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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Modern America (1914-1929) (x)

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Background Essay on Early Twentieth Century Mexican Immigration to the U.S.

This essay outlines the reasons for Mexican immigration to the United States during the early part of the twentieth century as well as the issues immigrants confronted in their new home.

A Mexican Immigrant Expresses Ambivalence about Her New Life

Elisa Silva was born in Mazatlán, Mexico and emigrated to the United States at age twenty, eventually settling in Los Angeles. In this interview, conducted during the mid-1920s, Silva describes her ambivalence towards the culture and traditions of [...]

"The Americanese Wall, as Congressman Burnett Would Build It"

Beginning as early as 1897, members of Congress who wanted to limit immigration to the U.S. began proposing laws that would require immigrants to be literate. After repeated vetoes of such laws, the 1917 Immigration Act, sponsored by Congressman [...]

Uncle Sam Chases Pancho Villa

The turmoil that accompanied the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) sent many Mexicans to the United States looking for a better life. At times the violence of the Revolution crossed the border as well. After Pancho Villa raided the town of Columbus, [...]

Employers Favor Increased Mexican Immigration

During the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the U.S. passed a number of laws restricting immigration by nationalities seen as racially inferior. For example, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 barred all immigration from China, while [...]

Social Movements and Constitutional Change: Women's Suffrage

In this activity, students analyze documents to arrange events on a timeline of women's suffrage. The timeline and documents will help students understand the intersection of social movements and constitutional change. This activity can be modified [...]

Bar Graph of Lynchings of African Americans, 1890-1929

From 1890 to 1900, an average of 175 African Americans were lynched each year. Lynchings were attacks motivated by racism where white mobs brutally murdered black victims, sometimes in the night, but often in a public way with many witnesses. Lynch [...]

Mexican Refugees Flee to Texas

In January 1914, the town of Ojinaga in northern Mexico was the site of a battle between the forces of Pancho Villa and those loyal to Mexican president Victoriano Huerta. This photo depicts refugees from the fighting making the sixty-mile journey [...]

What Was Jim Crow?

This activity introduces students to the term Jim Crow and the concept of legally mandated racial segregation.

Create a Migrant's Scrapbook from the First Great Migration

In this activity students examine documents from the period of the First Great Migration of African Americans to the North. As they look at the documents, they take notes to build a character of a migrant. Then they create a scrapbook that shows [...]

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