Saturday, January 28, 2012

Immigration to the U.S./ Migration within the U.S. from 1880-1930

Gateway Highschool in the United States made their own small wiki for their school's Heritage Projects. One page/project looked at "Immigration to the U.S./ Migration within the U.S. from 1880-1930" exactly. The page divided into four main groups; The Italians, The Chinese, The Jews and The Great Migration.

The Overview/Introduction straight away presents facts, and while I was admittedly expecting the site to provide facts in the USA's favour, I was surprised how generally they were written. It starts with a useful timeline about immigration, and then goes into a little depth about the countries from which the most immigrants came from. However, they did refer to America as the "most productive and safest place to be in [during the war]" which is not entirely true, and is a little bit favoured.

The rest of the page presents this aspect of US history to American schoolchildren today in quite an impartial, academic way. The "article" (if you will), presented both the good and bad sides of America during 1880-1930 and was full of facts and figures. However, when reading the paragraph for each country, the reasons for leaving admittedly may have been a bit dramatized. On the other hand though, they do not glaze over the hardships that were faced once arriving in the US, and how unfair it was for them.

Friday, January 27, 2012

immigration 1880-1920

This document provides facts and figures of who, how many, when and most importantly why so many people immigrated to America during the time period of 1880 to 1920.

As Anti-Chinese riots began in the late 1870's and early 1880's this put in place a Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, prohibiting Chinese labourers to enter America for ten years. After this act was lifted however, only certain Chinese workers and their families were allowed to enter, but with strict regulations creating only a selected handful of people to become citizens. This began the age of the 'new immigrant.'

The document continues to detail that around 24 million people immigrated to America between 1880-1920, mostly coming from Eastern and Southern Europe. This was for a few different reasons, one being due to the industrialisation in Europe occurring, as the decline of agriculture increased. Mostly in places such as Russia, low wages, unemployment, disease and religion forced people to leave and try and discover the American dream, hoping for a better life.
It gives a mixed view of America for children to learn and may interpret in a few different ways. It says that the Russians found it difficult to settle into the American lifestyle due to the language barrier and the lack of Government trust rooting from their own country.  This could mean that America was slightly arrogant for not learning other languages and expecting other nations to learn to speak American, however the lack of trust within Governments could promote America as a better place as they fled to leave their own Government but also it makes America seem stable and secure.

Another way America could be interpreted as unethical is due to the immigrants having to work for low paid factory jobs. Although treated better than slaves, it still presents America undermining other national people due to them not being American and still treating them as second class citizens.

Due to the mix responses of putting in place boundaries for immigration, but also allowing people to enter America and 'take jobs, homes, etc' shows and tells American children that America has grown from a mixture - melting pot- of different nations, and today would be a different place if people had not immigrated for a better lifestyle, which establishes the America dream.

K12 Project - Immigration

This website contains information from 1800-1990 with stories, interviews and pictures of how immigration has affected America and how important America was to those in other countries. The website contains many different pages including one called 'Coming to America.' This page consists of a timeline allowing you to choose which year to go to.

At first I chose 1881 which was about the 'second wave of immigrants.' Immediately, the paragraph starts with 'Their skills, education...' instantly giving the Germans a positive image and seemingly more accepted by America because of this. The page continues to say 'They founded self-help schools, German-language libraries, orchestras and community centres.' This is extremely positive to the children reading this as this was all done for the Germans rather than just expecting them to adapt to America.

The page continues to say that immigrants came from all over the world, but a majority came from Italy and the Russian Empire who were Sicilian Peasants pushed out of their countries due to over-population and falling farm prices. However their were also jews from Eastern Europe who were fleeing from poverty and violence.
They were ambitious people persuing a dream of a better life.' This is such a positive image of US history for American school children today, knowing that although they were immigrants, they still had dreams like thos in America.

America comes across aas a very welcoming and adapting country, and for the children reading these stories, it is very important that they understand the importance of their country and have a positive outlook of America.

Immigration then and now: old face, new story

This document was produced in November 2004 and it is written about the immigration movement and how different states have laws that either allow or do not allow immigrates in not only the education system but the lifestyle America has.

