Kevin created to limit immigration was the Chinese Exclusion


Bridger Bishop

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December 2017

Issues in the
US through 1877 to 1945

For decades the United States have been through warfare, political
disputes, and social problems. Three problems in between the years 1877 to 1945
that occur are immigration, problems with race, and labor issues. Immigration
problems occur because of a series of events such as the California Gold Rush
and the new idea of nativism; however, America was built by immigrants. Racial
problems are a well-known issue in the United States with victims such as the
Irish, Chinese, Mexicans, Native-Americans, and Black Americans. Labor issues
in the past started because of salary cuts and layoffs and cause strikes, for
example, the Railroad Strike of 1877. The people of the United States tried to
solve these issues in the past. Today, the issues of race, immigrants, and work
are still relevant.

Immigration before 1945 had its issues. Past events before 1877 in
Europe, such as famine, religious complications, and economic opportunities
caused enormous migrations of people such as the Irish and Germans to move to
the Americas. Before 1877, some major events in the Americas were the Atlantic
Slave Trade, The Mexican-American War, and the California Gold Rush. The
Atlantic Slave Trade brought many Africans to the United States to be used as
slaves. In the Mexican-American War, the United States won, and seized what is
now New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Texas, and parts of Colorado
and the Mexican people that came with the land. During the California Gold
Rush, there was a great migration from the east and People from Europe and Asia
came too, particularly China. One of the first legislations created to limit
immigration was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Two causes for Chinese
immigrants to travel to the United States were the California Gold Rush in 1849
and the Taiping Rebellion in the years 1850 to 1864. The Chinese Exclusion Act
of 1882 was a legislation that banned Chinese labors to come to the United
States. Americans blamed Chinese workers for the low job employment and low
wages. The reason is because Chinese immigrants would accept low paying jobs
and accept work that most Americans would not want to do during that time such
as cooking, washing clothes, mining, and cleaning. Waves of immigrants arrived
from Europe to the United States. The cause for these waves occurred because of
industrialization such as the creation of steamships that encourage people from
Europe and Asia to come to the US for jobs and a new life. Some opposition
against immigration is the idea of nativism. Nativism is the protecting the
interest of those native-born and oppose immigrants and immigration. In 1897,
Congress tries to oppose immigration by passing the Immigration Restriction
Bill, which was a type of literacy bill that targeted illiterate immigrants and
limits only educated immigrates to migrate to the US, however, the bill was
vetoed by President Grover Cleveland. The United States of America was built by
immigrants. The Mexican-American War, the Chinese Exclusion Act, and the rise
of the idea of nativism were some problems of immigration before 1945. Today,
immigration is still a problem, especially within Latin America and with
refugees from the Middle East. Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries have
people who cross the borders of America. Some solutions were the stopping of
programs such as the DREAM Act and DACA and the building of a barrier and
increasing the security around the borders. The DREAM Act means Development,
Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. This act helps bring minors to the
US from places such as the Mexico and the Philippines. DACA is a program that
is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program helped minors to be able
to stay here in the United States. These solutions may create more
opportunities for the citizens of the US, but overall that is only in the long
run. If a crackdown on illegal immigrants were to happen, many companies would
be economically unstable, they would be in a rush to look for new workers,
people would want to increase wages unlike immigrants, some people will not
want jobs that some immigrants had, such as a low paying job or jobs such as a
factory worker or farmers, and increased wages would increase inflation. Not
only the economy would suffer, but also the families that would get deported
and the countries that they are deported too. Countries will have an increase
of unemployment and homelessness. Families will lose their homes, money, and
everything they worked for. In the past the main reasons of the opposition to
immigration were because of employment and racial discrimination. Today it remains
not so different. The only difference between now and then is that now people
are speaking up and trying to establish their roots here in America.

