With the war revealing many immigrants to still have tentative sympathies for their other county, the US hoped to keep out dangerous radicals and communists who might poison the minds Of millions Of Europeans already in North America by restricting limitations. Soon enough, life for foreign born immigrants was not an easy one as hostilities rose and many Americans were deeply resentful towards anything foreign.After 1 918, many Americans began to look upon the whole conflict of the war and regretted that their country had become involved, this lead isolationism playing a key counterpart in a determination to curb immigration and preserve old American stock ethically as seen by the refusal of The Senate to ratify the Treaty of Versailles which consequently, lead to the refusal to make the USA a member of the league of nations even though America had been the key stone towards this.The hostility shown towards many immigrants was due to many reasons such as; The Red Scare, Social Fears, Religious Fears, World War One, Anti- immigrant feeling and Immigration Laws. The ‘American Dream’. This was something that vast numbers of immigrants were seeking when they abandoned their motherlands and headed across the Atlantic to reach the land of opportunity.
‘Americans began to gain hostility toward ‘new immigrants coming in from Southern and Eastern Europe, escaping poverty and persecution with very little money and few skills seeking work in growing industries in the cities during and after the war in 1918.Hostilities rose further as as the immigrants were shown to be prepared to work in appalling conditions, of which average Americans would not, and for very little pay. As many Americans were sent off to fight in the war, employers took this advantage of hiring cheap immigrant labor to take their jobs. After 191 8, hen many US soldiers had returned from the war, they came back to find a saturated labor market, with employers preferring the cheap work that the immigrants provided.As a result, Trade Unions backed the Dialing Commission’s idea of a literacy test for immigrants in the hope that it would limit the entrance of unskilled workers in the USA. It did not, however, decrease the resentment that many Americans felt towards immigrants after being replaced in work with them, and soon enough many limitations and assumptions were made such as canceling German languages in schools and alleges, having German Americans beaten, tarred and feathered.F-implies with German sounding surnames changing them, Sauerkraut became known as Liberty cabbage, many Irish immigrants were suspected of being dangerously anti-British and potentially, anti-American if they were Catholic, and many Eastern Europeans were suspected of being Communists or Anarchists.
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To Americans, the unfamiliarity of the immigrants with the ways of democracy and their general mistrust of Government loomed as a threat to the constitution of US republican Government.One of the most important reasons that Americans developed a hostile feeling towards immigrants after WWW was the fear of revolution, in particular a communist revolution, commonly named the Red Scare. Many Americans were concerned that immigrants coming to America from Eastern Europe and Russia might share the same values that radical communist of the Bolsheviks did and Americans commonly perceived immigrants as people with radical political views. This was found to typically be untrue with only a small minority sharing these radical political views.Many Russians were suspected f being associated with communism and were jailed or deported, some people who were merely though to be Russian were also jailed. In January 1920, J Edgar Hoover of the General Intelligence Division within the Department of Justice, organized Communist raids in 33 cities, arresting 6,000 ‘foreign radicals’ and put them in jail without trial. Many were held in filthy conditions and beaten until they would sign confessions.
Although, due to lack of evidence, many were released although 600 were deported.Local police departments and the Federal Justice Department continued to harass hose who supported Socialist of Communist ideas. The specter of the Russian Revolution , coupled with the economic recession, set off the “Red Scare” Period. Us government and organizations purporting to defend ‘Americanism’ responded to any activity that was perceived to be radical. US atoners, Mitchell Palmer gave an order to “break the back of radicalism” by purging America of Southern and Eastern Europeans immigrants, who he believed were “foreign born subversives and agitators. The scare was escalated when a seemingly random spree of mail bombs were used by a antic fringe to spread fear. The Red Scare, along with similar scares was however all but gone with very few people still fearing them after 1920.
The Red Scare increased hostility towards immigrants, however it was very short lived and the majority of those persecuted for being associated with it were in no way associated with communist or anarchist views.Like the Red Scare, Social fears were a big factor as to why the USA adopted hostility towards immigrants after WWW; also like the Red Scare most Of the claims made are untrue or hyperbolic in nature. Immigrants lived in erroneous conditions, many in poor ghettos, typically congregating in big industrial cities. The immigrants wanted a sense of family and shared culture when they moved to America which resulted in them moving into a particular area or street with other families of immigrants, any existing residents refused to live in the same area as them and left, taking any political prestige the area had won with it.These areas were typically run down and overcrowded. Crime was a constant fixture within these ghettos and although most of the claims were exaggerated they still had major problems with ambling, vagrancy, petty theft and prostitution. Any social disorder that arose was deemed the fault of an immigrant by Americans, with statistics in crime rates soaring high in neighborhoods with high concentrations of immigrants despite the only crime that was particularly noticeable was that of petty theft, vagrancy and drunkenness.
