History 3208: History of Immigration, Ethnicity, and Nativism
Professor Peter Catapano

The Rise of Nativism and the End of Open Immigration

I. The Rise of Nativism 
  • Daniel's "Three Phases of Nativism"
    • Anti-Catholic (pope's dream) (Nast cartoon)
      • From the1830-1850s
      • Targeted mostly the Irish
    • Anti-Asian (The Chinese Question)
      • Begins in 1870s
        • Naturalization Act 
      • Chinese Exclusion Act
      • Later targeted Japanese 
        • Gentlemen's Agreement (1907)
    • Anti - all Immigration

The great fear of the period That Uncle Sam may be swallowed by foreigners : The problem solved.
LIthograph, San Francisco : White & Bauer, [between 1860 and 1869]

World War 1 poster
II. Anti-Immigrant Backlash in the early 20th Century
  • 1880-1920s - Massive Immigration Wave - "Immigrant Invasion"
    • 1/3 of the population either foreign born or had a least one foreign born parent
    • Some Protestant leaders concerned about the numbers of Catholics, Jewish and Orthodox immigrants
    • Economic Competition
  • "Scientific Racism" and the Decline of the Race (eugenics definition) (website) (DNA era link)
    • Immigration Restriction League (1894)
    • Thomas Bailey Aldrich, "The Unguarded Gates" (1882) (poem)
    • Madison Grant, "The Passing of the Great Race" (1916) excerpt
  • War and Nationalism
  • Increased Attention to immigration by the Federal Government (partial list)

III. The Effects of the "Quota" (timeline)
  • Dillingham Immigration Act (1921)
    • Set temporary quota of 3% of a nationality based on the 1910 census
    • No quotas for Western Hemisphere nations (Canada, Mexico, etc.)
  • Immigration Act (1924)
    • Set permanent quota based on 3% of 1890 census
    • Exceptions to the National Quotas
      • family reunification
      • workers with specific skills
    • Effectively ended the European wave that began in 1880 

Political cartoon from 1921

Updated 3/20/10