America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States

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Americans have had a troubled history with immigration. In the early part of the country’s history, the borders were wide open, but when people perceived to be different started arriving in numbers that felt uncomfortable, the tide began to turn on immigration and the country that was previously open to everyone began to place restrictions, quotas, and exclusions on certain classes of people.

This book examines the history of immigration panic, exclusion, and reforms throughout the many decades since the late 1880s when the first immigration exclusion act was passed to prevent Chinese citizens from coming to the western United States. From that point, there was a steady increase in exclusion as different groups were allowed in until they reached a tipping point and then the often violent response involved both kicking members of a particular race out of the United States and preventing more from arriving.

America has always had a uneven relationship with immigrants, especially since the Industrial Revolution when the issue became one that combined economics and class. The definition of who is white has constantly changed over the centuries, and being a nation of immigrants ourselves, it is interesting that we would limit others from enjoying the same chance.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 480 pages
Publisher Basic Books
Publish Date 15-Jun-2021
ISBN 9781541672611 Buy this Book
Issue September 2021
Category History