American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | June 1, 2011

byDavid A. Gerber

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Americans have come from every corner of the globe, and they have been brought together by a variety of historical processes - conquest, colonialism, the slave trade, territorial acquisition, and voluntary immigration. A thoughtful look at immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and themotivations and experiences of the migrants themselves, this book offers a compact but wide-ranging look at one of America's persistent hot-button issues. Historian David Gerber begins by examining the many legal efforts to curb immigration and to define who is and is not an American, ranging from the Naturalization Law of 1795 (which applied only to "free-born white persons") to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, andthe reform-minded Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which opened the door to millions of newcomers, the vast majority from Asia and Latin America. The book also looks at immigration from the perspective of the migrant - farmers and industrial workers, mechanics and domestics, highly trainedprofessionals and small-business owners - who willingly pulled up stakes for the promise of a better life. Throughout, the book sheds light on the relationships between race and ethnicity in the life of these groups and in the formation of American society, and it stresses the marked continuitiesacross waves of immigration and across different racial and ethnic groups. A fascinating and even-handed historical account, this book puts into perspective the longer history of calls for stronger immigration laws and the on-going debates over the place of immigrants in American society.

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Americans have come from every corner of the globe, and they have been brought together by a variety of historical processes - conquest, colonialism, the slave trade, territorial acquisition, and voluntary immigration. A thoughtful look at immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and themotivations and experiences of the migrants them...

David A. Gerber is Distinguished Professor of History at the University at Buffalo. He is the author of The Making of an American Pluralism and Authors of Their Lives.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 7.75 × 4.75 × 0.68 inPublished:June 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195331788

ISBN - 13:9780195331783

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Table of Contents

IntroductionSection One: The Law of Immigration and the Legal Construction of Citizenship1. Unregulated Immigration and Its Opponents: from Colonial America to the Mid-Nineteenth Century2. Regulation and Exclusion3. Reform in the Mid- Twentieth Century: Removing Barriers, Debating ConsequencesSection Two: Emigration and Immigration: From the International Migrants' PerspectiveIntroduction4. Mass Population Movements and Resettlement, 1820-19245. Mass Population Movements and Resettlement, 1970 to the Present: Continuity and ChangeSection Three: The Dialogue of Ethnicity and Assimilation6. The Widening Mainstream7. The Future of AssimilationConclusion