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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Theme > Immigration and Migration (x)

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"Character of Present Immigration"

These extracts from the report of the Commissioner-General of Immigration were reprinted and circulated by the Immigration Restriction League, a Boston-based organization that favored stronger restrictions on immigration at the turn of the twentieth [...]

A "Red Scare" Leads to Backlash Against Immigrants

After World War I a "Red Scare" broke out as anxieties about political extremists and radicals led to widespread demonization and political persecution of leftists and immigrants. A series of high-profile events from the late-nineteenth century on, [...]

Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars (Excerpt)

This excerpt from Elizabeth Ewen's Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars describes the economic relationships of working-class immigrant families at the turn of the century. The female head of the family played an important economic role, often [...]

Let's Make an Immigration Deal

In this game, students are assigned different immigrant identities and advance based on their access to economic opportunity and religious, political, and social liberties at different times in U.S. history.

Chart of First Generation Immigrant Men’s Occupations, 1900

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 [...]

Immigration Debates in the Era of "Open Gates"

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 [...]

Fruit Plantations Advertise for Japanese Workers

Sugar growers made a deal with the Japanese government in 1884 that allowed thousands of Japanese to immigrate to the Hawaiian islands to work on plantations. Western growers were also eager to tap into this new, un-unionized and cheap labor source. [...]

An Immigrant's Haiku Records Great Dreams

This haiku records the nearly universal hope of immigrants to the United States. The majority of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. between 1884 and 1908 were men and women from rural areas who had been displaced because of high land prices and rents. [...]

Comparing the Cuban and Puerto Rican Flags

The similarities between the Cuban (top) and Puerto Rican (bottom) flags are not accidental. The Cuban flag was designed in 1849 by Narciso López, a pro-independence exile living in New York City. The design for the Puerto Rican flag was adopted by [...]

Cuba and Puerto Rico—"Two Wings of the Same Bird"

Puerto Rican poet and journalist Lola Rodríguez de Tió was one of the most prominent early advocates for Puerto Rican independence. Among her most popular works was "A Cuba," from which the excerpt below is taken. Rodríguez lived her final years [...]

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