- Students will identify what it means to be an immigrant and discover what was involved in the process of immigration.
- Students will investigate the impact immigration had upon the United States socially and economically.
- Students will assess the arguments given for and against the restriction of immigration.
- Handout A: Migration Experiment Graphic Organizer and Discussion Questions
- Handout B: Background Essay: The New Wave – Immigration in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
- Handout C: The Challenges of Assimilation
- Handout D: Selections from Henry Cabot Lodge’s Speech in the Senate, March 16, 1896
- Handout E: Selections from the President Grover Cleveland’s veto message of the 1896 Literacy test March 2, 1897
- Handout F: Immigration in the Progressive Era
- Handout G: Class Discussion Questions
- Handout H: Immigration Today
- Push factor
- Pull factor
- New World
- Civil Rights Act of 1866
- 14th Amendment
- Ellis Island
- Social Darwinism
- Immigration Restriction League
- American Protective Association
- Chinese Exclusionary Act of 1882
- Literacy test
- Use the graphic organizer in Handout A: Migration Experiment Graphic Organizer and Discussion Questions and sample questions to lead your class in a background discussion regarding immigration. Begin the discussion with general questions, transitioning to discussing themes of immigration. Try to group your students’ answers into themes fitting into the two categories.
- Tell your students you would like to experiment with a new seating arrangement. They have a choice of either remaining where they sit now, or moving to any seat they’d like, so long as it’s not occupied. Allow them to sit near their friends.
- Once they take their new seats, arbitrarily pick a few students to move.
- Take a few desks, and say they cannot be sat in as they are due for repairs. Make the students sitting in these chairs either stand or sit on the floor somewhere else (demonstrating push factor).
- Reward students who chose to sit in the front row with some sort of prize or treat. Then allow other students to come sit up front now that they know there is an incentive (demonstrating pull factor).
- (Optional) – Work with another teacher to swap students between two classes. Have them sit randomly amongst the students in your class.
- Once all the students have taken their seats, and asked a few questions – let them know they’ve all just been migrants (demonstrating tensions caused by newcomers).
- Let them return to their return to their seats (or classrooms) or leave them where they are, and conduct a class discussion about their impressions of the experiment.
- Use Handout A: Migration Experiment Graphic Organizer and Discussion Questions to lead the discussion.
Activity I » 30 minutes
- Have students read the Handout B: Background Essay: The New Wave – Immigration in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and answer the critical thinking questions.
- Students should be prepared to discuss their responses to the critical thinking questions with the class.
Activity II » 30 minutes
- Divide students into groups of 3 to 5.
- Have them read the instructions and introduction on Handout C: The Challenges of Assimilation.
- Afterwards, they should read Handout D: Selections from Henry Cabot Lodge’s Speech in the Senate, March 16, 1896, and answer the review questions.
- Finally, they should read Handout E: Selections from the President Grover Cleveland’s veto message of the 1896 Literacy test March 2, 1897, and answer the critical thinking questions.
- Once all groups are finished, move on to the wrap-up activity.
- Pass out Handout F: Immigration in the Progressive Era and allow your students time to read the two passages.
- Students should be instructed to write down 5 initial reactions to the passages.
- Using Handout G: Class Discussion Questions as a guide, lead your class in an open discussion about immigration restriction and its impact on the United States.
- Have students search for three articles on immigration. One should be economically focused, one should be socially focused, and one should be politically focused.
- For each question, have the students answer the questions on Handout H: Immigration Today.
- Discuss their findings in class.
African Americans in the Gilded Age
Jane Addams, Hull House, and Immigration
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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.
The History of Immigration in the United States
In this lesson, students will study the nature of immigration and trace the history of immigration in the United States from its founding to the first half of the twentieth century. They will gain an understanding of the experience of immigrants in the 1800s, the factors that brought them to the United States, and the challenges they faced upon their arrival. Students will thus be better equipped to engage in the modern conversation on immigration in the United States.
The History of Immigration Law in the United States
This lesson provides a background on the history of immigration policy in the United States, that is, the philosophical origins, legal debates, and legal history from the Founding of the nation to the late 1900s. Students will come to understand how American lawmakers viewed immigrants and the reasoning behind the evolving nature of immigration policy.
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?
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?
Gilded Age Immigration Cartoons
May 6, 2020, marked 138 years since the signing of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Passed by Congress and signed by President Chester A. Arthur, the act banned Chinese immigration into the United States for ten years. Many in the U.S. despised Chinese immigrants, a group they believed did not integrate well into American culture and took jobs from Americans.