The Melting Pot Analysis

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The year is 1790, the United States is still an infant and the first federal census has been issued. It revealed that the United States already contained a diverse background, two out of five white men were not of English decent. As time went on this number dwindled more and more. Today we see a very diverse group of people that make up this nation. According to the United Nations, 45.8 million immigrants live in the United States as of 2012. As the nation has had many influxes of different immigrants, many have referred to it as a “Melting Pot”, a blending together of cultures, forming one culture. However, the melting pot concept is an ideal that does not exist, the United States has always been heterogeneous like that of salad, with some …show more content…
The phrase of the Melting Pot first appeared in 1908, put forth by English Jewish Writer, Israel Zingwill. He wrote a play named The Melting Pot, which presented a utopian version of America as a Crucible that blended all nationalities and races into a new American people, interethnic and interracial. According to Reed Ueda, “The play’s title became the evocative symbol of ethnic metamorphosis in the twentieth century. In the final scene of the play, the hero, David Quixano, exclaims, “East and West, and North and South, the palm and the pine, the pole and the equator, the crescent and the cross-how the great Alchemist melts and fuses them with his purging flame!” It was a grand vision of how immigrant diversity created a new nationality,” (50). The melting pot ideal seems to fit when looking at most European immigrants. As Thernstrom argues, “the vast majority of immigrants have been absorbed in the nation-and with impressive speed,” …show more content…
This is seen with the 1965 Immigration Act, which according to Erika Lee, was able to assault racism and allowed tremendous new immigration. By the 1970s, intellectuals and political leaders began to advocate cultural pluralism, labeled multiculturalism. Today’s immigrants are from all over the globe not just Europe, bringing with them broad, political identities. Today’s immigrants also contain transnationalism. They now come from established nation states rather than “small-scale local communities,” (Waldinger 79). This allows them to retain a national origin. This is seen with Asian Indians, “increasing numbers of Indians (both foreign- and native-born) become in engaged in transnational activities…these include hundreds of Indian Internet websites, thousands of airplane trips, millions of phone calls and email exchange, and billions of remittance dollars between the two countries,”( Airriess and Miyares 284-285). As Ceri Peach points out another reason the melting pot doesn’t work is because of black segregation and hypersegregation. This can be seen spatially, with the distribution of Blacks across Northern Cities. “For the African American population to be evenly disturbed evenly across the Boston metro area, 68 percent would have to move; the average for twenty-four large Northern cities is 74 percent.

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