In which John Green teaches you about the massive immigration to the United States during the late 19th and early 20th century. Immigrants flocked to the US from all over the world in this time period. Millions of Europeans moved to the US where they drove the growth of cities and manned the rapid industrialization that was taking place. In the western US many, many Chinese immigrants arrived to work on the railroad and in mines. As is often the case in the United States, the people who already lived in the US reacted kind of badly to this flood of immigrants. Some legislators tried to stem the flow of new arrivals, with mixed success. Grover Cleveland vetoed a general ban on immigration, but the leadership at the time did manage to get together to pass and anti-Chinese immigration law. Immigrants did win some important Supreme Court decisions upholding their rights, but in many ways, immigrants were treated as second class citizens. At the same time, the country was rapidly urbanizing. Cities were growing rapidly and industrial technology was developing new wonders all the time. John will cover all this upheaval and change, and hearken back to a time when racial profiling did in fact boil down to analyzing the side of someone’s face.
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Hey teachers and students – Check out CommonLit’s free collection of reading passages and curriculum resources to learn more about the events of this episode. As America industrialized further and manufacturing grew, a rush of new immigrants came to America seeking job opportunities: https://www.commonlit.org/texts/the-rush-of-immigrants
Immigrants often entered through New York’s Ellis Island where the Statue of Liberty bore the iconic phrase “Give me your tired, your poor,”: https://www.commonlit.org/texts/the-new-colossus
Immigrants experienced culture shock and hard living conditions in this time, as documented in later memoirs such as “America and I”: https://www.commonlit.org/texts/america-and-i