During the 1880s immigration patterns to the United States changed. Using your knowledge of American history and the documents provided, analyze the response of the American public and government to the new immigrants.



Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Source:  Emma Lazarus, Statue of Liberty.



          Nothing more manifestly distinguishes the Anglo-Saxon than his intense and persistent energy; and he is developing in the United States an energy which, in eager activity and effectiveness is peculiarly American...Our social institutions are stimulating. In Europe the various ranks of society are, like the strata of the earth, fixed and fossilized...Here society is like the waters of the sea, mobile...everyone is free to become whatever he can make of himself.

Source:  Josiah Strong Our Country (1885).



          These immigrants adopt the language of the native American, they wear his clothes, steal his name and they are beginning to take his women, but they seldom adopt his religion or understand his ideals.

Source:  Madison Grant The Passing of the Great Race (1916).




          The slums of Europe are not sent here...In the stream undesirable are found but the percentage is low. Taken as a whole they do not show moral turpitude above the average of civilized men. Although transplanted into a new environment, living under abnormal conditions in industrial centers, and meeting more temptations a week than they would in a lifetime in rural communities in the homeland, yet when their criminal record is compared with that of native-born males, it comes out better than even.

Source:  Peter Roberts The New Immigration (1912).



          Our era...of happy immunity from those social diseases which are the danger and humiliation of Europe is passing away...every year brings the conditions of American labor into closer likeness to those of the Old World. An American species of socialism is inevitable.

Source:  Atlantic Monthly (1882).



          Something certainly ought to be done, and done at once, to restrict, or at least to sift, thoroughly an immigration which furnishes more than half our paupers, while it supplies only one-sixth of our total white population...the law is evidently utterly helpless as it now stands in shutting out paupers, who are coming here in greatly increased numbers.

Source:  Henry Cabot Lodge The Census and Immigration (1893).



Source:  Thomas Nast, Harper's Weekly, 1871.



          He sees a thousand idle Americans and a like number of foreigners slaving for 80 or 90 cents a day. He sees the Americans sending their children to school, supporting churches, living in decent houses, trying to be cleanly, and to wear presentable clothing. He also sees the scum of Europe taking the place the former, content to swarm in shanties like hogs, to contract scurvy by a steady diet of the cheapest salt pork, to suffer sore eyes and bodies rather than buy a towel and a washtub, to endure typhoid fever rather than undergo the expense of the most primitive sanitary device.

Source:  Henry Hood The Forum Magazine (1892).




DBQ Question created by:
Ms. Christina Hanson
Student of Mr. Herb Meserve
Shoreham Wading River H. S. 
Shoreham NY 11786
created in:  April, 2000