The History of Immigration in the United States75 min
- Students will analyze what immigration is and what it means to be an immigrant.
- Students will be able to explain the fundamental factors that cause immigration.
- Students will investigate the history of immigration in the United States from the colonial era to the early twentieth century.
- Students will assess the history and compare it with immigration today.
- Handout A: Family Survey
- Handout B: Background Essay: A Nation of Immigrants – A History of Immigration to 1924
- Handout C: Graphic Organizer
- Handout D: Letter from Mary Garvey, Irish Immigrant, to Her Mother, October 24, 1850
- Push factor
- Pull factor
- New wave immigrants
Distribute and assign for homework Handout A: Family Survey.
Display a large map of the world.
Have students mark with pushpins or markers on the map, where their families originated. Discuss any trends or patterns revealed by the map and the surveys.
Ask your students if their various backgrounds affect the class dynamic. Is this effect positive or negative? Why?
Activity I » 30 minutes
- Distribute Handout B: Background Essay: A Nation of Immigrants – A History of Immigration to 1924 to your students and have them read the document and answer the critical reading questions.
- Divide your class into groups of three to five. Have them fill out columns one through three on Handout C: Graphic Organizer. For each section, they should highlight what they believe motivated the immigrants of that era to migrate and what challenges they faced in doing so.
- Bring the class back together and discuss their responses on the graphic organizer.
- As a class, fill out column four, “Modern Era” and discuss how modern immigrants’ experiences are similar or different than those in the past.
Activity II » 20 minutes
- Have students read Handout D: Letter from Mary Garvey, Irish Immigrant, to Her Mother, October 24, 1850 and answer the critical thinking questions.
- As a class, discuss the responses to the critical thinking questions, tying in the themes discussed in the previous activity.
- Have your students write a letter home from their own immigrant ancestors. In the letters they should cover the same major themes that Mary Garvey touched on in her own letter.
Have your students write a short response to the following writing prompt: Why do you think tensions arise or have arisen between immigrants and natives of a nation? What challenges do you think a nation faces in welcoming immigrants? List and describe any parallels to new students arriving at your school.
Cartoon Analysis: Immigration in the Gilded Age, 1882–1896
Use this primary source imagery to analyze major events in history.
Continuity and Change: Immigration in the United States
Use this lesson toward the end of the unit with the Barack Obama, Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2004 Primary Source to discuss the idea of the "American Dream" and its impact on immigration.
Immigration in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
The late nineteenth century experienced one of the largest mass migrations in history, tens of millions of immigrants came to America from Europe, Asia, and North America. Immigrants settled in the United States primarily for economic opportunity afforded by the growing industrial economy and faced challenges upon arriving. The influx of so many immigrants changed American culture and presented unique tensions in American society, leading to a debate over immigration, citizenship, and the restriction of immigration.
Irish and German Immigration DBQ
Use this Lesson to introduce students to the push and pull factors that led to high levels of immigration from Germany and Ireland from 1830 to 1860. Facilitation Notes: This activity is designed for groups of five students. The activity works best if each student only sees their printed primary source. The students should have some background knowledge on the European industrial revolution and its impact on urban growth and immigration in the United States.This lesson targets the foundational skills of analyzing documents, grouping documents, and constructing a thesis as required of the DBQ essay on the AP exam.
Industry and Immigration in the Gilded Age
Use this Lesson with the Cartoon Analysis: Immigration in the Gilded Age, 1882–1896 Primary Source to highlight the way immigrants were regarded and treated during the Gilded Age.
Stephanie Hinnershitz: Chinese Immigration & Exclusion | BRI Scholar Talks
Tony Williams is joined by Dr. Stephanie Hinnershitz, author and assistant professor of history at Cleveland State University, as they discuss her thought-provoking essay on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 in BRI’s new digital textbook, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. She chronicles the social, economic, and political factors that compelled many people to immigrate to the United States from China in the late 19th century, as well as the tragic violence and xenophobia that Chinese laborers routinely suffered. How did these tensions culminate in the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, and what impact did this discriminatory law have on society?
Immigration to America | BRI’s Homework Help Series
The rise in immigration to the United States in the 1840's altered the economic, cultural, and political climate of the nation in the first half of the 19th century.
The Anti-Chinese Wall: Immigration Images in the Gilded Age | BRIdge from the Past
Have American views on immigration changed over time? In this episode, Mary walks through "The Anti-Chinese Wall" cartoon by Friedrich Graetz to understand the discriminatory reasons why many Americans objected to Chinese immigration in the late 19th century, and what they revealed about many Americans' beliefs during the time. How did the debate against Chinese immigration turn into the Chinese Exclusion Act?