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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Theme > Immigration and Migration (x)

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"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 [...]

Mexican and Japanese Laborers Form a Union

In 1903, Mexican and Japanese farmworkers in Oxnard, California joined together to resist a wage cut by their employers. When they requested that their union be allowed to join the American Federation of Labor, President Samuel Gompers told the [...]

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 [...]

A Newspaper Urges Mexican Immigrants to Join a Mutual-Aid Society

This article, printed in a Spanish-language newspaper in New Mexico in 1904, urges readers to join the Sociedad Alianza Hispano-Americana, a mutual aid society, or mutualista, with branches in Arizona and New Mexico. The Alianza eventually became [...]

Social Reform and Issues of Race and Class

In this activity students explore how Progressive Era reforms did not apply universally, but rather varied depending on issues like race and class. Students watch the 30-minute film Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl and read an article that [...]

Debating Immigration Restriction: The Ellis Island Era

In this activity, students consider arguments for and against unrestricted immigration during the Ellis Island era. Students analyze political cartoons, letters, newspaper articles, posters, and other sources, noting evidence in the documents to [...]

Background Essay on Life in Mid-19th Century Five Points

This essay introduces Manhattan's Five Points neighborhood and the people who lived there.

Background Essay on Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson is an American gospel singer famous for her involvement in the civil rights movement. This short overview describes her life and career.

Item Type: Article/Essay
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 [...]

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