined eligibility for citizenship in the United States and, in turn, have shaped what it means to be American. In this broad analysis of policy from 1882 to present, Deirdre Moloney places current debates about immigration issues in historical context. Focusing on several ethnic groups, Moloney closely examines how gender and race led to differences in the implementation of U.S. immigration policy as well as how poverty, sexuality, health, and ideologies were regulated at the borders. Emphasizing the perspectives of immigrants and their advocates, Moloney weaves in details from case files that illustrate the impact policy decisions had on individual lives. She explores the role of immigration policy in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and other nations, and shows how federal, state, and local agencies had often conflicting priorities and approaches to immigration control. Throughout, Moloney traces the ways that these policy debates contributed to a modern understanding of citizenship and human rights in the twentieth century and even today.

Radical Moves

Author: Lara Putnam
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807838136
Format: PDF
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In the generations after emancipation, hundreds of thousands of African-descended working-class men and women left their homes in the British Caribbean to seek opportunity abroad: in the goldfields of Venezuela and the cane fields of Cuba, the canal construction in Panama, and the bustling city streets of Brooklyn. But in the 1920s and 1930s, racist nativism and a brutal cascade of antiblack immigration laws swept the hemisphere. Facing borders and barriers as never before, Afro-Caribbean migrants rethought allegiances of race, class, and empire. In Radical Moves, Lara Putnam takes readers from tin-roof tropical dancehalls to the elegant black-owned ballrooms of Jazz Age Harlem to trace the roots of the black-internationalist and anticolonial movements that would remake the twentieth century. From Trinidad to 136th Street, these were years of great dreams and righteous demands. Praying or "jazzing," writing letters to the editor or letters home, Caribbean men and women tried on new ideas about the collective. The popular culture of black internationalism they created--from Marcus Garvey's UNIA to "regge" dances, Rastafarianism, and Joe Louis's worldwide fandom--still echoes in the present.