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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Starting in the 1890s, many Americans feared that the arrival of large numbers of immigrants from countries in Eastern and Southern Europe was bad for society. They claimed that immigrants could not easily assimilate, or fit in, and that they were…

This summary of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century immigration describes the "new immigration" that originated from Southern and Eastern Europe. The essay also outlines American responses to the new wave of immigration, including some of…

In this activity students perform a role play of immigrant mothers and daughters arguing over who should get to keep the daughter's wages. This activity is used to teach with the film Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl, but can be completed without…

In this activity students analyze a political cartoon, a presidential speech and an anti-immigration pamphlet from the early 20th century. After analyzing the documents, students write about why the United States passed immigration quotas in the…

In 1907, Congress formed the Dillingham Commission to investigate the origins and effects of the massive wave of immigration then underway. The Commission compiled a variety of data about immigrants and their children. This chart shows the percentage…

In 1907, Congress formed the Dillingham Commission to investigate the origins and effects of the massive wave of immigration then underway. The Commission compiled a variety of data about immigrants and their children. This chart shows the percentage…

In this activity, students work with quantitative data (charts, graphs, and tables) from the 1910 census and the 1911 Dillingham Commission Report to understand the lives of immigrants in the Ellis Island era. The activity includes an option designed…

In this activity, students watch the documentary Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl in sections, with documents and exercises designed to support and reinforce the film's key concepts: workers challenging the effects of industrial capitalism, the…

This essay explains the significance of young female immigrants in the labor upheavals that helped define the Progressive Era.

The poetry of Carl Sandburg often documented the lives of ordinary working people in his adopted city of Chicago. Here he contrasts the backbreaking work and simple lunch of a railroad laborer with the comfortable lives and fine food enjoyed by the…
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