Many Americans were appalled by the fact that a vast majority of immigrants refused to conform to American traditions and society, continuing to still practice their Mother land’s traditional culture, speaking in their native language and wearing their rotational clothes. Another social fear is that of Immigrants ‘stealing’ jobs from Americans, they believed that since immigrants would work for less pay and do more hours so that they undermined anything trade unions could do to improve working standards.It was also believed that with the increase in immigrants they would lead to a shortage of houses and cause costs to rise, this was however untrue as immigrants usually lived in ghettos in terrible conditions in high rise houses. Although settlements workers were more realistic in acknowledging that abominable living conditions, sickness, fear ND loneliness were the real causes of crime. Social workers argued that the thieves who stole small amounts of food, clothing or money were desperately attempting to cope with poverty and hopelessness, rather than responding to an innate criminality.Yet the myth of immigrant criminality persisted and the majority Of Americans continued to blame the immigrants for the majority Of social disorders. Americans were scared that the newly found immigrants who came into America after the war would cause America to become ‘UN-American’.
Immigrants brought new religions into America, such as Catholicism by Italians, Greeks and Poles or Judaism from Eastern Europe; this increased many hostilities as the traditional American religion was predominantly Protestant.After WWW, Protestant Americans sought to reaffirm orthodox Protestant Christianity, resulting in the birth of the fundamentalist movement. Forces of modernity gathered momentum following WWW , this seem to be eroding away the fabric of the traditional beliefs of White Anglo Saxon Protestant, aka ‘WASP’ communities. Many Protestant Fundamentalists aimed to defend traditional religion by emphasizing a literal interpretation Of he bible and targeted Darning’s theory of evolution as a symbol for what was wrong in modern society.The trial of The State of Tennessee v. S John Thomas Scopes, informally known as the ‘Scopes Trial’ – was a landmark American legal case in 1 92 against High School teacher, John Scopes, violating Tennessee Butler Act in 1925, which was an act prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of man’s origin. The trial saw modernists, who said religion was consistent with evolution, against fundamentalists who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took rarity over all human knowledge.
This trial resulted in the teaching of evolution expanding despite many Americans protests. The rising increase of fears about religion and traditional American moral values soon lead to an increase in hostilities and change in attitude towards immigrants as Americans feared Catholics would continue to pay allegiance to the Pope rather than their new country, as well as Jewish and Russian immigrants facing similar hostility. Anti-immigrant feeling was widespread and many Americans of longer standing began to feel like ‘traditional’ American values Were under threat room new immigrants.Persecution was not unfamiliar to Americans and had been around, and practiced, for many years prior to 1918. A large percentage of this anti-immigrant feeling was directed towards Chinese and Japanese immigrants with laws put it place to stop them working in labor intensive jobs, such as the gold rush and rail road work and in 1 924 there was a ban put on Japanese immigration. Nativities believed that the immigrants were a danger to society and the American way of life and this feeling began to be widespread. Most serious was the hostility generated by ordinary people who led Natives views.
They believed that immigrants threatened their economic and social position as they distrusted foreigners as they did not uphold the American lifestyle and only provided competition for jobs. A Natives political party was established in the asses, known as the American Party, it wanted immigrants to be allowed to enter the USA but meaning they had to wait 21 years after arrival for full citizen’s rights. Nativity was a way of Americans to be united under the preservation of the United States, it caused hostility as it imagined to make immigrants second class citizens and not have full rights.Immigration laws were perhaps an outcome of some natives groups and campaigns, but mostly due to the increased hostility that had been left behind after the war. These new laws were aimed primarily at ‘new immigrants. The main pieces of legislation against immigration were the Emergency Quota Act of 1 921 and the National Origins Act of 1924. The Emergency Quota Act permitted 357,000 immigrants entering America per year, although many anti-immigrant Americans believed that this was not restrictive enough.
Henceforth, through the coalition of eugenicists and some big-business interests, the National Origins Act was put in place to replace the Emergency Quota Act. It was to limit the number of new immigrants but also try to ensure the ‘ethnic makeup’ of America. E number allowed in to the States was dropped to 2% and it was designed to limit competition on jobs. As a results these acts show the increased hostility towards immigrants as they were restricted from entering America and the old open door policy, was now closed to many.The government did not believe that the new immigrants enriched the life and culture of the USA. This resulted in there being more fear of immigrants, xenophobia and racial persecution. There was clearly an increase in hostility towards immigrants and immigration after 191 8, with WWW playing a key role as a catalyst towards this.
The aftermath of WWW is apparent in the actions taken against German immigrants, the new immigration laws being placed, the closing of the ‘open- door’ policy, the uprising of new social and economic fears as well as the isolationism that America placed itself in.