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HISTORY AND LIFE FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS

The European : Irish immigrant

As Europe was becoming overpopulated and unemployment rising, America became the best alternative where the huge expanding economy and democracy promised a t least a better life. The land in Europe had become exhausted while the American lands were still fertile and fit for agriculture. Majority of the people decide to stay in Europe with the hope of the situation improving and our countries regaining their lost glory. However, some of considered the alternative, migrate to the west and begin a new life there. With the regulations on rules not as tight and discriminative as they are today, America was then a free nation where everybody who qualified for the citizenship could settle. However, these privileges were more relaxed for the Europeans than other ethnic groups. Being of European origin was an advantage for those willing to settle in America. In addition, America is a country that is made of immigrants (Martin & Midgley, 2003). Being a European did not attract really much attention. However, the case was different for the people of other races, during this period, racial discrimination was at its peak and Europeans were considered first class citizens.

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Patriotism was a policy of the American after struggling through to win independence and the civil war. It was a requirement from the political regime of that era to maintain patriotism to the American country and the government. As an European immigrant, one was also willing to pledge loyalty to the political regime and the government of the time. This is because they were doing much to improve the life of the American irrespective of the weather was a native born or an immigrant. Therefore, it was unlikely for anyone of the European immigrants to engage in a strike. The government gave us priority across all services. The whites were allowed to vote, freedom was more relaxed and security enhanced for white citizens as compared to the people from other races.

The American dream is the idea of according equal opportunities to the American citizens for achievement of success through the determination, hard work and initiative (Cullen, 2003). The dream was an idea that significantly shaped the nation especially for immigrants. This is because they were accorded equal opportunities as every American to succeed. The dream encouraged the immigrant to take part in building America after the civil war.

Part of the leisure of the American dream included the right of owning individual wealth with interference from the state. Other leisure included owning a good house, a good career and high status quo. The successes of the American immigrants as inspired by American dream lead to tier attacks by the Nordics in a wave of anti-migrant sentiment that hit America. Migrants were assumed to take more jobs than their Native American counterparts did and fueled cheap labor and therefore associated with all the American problems (Adams, 1933).

The Asian immigrants: Chinese Immigrant

Economic problems and political instability that led every immigrant to America did not leave out the Asians. The Chinese and the Japanese were the majority of the Asian immigrant to America. The immigrants either were escaping the political regimes of dictators or were searching for economic alternatives that were present in America.

Asians were treated as second-class citizens after the white Americans than followed by Latinos and African Americans. Treatment was not equal for the Japanese and the Chinese immigrants as it was for the European immigrants (Lee, 2002). However, it was a lot better as compared to other races. The Latinos and the African American were worse treated than the Asians were. This could be because of lack of education and being associated with crime and violence. In addition, the people’s attitude to Asian was not positive at all. They were considered as outsiders having migrated to America recently as compared to Europeans and the African who were forcefully brought to America under slavery.

The bad attitude can attributed to the industrious nature of the Asian. Majority of the Japanese and Chinese who migrated to America were educated and were in search for job opportunities. As an Asian, I would be a direct threat to the Americans in terms of job opportunities and economic activities. This would justify their attitude and reaction toward my and ethnicity.

The lack of political goodwill to find a lasting solution would motive an Asian to engage in strikes in protest against the discrimination and lack of loyalty to the political regime. In addition, leisure was a preservative for the wealth class that constituted the majority of the white Americans of the European origin. Due to discrimination, I could not get a well-paying job. The job one would get were ones that the white Americans did not qualify or were not willing to take up that kind of job. The meant that the opportunities for leisure were limited as one could not much behold the necessities. The America dream seemed perfectly fit for the immigrants because they worked more to achieved what their homeland could not give them with the opportunities that were present in America.

References:

Adams, J. T. (1933). America Faces 1933’s Realities. New York Times Magazine, January 1, 1.

Martin, P. L., & Midgley, E. (2003). Immigration: shaping and reshaping America.

Cullen.(2003). The American dream: a short history of an idea that shaped the nation. New York: oxford university press

Lee, E. (2002). The Chinese exclusion example: Race, immigration, and American gatekeeping, 1882-1924. Journal of American Ethnic History, 36-62.

           

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