Immigrants In The Twentieth Century: A Comparative Analysis

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At the beginning of the Twentieth Century a renewed influx of immigrants flocked to the United States, settling in “gateway” cities such as Chicago, across the nation. As the population changed in Chicago, so did the economy of the city and the gap between upper and middle classes. This change and other factors lead to distrust of immigrants and created a rift between American-born and foreign-born individuals. Due to economic and social factors, immigrants to the United States have in the past been pressured to assimilate into American culture, similarly as they are today. The prosperity of the United States toward the end of the Nineteenth century allowed the country to surpass both England and Germany. This was partially caused by the …show more content…
These communities were another cause for separation between native-born people and immigrants. “These settlements re-created most of the social institutions they had left behind, thereby establishing a culture”. Often times, individuals living in ethnic enclaves would speak their native languages rather than English, unless they had to work outside of their community. Often times enclaves “evolved into ethnic labor markets, in which immigrants established their own stores and personal services”. The solidification of foreign cultures in American society meet opposition due to worry that it would disrupt American culture. The language barrier between English-speaking and those that still speak in their native tongues surely wasn’t any more help in uniting the native-born Americans with their new, immigrant counterparts. “People did not like people who could not speak English. People were shamed for speaking their native language.” Some immigrants chose to return to their homelands after several years of working and accumulating money, but for those that would remain, the shame of using one’s native tongue was something that could carry on with them through their new lives in the United …show more content…
Park and Miller are clearly of another mind, though. They write that “[i]t is certainly true that a man cannot participate in our life without our language, and that its acquisition is rightly considered a sign and rough index of Americanization. But the American who does not know the details of the immigrant’s life and problems cannot imagine how useful his language is here in the first stages.” Here a more moderate and reasonable sense of Americanization is expressed, giving immigrants time to adjust and learn, rather than expecting it from the very first moment of their arrival at Ellis

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