Race in general has always been a problem in the US. From
Expanding the US borders to immigration. Some events before 1877 is the
conquering of Natives, the enslavement of the African people, the American
Civil War and the annex of parts of countries such as Mexico. When People from
Europe came to the Americas, it was for freedom, expansion, and riches. The
people were helped by the natives at first, but soon the Europeans took land
from the Natives, whether by diplomatic means or war and murder. With the rise
of colonies, society needed labor. Africans were enslaved either by Europeans
or by other African Kingdoms. Then they are sold and bought. Soon, people
wanted to be free from their shackles. 
The American Civil lasted from 1861 to 1865. Four years of war between
the American people. One of the main reasons for the war was to stop slavery
from expanding to the rest of the states. When the United States took lands
from Mexico, Russia, and France, they also took the people living there. People
have already established their homes, especially the Mexican people and
Natives. The US took land away for cash crops, mines, or simply to distribute
the land for the Americans. Racial inequality in the years between 1877 and
1945 was still ongoing. In the Black Hills War of 1876 to 1877, gold was
discovered, but the natives there did not want to remove. The Lakota put up a
resistance against the Americans and asked America to stop their people from
invading their lands, however, they did not. When the Lakota attacked, America
also attacked them because of their people. The Indian Wars are an example of
racial discrimination because of the ideas of Americans. People thought that
Native Americans were savages and uneducated. A solution was Indian boarding
schools; this is the start of the general idea of cultural assimilation. The increases
of Chinese immigrations cause Americans to discriminate them and force them
into low status careers during that time. There was the lynching of Chinese workers;
an example is the massacres at Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1885 and another
example near Hells Canyon, Idaho in the year 1887. The solution was the ban on
Chinese immigration. Blacks and African-Americans have been enslaved and
discriminate against ever since the Europe’s scramble to Africa. Then, it ended
with the 13th amendment, the 14th amendment, and the 15th
amendment that abolished slavery, which made African Americans Citizens, and
gave the right to vote. There was still resistance such as the Ku Klux Klan and
the Jim Crow Laws; it also begins the age of lynching. To maintain control of
the minorities, states pass vagrancy laws and convict leasing, pass literacy
laws and poll taxes, used sharecropping, made a new state Constitution that
strip African Americans of the right to vote and the right to bear arms, pass
segregation laws. However, movements for civil rights begins. Groups such as
the National Association of Colored Women and the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People targeted segregation and lynching. In 1896, In
Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was legal as long
as the facilities were “separate but legal”. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, Booker
Taliaferro Washington, and others argued for equal rights for African Americans
and Blacks. In the past, Blacks joined the ranks of the military, however,
during the First World War more Blacks Americans join the military than before.
There was more integration in the navy, than in the army. After the First World
War, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected as President of the United States and
he made a new plan called the New Deal. Nevertheless, The New Deal still
treated the African American community disproportionately. They acquired less
pay and there was fewer programs for them. The New Deal with Native Americans
made them lose land to non-Native land speculators and it prevented them from
fully supporting themselves. The issues today is that people still
discriminates against other races. The main reason to stop immigration from
other countries is because of race, people who still considered themselves of
European descent do not want people from other countries, such as Mexico and
the Philippines. People are racist against other people because of their skin
color. Today there are more laws that protect against discrimination and
racism. However, the problem is still the same. People judge other people
because of their ancestry, their skin color, because of stereotypes and because
they want the support of other people.

Labor issues are common issues here in America. Examples of such
issues or cutting wages and being laid off. The issues with labor began since
the Industrial Age. America wanted to produce goods faster, better, and more
efficient. Assembly lines were created, which is just a repetitive task that
emphasized efficiency and organization. There were longer work days that meant
more hours after the sun went down and the idea of graveyard shifts. New
Machines were being made and that meant new dangers, hazards, and accidents.
Child labor and low wages occur because of industrialized America. People were
laid off and they did not have a steady wage. Soon, some laws were placed to
protect these workers and stop child labor, America then enter the Progressive
Era. An idea such as Populism, Communism, Labor Unions and strikes were all
made in the during the America’s Progressive Era. A famous strike is the Great
Railroad Strike of 1877. The main reason for these types of strikes is because
of money and hazards. Therefore, Labor unions were made to protect the worker,
their wages, to have a number of workdays, and to make their work environment
safer. Some examples of major labor Unions are the International Workers of the
world, The American Federation of labor, the United Mine Workers, The Knights
of Labor, and the American Railway Union. In the 1900’s, The National Child
Labor Committee was formed and made the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916.
This Act bans goods produced with child labor, but it was later struck as
unconstitutional. Birth certificates, then were made to prevent children from
going into the workforce before they have reached the legal age. Children were
taken away by authorities from their families and they are put in the hands of
government officials if anything negative occurs with them and their families. Today
Labor Unions hold more powers within the companies than they used to. However,
some issues that are new, is the over increase of wages. While some jobs do
require to get paid more, some jobs do not. People who work at entry level jobs
want an increase of their wage, which in turn will cause inflation. Entry level
jobs are called entry level because they are the step to get into the workforce.
Still, Labor Unions want to increase the wages of these type of jobs to
increase their support. Companies that would require such labor would go
bankrupt because the workers are protected by labor unions.

There were problems with immigration, problems with race, and labor
issues in the years 1877 through 1945. On immigration, people had the thought
of nativism and did not want other types of people even though America
conquered already establishes lands. Racial problems were an issue in the past,
but it is still an issue. People are judged by their race, color, and ancestry.
Labor disputes now are different than what they used to be. Labor Unions pose
as a new problem with the increase of wage and protecting workers companies
cannot fire.