Annotated Bibliography: A Country Of Immigrants

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A Country of Immigrants Tamara Hensley HIS 204 American History Since 1865 Timothy Hayburn, Instructor June 23, 2014 Immigrants coming to the United States have not had an easy time. Most have left their home country, the bulk of their possessions, and sometimes even their family to be herded onto a freight ship and sailed across the ocean. Once they arrived in America, they faced numerous tests to see if they would be allowed to stay. They usually had no job waiting or no home lined up to live in. As if all that was not enough, the new immigrants faced exclusion because of their nationality, struggled to make a living, and were forced to live in deplorable conditions. I will be discussing several events which had an impact on the…show more content…
They were treated in much the same way that the freed slaves had been treated following the Civil War. They were driven from their homes and their jobs, tortured, murdered, and lynched. Thirty-one Chinese miners in Washington State were mutilated and murdered by a group of white vigilantes in what was called the Snake River Massacre. None of the white men were found guilty of the crimes. In Tacoma, six hundred Chinese residents were chased from their homes and their houses were burned, and in Rock Springs, Wyoming, twenty-eight Chinese men were killed and the remaining men were forced out. Many of those who were now homeless and unemployed ended up in San Francisco in the district known as Chinatown. (Films Media Group, 2003). Under the Exclusion Act, Chinese laborers were issued papers which allowed them to go to China and return to the United States. This changed in 1888 when the Scot Act made those papers invalid. At the time that the act was put into place, twenty thousand Chinese-Americans were in china and were not allowed to return to the U.S. because their papers were no longer legal. The Exclusion Act was renewed in 1892 and had a new stipulation – the Chinese had to have identity papers. If they were caught without the document on them, they faced arrest and…show more content…
He spent ten years entering the crowded tenement houses of the lower East side to photograph the deplorable conditions that immigrants were living in. Riis commented, “The sights gripped my heart until I felt that I must tell of them or burst.” (Ades & Burns, 2003). His tale was in the form of the book “How the Other Half Lives”, which was published in 1890 and featured the pictures he had taken of the people of the tenements and their neighborhoods. Riis’ book attracted the attention of New Yorkers, who were challenged to get involved to improve the conditions that the poor in the city were subjected to. He also drew the interest of the Civil Service Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, who left his calling card with the message “I have read your book. I am here to help”. (Ades & Burns, 2003). In 1901, the Tenement House Act was passed which started the ball rolling to reform of hazardous living conditions. (Bowles,

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