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Immigration in America 1800's to early 1900's

Instructional Goal: Use sourcing, contextualization and corroboration to determine societal attitudes towards immigration in the 1800's and early 1900's.

Instructional Goal: Make connections from the past to today's current events.

Warm-up: In four sentences, write what you know about the U.S.'s history with immigration.

Introduction: For today's lesson, we will be introducing our unit on the second wave of immigration that occurred in mid-1800's to early 1900's America. Our main objective is to first gain some background knowledge on the topic. I will give a brief lecture while you take notes, followed by a video, and finally, we will look at some primary source documents that will hopefully give us an idea of what life was like for many immigrants. Hopefully, we can apply what we have learned from this unit to what is currently happening in today's society regarding immigration.

Things to know: Immigration vocabulary and Anti-Immigration Acts

Immigrate: to come into another country for permanent residence (enter)

Nativism: prejudice against immigrants; anti-immigration attitude

Know Nothings: 1850's political party which was against immigrants and Catholics

1882 Chinese Exclusion Act: no immigration of Chinese laborers for 10 years

1917 No Asians (except Japanese & Filipinos), no criminals, no people with certain diseases, no people without money, no radicals, no one who could not read

1924 Quotas based on origins; favored Western Europe against Eastern and Southern Europe

So who was coming to America and when? Please click on the following link. Take a second to look at the demographics. We will be focusing on the years of 1850 to 1920. What do you see? What stands out to you? Who was most likely to immigrate and when?

The following video will provide us with some background information on the history of immigration in the United States.

Now that we know a bit more on the history of U.S. immigration, lets take a look at some primary source documents. After I hand out the documents, you will look at each one carefully and answer the questions that go along with the sources. You will be turning this in for points at the the end of class. After you have answered the questions, you will get into groups and discuss the questions with one another. We will then discuss the questions as a whole class. Remember, we are trying to get an idea of what life was like for many immigrants.

Document A: The “American Citizen,” a Know-Nothing newspaper.

http://www.history.com/news/when-america-despised-the-irish-the-19th-centurys-refugee-crisis

Sourcing:

Who would have wrote this? What is the author’s perspective?Why was it written?

Is this source reliable? Why? Why not?

Contextualization:

How was life different back then? Are there any similarities you see now?

How might the circumstances surrounding the creation of this document affect its content?

Document B: Anti-immigration Propaganda

https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2014/06/20/old-yellow-peril-anti-chinese-posters/

Sourcing:

Who Would have created this? What is the creator's perspective? Why was this created?

Is this source reliable? Why? Why not?

Contextualization:

How was life different back then? Are there any similarities you see now?

How might the circumstances surrounding the creation of this document affect its content?

Document C: This essay by social worker and policy maker Grace Abbott describes how difficult it was for immigrants to find steady employment in 1920's Chicago. Grace Abbott and Edith Abbott. From Immigration: Select Documents and Case Records, 1924.

http://dcc.newberry.org/collections/immigration-and-citizenship

Sourcing:

Who wrote this? What is the author’s perspective? Why was it written? When and where was it written?

Is this source reliable? Why? Why not?

Contextualization:

How was life different back then? Are there any similarities you see now?

How might the circumstances surrounding the creation of this document affect its content?

Document D: Edward Ross was a sociologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who urged severe restrictions on immigration. In this passage, he vividly describes what he saw as immigrants’ negative impact on American society. Edward Alsworth Ross. From The Old World in the New: The Significance of Past and Present Immigration to the American People, 1914.

http://dcc.newberry.org/collections/immigration-and-citizenship

Sourcing:

Who wrote this? What is the author’s perspective? Why was it written? When was it written?

Is this source reliable? Why? Why not?

Contextualization:

How was life different back then? Are there any similarities you see now?

How might the circumstances surrounding the creation of this document affect its content?

Corroboration (Document A,B,C,D):

Do you think the documents agree with one another? If not, why?

If we compare each document, what might that tell us about life as an immigrant in the U.S.? Why?

What are other possible documents? Is there a document that will give us a better picture (i.e. letter, etc.)?

Which document or documents are most reliable? Why?

Discussion (Costa's Levels of Questioning):

What kind of information is given in these documents (How the public viewed immigrants, what conditions did immigrants live in, etc.)?

What do you think the message of each primary source is? Describe in your own words what the sources mean.

If you were an immigrant in America from the 1850's to early 1900's, what do you think it would be like? Based on the primary sources we read, why?

Finally, do you see a connection between how we viewed immigration back then and how we view it today? Please explain.

Exit Slip: In four sentences, summarize what you learned in today's lesson.

Credits:

Created with images by xiquinhosilva - "61932-New-York"

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