Preservingthe American Race All
Immigrationhas been a constant aspect of the United States history. In the lasttwo centuries, immigration into the United States has been a divisiveissue. Immigration into the United States has been supported oropposed due to social, political and economic reasons. The set ofarticles were written in the early 20thcentury when nativism was thriving in the United States. Thisresulted into a large number of groups emerging to support policiesthat could restrict immigration into the United States. The set ofarticles supported strict immigration restriction to protect theAmerican race from contamination from elements from inferior races.
Inthe first article, Prescott Hall starts by acknowledging the role ofEuropean immigration in the history of the United States. However, hefocuses on the negative effects of immigration on the American race.He quotes findings in the early 20thcentury which emphasized on the significance of inheritedcharacteristics compared to the influence of environment oreducation. Hall argued that segregation and incarceration of what isconsidered to be inferior races and dangerous criminals had itslimits in protecting the American race. While the Americans are keenon artificial selection in agriculture, little was being done toeliminate the unfit in the American society. Regulating immigrationprovides the United States with an opportunity for artificialselection.
Inthe second article, Edward Alsworth Ross expressed similar sentimentsagainst immigration into the United States. He argues that althoughthe pioneering breed of Americans has their ancestors in Europe, theyhave distinctive traits racial traits that distinguish them from theforefathers. The distinct American race is however being swamped andflooded by latecomers. Ross uses the physical features of immigrantssuch as “narrow and sloping foreheads” , “sugar loaf heads,moon faces, slit mouths, lantern jaws and goose bill noses” todemonstrates that the immigrants are inferior. The immigrants werebeing brought by captains of industry for economic reasons butthreatened the “blood of the nation”
RobertDe Courcey Ward begins his article be giving an example of how theAmericans are more concerned about the breeds of cattle imported intothe United States. Thus, he proposes a policy that will prevent the“breeding of unfit natives” and “prevention of the immigrationof the unfit alien”. He argues that the Americans need to decideon the merit of aliens joining the society rather than leaving thefuture of the American race to steamship agents and brokers. Thiswill ensure that the American race improves through eugenic selectionof millions of aliens joining the United States.
MadisonGrant argues that the rot in the American society can be attributedto the large number of “weak, broken and mentally crippled”immigrants moving into the United States. The environment andinstitutions in the United States have little or no impact on thehereditary tendencies of these newcomers. However, the NativeAmericans are willing to tax themselves and share their prosperity inan attempt to educate and sanitize the helots. The inferior raceswill intermarry with natives, take their land and create a hybridrace, and thus the Native American race will disappear. According toGrant, due to lack of restrictions, the new immigrant were no longerfrom the Nordic race.
Thereis no doubt that the set articles and their authors were racists.They opposed to immigration into the United States due to socialreasons that were based on racial stereotypes. The authors wereleaders of immigration restriction movements who believed that theAmerican race was superior and other races were threatening theAmerican blood. They used racial nativism and eugenic thoughts toconvince their audience that the American race should not becontaminated through unrestricted immigration.
Hall,Prescott. “RacialEffects of Immigration”. 1906.
Ross,Edward Alsworth. AmericanBlood and Immigrant Blood.1913.
Ward,Robert De Courcey. RaceBetterment and Our Immigration Laws.1914.
Grant,Madison. TheNew Immigrant.1916.