Monday, 28 February 2011

American Immigration

This weeks blog task was to find a K-12 website that presented immigration in the 19th and 20th century. I found this week to be very difficult. Through google I found out that Louisiana is the second most poverty-stricken state in America and thought it would be interesting to concentrate on one of the high school in that area of America. I managed to locate a list of schools, however, most of them did not have their own personal websites. I found the Jena High School. I resorted to using links from the Jena High School in which they used the following report for their classes. The school which is in central Louisiana had many academic links to reports that students can use on a regular basis. Even though the school didn't actually write the report, in my opinion, it shows that the Jena High School believe in what the article stands for.

"After the depression of the 1890's immigration lowered considerably. Immigrants from Northern and Western Europe continued coming as they has done for three centuries but in decreasing numbers".

The article continues to list the different parts of the world that people immigrated from in the 1800's, such as Eastern and Southern Europe as well as Canada and Latin America. By 1910 Eastern and Southern Europe made 70% of America. After 1914 immigration decreased again because of war and the 1920's immigration restrictions. The article continues to name the reason of immigration to America. The most common motives were escaping religious, racial and political persecution or seeking relief from a lack of economic opportunity or famine pushing many immigrants out of their homeland. Many Immigrants were pulled here by contract labour agreements offered by recruitment agents.

Many Immigrants could not afford first or second-class passage through America and therefore had to go through the processing centre on Ellis Island. The centre went through some 12 million European Immigrants herding thousands of them a day through the bran-yard structure during the peak years for screening. Many of them were turned away due to bad health, being a criminal or an anarchist.

I think the students reading this article will soon come to realise how much effort and hard work got their ancestors in a decent position to settle. The followong quote from an Italian Immigrant really stood out to me.

"I came to America because I heard the streets were paved with gold. When i got here, found out three things: First the streets wernt paved with gold; Second, they wernt paved at all; and third I was expected to pave them".

I think that people still believe in the "American Dream" and want their children's, children to grow up with the belief that anything is possible. However they still want to show the difficulties of establishing themselves and the difficulties they will be faced with. It is not a straight forward as always seen but despite these difficulties few people gave up and returned home.

High School Website:
The Article Website:

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