America 's Influence On American Politics Essay

801 Words Oct 21st, 2015 4 Pages
“Between 1880 and 1920, a time of rapid industrialization and urbanization, America received more than 20 million immigrants.”1 They came from several different areas for several different reasons. The typical rationale for leaving their home, and everything they knew, was to make a better life for their family. However, little did they know, this massive influx of immigrants would affect Americans culturally, and influence strong reactions among native-born Americans.

What was American culture during this time period? According to Henry James, a native-born novelist, their culture was democratic, English speaking, and Protestant.2 The newcomers stepping off the boat into America, and into this culture, many did not speak English, had several different religions, and were not democratic. As one could imagine, the natives were intimidated by this. They felt as though immigrants threatened their way of life, more specifically democracy; they voted in blocs and undermined the nation’s politics. Political machines, such as Tammany Hall, were created and greatly influenced American politics. The United States government became corrupt. Immigrants also affected religion. In order to preserve their old traditions, immigrants collected money and built Catholic churches.2 The churches spread and eventually built schools to allow immigrant children to escape the Protestant public schools. They acted as safe havens for the new comers, and made the transition to…

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