Immigration Act of 1924

Immigration Act of 1924
The period of the 1890s-1924 was the largest period of immigration in U.S. history, when more than 20,000,000 people arrived in the U.S. The period was also one of intensifying nativism and racism, as many Anglo Americans feared the arrival of the “unwashed masses,” people largely migrating from southern, eastern, and central Europe (SCE). Their detractors deemed them racially inferior—even if the Europeans were marginally “white.” More frightening were Asians, considered beyond the pale and incapable of assimilation. Many feared that SCEs and Asians would outbreed native-born whites, interbreed with whites and thus contaminate Anglo Saxon racial purity and, in either process, imperil the nation’s racial superiority—just as the United States was entering a new century and international prominence.

Explicate (analyze and critique) the Immigration Act of 1924. Pay particular attention to the fact that it instituted quotas and rolled back the maximum numbers of persons who could enter from any nation to 1890 levels. What did this mean for SCE (southern, central, and eastern) Europeans and Asians? Why do you think this act was passed at that particular time? What did it say about the nation, and its opinion of immigrants? Use A People and a Nation, primary source documents, lecture notes and additional source materials of your choice to explicate the 1924 Immigration Act, paying close attention to what was going on in the U.S. between 1890-1924.

Use the textbook A People and a Nation as one of the primary sources as well

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