|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Economics Sociology Immigration Political science|
Immigration is a global phenomenon spanning from 10000 years in the past and in the 21st century, the bandwagon still continues. It has defined multi-culturalism and diversity in different habitations. Evidence of migration has sprung indicating human activity existing over 10000 years ago in different regions demonstrating that people started moving to different locations even before the advent of the complex transport system. The United States has seen a major portion of immigration lance through her territories and borders with most people moving to the U.S. The Native Americans led the immigration by making early settlements in the southern parts of U.S. Native Americans began their settlement in the "New World" which was the land they had just discovered. The three impacts that America saw were: the inception of agriculture and industrialization, immigration laws introduced led to inequality and subsequent shortage of labour, and the backlash to immigration led to widespread illegal immigration and diversification of cultures and religion.
Agriculture and Industrialization
The first impact was the enhancement of agriculture and industrialization. Different nationalities would begin to integrate their culture and practices which resulted in different social impacts in the region. The Europeans followed shortly after the migration of American Indigenous communities into U.S. Europeans spearheaded the 19th-century immigration followed by the Chinese after the gold discovery in California. The accounts above had an outcome on the U.S landscape socially and economically.
Agriculture started around 9000 years ago with corn being one of the most popular and staple food. People mostly carried out agricultural practices in the Mississippi River to Atlantic Ocean stretch, place renown as Eastern Woodlands. Europeans from the eastern and southern parts of Europe dominated immigration history into the U.S in the period 1860-1924 and was considered the second mass movement. They formed the major portion of the population affecting the demographic state of the country. Since agriculture was introduced by Native Americans hundreds of years before, it is only in the mass immigration in the 19th century that helped enhance productivity and commercialization through improved industrialization and manufacture of products. European countries were already industrialized and way ahead of the United States in mechanization in industries.
Mainly led by the Irish due to famine in their country settling in the East Coast, millions of Germans followed thereafter and settled in the Mid-West areas such as Cincinnati and St. Louis and bought lands. During this period, most African Americans resulted in working for the wealthy and the white population due to the suppression and discrimination that surged at the time. Growing of cotton was very rampant with the farming already kicking off as early as 1800 and the human labour comprised of the foreigners. Slaves were even moved to the U.S to meet the demand for a workforce. Cotton farming and production became an export product after the industrial capitalists incepted industrialization.
However, with the Civil War which had commenced in 1861 intensifying between the Union and the Confederate, the rights of foreigners majorly the black population were abused and slavery was still imminent. Farming of cotton in the Southern states of Virginia, Mississippi and Kentucky was still a huge economic driver to an extent Abraham Lincoln chose to not confront the Confederate in a war seeing that it would affect the export market in Europe. The growth of cotton into a national phenomenon was majorly owed to the slaves employed to work under harsh conditions.
The growth of industrialization revitalized during the period 1870-1920 while the labour unrests were rampant. Employers, companies and the government suffered losses during the unrests and decided to use other options for mass production. Industrialization rendered human skills useless together with the adoption of the Fredrick Taylor model of Scientific Management. Fredrick Taylor instilled ethical use and consideration of labour notwithstanding the long term effect it had on employment. With technological advances in the wake of industrialization, revolutions emerged in the industry. "Singer sewing machines, Chicago packers' "disassembly" lines, McCormick grain reapers, Duke Cigarette rollers: all accomplished immense superiority and were the vanguard in the market through supplemented effectiveness and mass production."
Secondly, the inception of immigration laws which were suppressive aimed at empowering the whites and oppressing foreigners. The immigrants could not own properties and businesses but were subjected to slavery due to the savage statutes imposed. The only place the immigrants could thrive was in the workforce. However, things took a distasteful turn when commercialization and profit-making became rampant. The above financial efforts were characterized by vivid pursuance of industrialization at the expense of the already committed immigrants.
The United States Congress contravened human rights and ethical standards to astronomical proportions when it overreached itself by sanctioning The Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 which surpassed the constitutional injustices people had witnessed before. The outcome was separating families and barring Chinese nationals from reuniting with their families in the U.S. The United States Congress enacted the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 to annul the Quota System which buttressed European immigration. The outcome of the two regulations was an insurgence of Latin American's and Asians' immigration.
The spiral of industrialization consequently minimized the need for labour. The outcome was nothing less of adversity on the lives of the immigrants. Many industries carried out huge layoffs and the remnants were treated viciously with more work and fewer wages. The result of poor immigration laws and poor treatment of immigrants cast a dark time for the African Americans and foreigners at large ushering a setback in the human rights implementation. Slaves protested child labour and championed for humane treatment in the unrests during the Civil War only for the government through the police and federal troops to murder innocent oppressed lives especially in the Southern states especially Virginia.
The political state of the country was unstable with Abraham Lincoln who posed a threat to the institutionalism of slavery. Lincoln's civil and fair stand led to the southern states like South Carolina calling for secession and later managed to break union with the United States with Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana following shortly after. They espoused a Confederate nationalism which strongly upheld slavery. Alexander Stephens, then vice president even stated without respect for human life and lack of ethics, "The Confederacy's foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery . . . is his natural and normal condition." It led to division and ultimately war.
In terms of religion, the Confederate surmised that they were fulfilling God's will and they blatantly used Christianity as a shroud for their jaundiced actions, statements and beliefs.
The rise of inequality not only induced poor treatment on blacks and other foreigners but generally affected the job market through the inception of low-paid and unreliable jobs for all Americans. Industrial capitalism was at an all-time high with companies making mass production of goods and making profits. Capitalists emanated from industrial capitalism and controlled the country's wealth. The top 1 per cent of the population comprising of the wealthy held a quarter of the nation's wealth.
The adverse effects of inequality and sanction of immigration laws had a long run effect on the economy and by extension shortage of labour. Immigration dwindled mid-20th century in the 1930s and during World War 2. The contributing factors being imposed strict laws and a slump in job availability due to high industrialization.
Illegal Immigration and Demography
Thirdly, immigration had an overall effect on the population and culture. Immigrants hailed from Europe, West Africa who were forcefully moved as slaves, Chinese who came after news of discovered gold in California, and Asians and Latin Americans. In America, Native Americans were mostly protestant Christians and some were educated. Immigrants, on the other hand, were diverse in religion; some were Muslims, Buddhists, and diverse traditional religions. Additionally, they comprised of uneducated people in exception of Europeans and Chinese nationals. The American population mainly comprised of Protestants criticized Catholics mostly from Europe.
The population was the major indicator and evidence of immigration with millions of immigrants crossing into the U.S borders comprising of Africans, Germans, Irish and Asians. "Most American immigrants settled in the western states such as California to make profits from discovered gold around 1850, Colorado and Nevada after 1850 due to the discovered precious metals; while other immigrants moved to the eastern and southern states such as Mississippi, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina." The U.S population which was less than 40 million in 1860 was over 200 million at the end of the 20th century.
The negative reaction to immigration brought about a decline in moving into the U.S. However, illegal immigration became common since immigrants faced war-torn, famine-stricken conditions in their home country. The backlash to immigration mainly entailed persecution and execution of inhumane statutes that sought to discourage it. Nonetheless, immigrants were more resilient and pursued residence in the U.S. Illegal immigration had a negative effect on the economy since the illegals did not pay taxes or contribute towards the growth of the economy.
The impacts of immigration were diverse in nature ranging from economical to social and by extension political. The advent of industrialization majorly caused the seismic shifts in the manufacture, agriculture, labour and wages. The wealthy and the nation used industrialization to suppress the immigrants. The government used laws to quell immigration bringing about inequality and contravention of civil rights.
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