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Immigration in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

  • 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

  • Migration
  • Immigrant
  • Ancestral
  • Arduous
  • Push factor
  • Pull factor
  • New World
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866
  • 14th Amendment
  • Ellis Island
  • Familial
  • Social Darwinism
  • Nativism
  • Immigration Restriction League
  • American Protective Association
  • Chinese Exclusionary Act of 1882
  • Literacy test

Activity I » 30 minutes

  1. 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.
  2. Students should be prepared to discuss their responses to the critical thinking questions with the class.

Activity II » 30 minutes

  1. Divide students into groups of 3 to 5.
  2. Have them read the instructions and introduction on Handout C: The Challenges of
    Assimilation
    .
  3. Afterwards, they should read Handout D: Selections from Henry Cabot Lodge’s Speech in the Senate, March 16, 1896, and answer the review questions.
  4. 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.
  5. Once all groups are finished, move on to Activity III.

  1. Pass out Handout F: Immigration in the Progressive Era and allow your students time to read the two passages.
  2. Students should be instructed to write down 5 initial reactions to the passages.
  3. 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.

  1. Have students search for three articles on immigration. One should be economically focused, one should be socially focused, and one should be politically focused.
  2. For each question, have the students answer the questions on Handout H: Immigration Today.
  3. Discuss their findings in class.