Apparent Benefits to U.S. from Early 1900 Immigration

The article “Is the New Immigration Dangerous to the Country?” by O.P. Austin from the American magazine The North American Review proposes benefits for the influx in immigration occurring in the 1900s.  This article concludes that the increasing immigration of people into the United States is overall beneficial because immigrants are assimilating to American culture, they are being educated as upright citizens, and they contribute to the “wealth-producing power of the country.”  I think these conclusions align with America’s view of immigrants today; if they assimilate, get educated, and contribute to the prosperity of America, then they are welcome. But Austin doesn’t mention placing restrictions on the number of immigrants arriving in the U.S., which is interesting compared to the constant talk of placing restrictions on the amount of immigrants.

One interesting distinction it makes is the acknowledgement of an “objectionable class” of immigrants, consisting of people from Russia, Italy, Poland, Austria, and Hungary, among other places particularly in Eastern Europe.  This article also acknowledges that immigrants from Western and Northern Europe are seen as more “welcome” and thus regarded with more open arms.  We can trace this  notion of an “objectionable class” of immigrants today, as Americans regard immigrants from places such as Western Europe as more respectable and welcome than those from other parts of the world.

"Is the New Immigration Dangerous to the Country?" O.P. Austin

snippet from O.P. Austin’s article “Is the New Immigration Dangerous to the Country?” from The North American Review, April 1904

source: (full article)


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