The Dream of America: Immigration 1870-1920

Overview

An excellent survey of the American immigration experience, this history looks at all aspects of immigration during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Examining immigration as it was before the American Civil War through the difficult—and often dangerous—voyage to the “New World” and the arrival at Ellis Island, this account demonstrates how people settled into what has become known as the “melting pot” of American life. Arguing that this new influx of humanity eventually made its impact as immigrants ...

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Overview

An excellent survey of the American immigration experience, this history looks at all aspects of immigration during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Examining immigration as it was before the American Civil War through the difficult—and often dangerous—voyage to the “New World” and the arrival at Ellis Island, this account demonstrates how people settled into what has become known as the “melting pot” of American life. Arguing that this new influx of humanity eventually made its impact as immigrants contributed their widely-varying cultural backgrounds and skill sets to society, this volume also includes numerous biographies of individuals who were important at the time, such as Jane Addams, and primary sources that shed light on Americans' thoughts on these events as they were happening.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Targeting school audiences, the "Defining Moments" series by Omnigraphics authoritatively covers events in U.S. history that have transformed the country's political, cultural, and social landscape for future generations. Each volume in the series, including this one, covers a specific event in three sections: "Narrative," "Overview," and "Biographies and Primary Sources." There are also glossaries encompassing important people, places, and terms; detailed chronologies with references to pages throughout the specific volume; annotated bibliographies for further study; bibliographies of sources consulted by the author of the specific volume; and subject indexes to the individual works. In this volume, seven chapters of narrative address immigration to America before the Civil War, the "great wave," the voyage to America, Ellis Island, the "melting pot," shutting the "golden door," and immigration from the 1920s to the present. Biographical entries profile such figures as Jane Addams and William Williams. Numerous photographs add value to the work as a primary resource and offer visual interest to users. BOTTOM LINE Written for middle and high school students, this series is also suitable for college libraries serving students of U.S. history with a rudimentary knowledge of the English language. Simple language and the judicious use of white space make this book easy to read, while notes and references indicate a high level of scholarship throughout.—Sara Rofofsky Marcus, Queensborough Community Coll. Lib., Bayside, NY


—Sara Rofofsky Marcus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780812482
  • Publisher: KWS Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/9/2012
  • Series: Defining Moments Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 978,664
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Hillstrom is an independent scholar and the author of numerous books on American history, politics, and environmental issues, including The Cold War, Defining Moments: Workers Unite!, and The Industrial Revolution. He lives in Detroit, Michigan.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

How to Use This Book xi

Narrative Overview

Prologue 3

Chapter 1 Immigration to America Before the Civil War 7

Chapter 2 The Great Wave 21

Chapter 3 The Voyage to America 31

Chapter 4 Ellis Island 43

Chapter 5 The Melting Pot 61

Chapter 6 Shutting the Golden Door 79

Chapter 7 Immigration from the 1920s to the Present 95

Biographies

Advocate for Immigrants and Founder of Hull House Jane Addams 117

Co-founder of the Immigration Restriction League Prescott F. Hall 121

U.S. Senator Who Championed Immigrant Rights George Frisbie Hoar 124

Leading Advocate of Immigration Restrictions in Congress Henry Cabot Lodge 127

Commissioner General of Immigration, 1897-1902 Terence V. Powderly 132

Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island, 1905-1909 Robert Watchorn 135

Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island, 1902-1905 and 1909-1913 William Williams 138

Primary Sources

A Labor Leader Warns Against the "Chinese Invasion" 145

A Defense of Chinese Immigrants in America 148

A Native-Born American Lashes Out at East European Immigrants 152

The "Horrors" of Steerage 156

A Long and Difficult Journey 163

Forging a New Identity in America 172

Coolidge Signs the Immigration Act of 1924 180

A Criticism of "Guest Worker" Proposals 182

A Proposal to Increase Legal Immigration 185

"A Yearning That Is Timeless" 188

Important People, Places, and Terms 191

Chronology 195

Sources for Further Study 199

Bibliography 201

Photo and Illustration Credits 203

Index 205

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