Was Political Fears to Blame for the Increasing Hostility Towards Immigrants in 1920s America? Essay

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To what extent was the growing hostility towards immigrants in the 1920s a result of political fears? America was widely believed to be the 'land of opportunity' where people, no matter what they're background or where they came from could come to America and begin a new life. However by 1919 the 'open door policy' that America had was beginning to close and and hostility towards immigrants was increasing. Woodrow Wilson in 1915 spoke of everybody in one nation from different nations coming together and developing into the American man and woman. However, this was not the case. Many Immigrants were flocking to America to escape from poverty, persecution and revolutions in their home countries. This created a lot of hostility as Americans feared that immigrants coming into the United States would have an effect on american society, socially, religiously, economically and politically. Historians have argued over what was the main cause was for growing hostility. Contributing factors are; the changing nature of immigration and entrenched WASP racism, pre-existing legislation before 1920s, WWI and isolationism, economic fears, social and religious fears, and political fears. Political fears did to an extent have an effect on the increasing hostility towards immigrants, however this was perhaps not the most significant factor. Until the 1880s the vast majority of immigrants were White Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASPS) They came from countries such as Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Germany. The were mostly Protestants who spoke English, which came to be the official language of the United States. Their decendents thought themselves to be 'native born americans' and came to dominate American society. By the 1880s the nature of Immigration had begun to change. There was a sharp rise in immigration to the U.S. Between 1901 and 1920 which saw the

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