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The Changing Face of the Nation: Proponents Opponents of the New Order

2. The Changing Face of the Nation. As population pressures eased in Western Europe, the number of immigrants from Eastern Europe, and eventually Africa, Asia, Oceana, and the Americas, increased tremendously. The influx of these new outsiders threatened "native" Americans by bringing their own cus

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The Changing Face of the Nation: Proponents Opponents of the New Order

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    1. 1 The Changing Face of the Nation: Proponents & Opponents of the New Order

    2. 2 The Changing Face of the Nation As population pressures eased in Western Europe, the number of immigrants from Eastern Europe, and eventually Africa, Asia, Oceana, and the Americas, increased tremendously. The influx of these new outsiders threatened "native" Americans by bringing their own customs, traditions, and religions.

    3. 3 Changing Face of the Nation

    4. 4 Changing Face of the Nation

    5. 5 Changing Face of the Nation

    6. 6 Changing Face of the Nation

    7. 7 Immigration Restrictions There have been restrictions on immigration to America since the colonial period, but not until the late 19th Century did legislation become particularly restrictive, focusing on groups of people sectioned by ethnicity, profession, and national origin. The 1875 Immigration Law was designed to outright exclude Asians and, indirectly, unmarried women. By specifically making it illegal for anyone to enter the United States for the purposes of prostitution, the entrance of unmarried women was at the sole discretion of individual agents. "That it shall be unlawful for aliens of the following classes to immigrate into the United States, namely, persons who are undergoing a sentence for conviction in their own country of felonious crimes other than political or growing out of or the result of such political offenses, or whose sentence has been remitted on condition of their emigration, and women "imported for the purposes of prostitution."

    8. 8 In 1882, a 50 cent head tax was instituted and convicts and lunatics were specifically barred from entry. In 1891, the list of undesirable citizens was expanded to include, among others, paupers, diseased people, and those who had their passage paid by someone else. The 1917 Quota Act, which appears below, implemented an $8 head tax, an exhaustive list of undesirables, and set temporary national origin quotas. "That the following classes of aliens shall be excluded from admission into the United States: All idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons, epileptics, insane persons; persons who have had one or more attacks of insanity at any time previously; persons of constitutional psychopathic inferiority; persons with chronic alcoholism; paupers; professional beggars; vagrants; persons afflicted with tuberculosis in any form or with a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease;"

    9. 9 The 1924 Immigration Act, or Johnson-Reed Act, codified the national origins quotas and gave more complete power to the Immigration Bureau to regulate the national standards. During congressional debate over the 1924 Act, Senator Ellison DuRant Smith of South Carolina drew on the racist theories of Madison Grant to argue that immigration restriction was the only way to preserve existing American resources. The text of his speech from Congress follows below. "It seems to me the point as to this measureand I have been so impressed for several yearsis that the time has arrived when we should shut the door. We have been called the melting pot of the world. We had an experience just a few years ago, during the great World War, when it looked as though we had allowed influences to enter our borders that were about to melt the pot in place of us being the melting pot."

    10. 10 Chinese Immigration The earliest Asian immigrants to the United States were typically Chinese and, in the beginning, they were welcomed into the country. In 1865, the Central Pacific Railroad recruited thousands of Chinese immigrants to work on the construction of the transcontinental railroad and in 1868 the Burlingame Treaty was ratified to ease Chinese immigration to the United States. However, as soon as, and even before, inroads were made for Asian immigration, setbacks began to be put in place. Following the onslaught of Chinese immigration due to the California Gold Rush, the Asian immigrants came to be on the receiving end of multiple restrictive laws and violence. By the end of the 19th Century, the Chinese and eventually all Asians, were excluded from American citizenship.

    11. 11 The Burlingame Treaty was designed to facilitate Chinese immigration. The excerpt below explains that the treaty was constructed to ensure equal rights and privileges for Chinese immigrants.

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