To What Extent Was Racism the Main Reason for an Change in Attitudes Towards Immigration in the 1920's

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A nation built from the ground up. A land tamed from the wild. The poor rising to riches. Prosperity followed America. A land where all were welcome and anyone, from any nation, any social status had every right in pride to be called American and achieve ‘The American Dream’. Even though America advertised for immigrants to pour in and fill the lands, some immigrant groups were restricted access to the ‘land of the free’. In the 1920’s there is range evidence to why a change in attitude could have occurred: Isolationism, Many historians arguing that a stricter policy on immigrants came from a detachment from European affairs. A mass of social and crime fears, nearly every immigrate being on the negative side of white Americans. Even the KKK can be argued as a factor: leading a whole nation prejudice against immigrants. But prior to the 1920’s there was already a shit in the attitudes to immigration even though America was apparently holding open arms to all. Not even prior to the 1920’s, before the 19th century. 1882 to be exact. The 1882 immigration Act levied a 50 cents tax on all aliens landing on United States ports: making the land of the free, not free. Many immigrants traveled from far distances and were already escaping poverty or persecution from their homeland and many had spent all their money to reach the shore o the USA e.g. Irish immigrants; an estimate of over 2,800,000 went to America. Many of the Irish were too poor to buy land and many would have perished on the sea journey to America. The Act denied those who had traveled far access to America: An attack on immigrants due to their social class, denying the poor class of immigrants to America: Many Americans had the view that immigrants were inferior. Americans viewed this Law as beneficial for immigrants stating the tax help cover the care of immigrants when they lands and help build up the

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