Between the years of 1880-1930 it was said that "twenty-five million immigrants had arrived in the United States." During this period there were only eight states that would grant education rights to the immigrant children in which their parents forced them to move. However, in the present day the majority of states accept immigrants and the culture they bring into society.

Even though the United States have become more accepting towards immigration they are still not entirely satisfied as stated:

"On the one hand, there is great pride in the history of European immigration to the United States symbolized by Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. On the other hand, there can be great anxiety and suspicion. The current wave of immigration, composed primarily of non-European immigrants of color, is changing the demographics of the nation."

Therefore, this is simply saying that Americans feel wary of the changing appearance of the States and that makes them feel nervous about what might happen to the country that is seen to be so great and new. Furthermore, despite all of this immigration is taking place and this has shaped the views and opinions people may have of North America because the immigrants are learning what it means to be an American and many of the children that are in schools consider themselves to be American because they were brought up there due to their parents.

In 1909 a Jewish immigrant wrote a play called 'The melting pot' in which he believes "that old-world nationalities should be forgotten in the United States and that all ethnicities should fuse together in a new and superior American nationality". It can be said that it is this point that shows school children in today's society about the United States history and immigration and how it helps define the identity of an american.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Feminist America

Feminists for Life! is a "grass-roots" organization that "seeks real solutions to the challenges women face". It's aim is to promote "pro-life" - by "eliminating the root causes that drive women to have abortions". The organization mainly argues that women shouldn't have to choose between a career and children, or have to sacrifice their education for their children. They also "reject violence", "because women deserve better choices".

The organization works to promote both the identity of women as caring and great mothers and the identity they hold as hard-workers, and equal citizens. They are saying that women should be able to have both, at the right point in their lives, without the stressful choice of one over the other. They also work to "protect" women, by informing and educating the public more about their feminist "foremothers" in the past, and how they changed Women's Rights and history. Feminists for Life! also works to promote Equality in the workplace and at home, "Victory over Violence" and to give lots of information on Women's rights, in America and globally.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sexuality and Marriage

This website is about a book that has been written about the freedom of people being able to choose who they wish to marry whether it is someone of the same sex or even the opposite gender and saying how America is a place of equality where it does not matter-or should not matter. The book this webpage is based upon was written by Evan Wolfson, whom is said to be "one of the 100 most influential people in the world" according to the 'Time Magazine' and an
'LA times book review' have said that "Wolfson articulates the pioneering arguments that have made him one of the nations most influential gay activists".

Therefore, these views represent the fact that it shouldn't matter if someone breaks outside the mould of what is seen as 'normal' because at the end of the day we are all human and so we should respect that and let people get on with their lives rather than trying to bring them down because they are seen as different when really they are just trying to be them true selves. Furthermore, it is these fundamental reasons that Wolfson asks "Why shouldn't we protect all kids, support all families, treat all Americans equally?" because he believes it is a question of civil rights in that America should be a place where people can be themselves without the worries of what others might say.

In conclusion this website is just one of many that are trying to change the laws in the different states to allow same-sex marriages to be accepted into society as they believe America is a place that allows you to be whoever you want to be which suggests that identity is important in that you should be able to be yourself with characteristics that make you different from others, whilst being the same at the same time as we are all human and so we should have the same equal rights.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

National Council Of Negro Women

This website is called NCNW which stands for the National Council Of Negro Women. "Women United: activate the legacy"

'Our mission is to lead, develop and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities.'

NCNW fight for rights through public education but their main goal is to support families and have volunteering support in 34 states. They aim to support African-American women who are supporting and providing for their own families. They also aim to try and keep up the level of education for African-American women and promote leadership among women of colour.

The aim of this website is to support those who are not being supported in there own country and to offer opportunities to those who dont think that they are capable of. This website tries to prove to African-America women, and to the rest of America that they are just as capable of achieving a successful career as those who are White.
NCNW also try to promote awareness that African-American Women are no different to other women just because of the colour of their skin or their background and that they should be given the same opportunities as everyone else is given.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blackness in America: The African American Identity

The article from the magazine The Fresh Xpress - The pulse of young Black America, explores how African Americans are perceived by other people and how they should 'behave'.

The article debates that some people see African American identity as having no such thing, that skin tone is an indicator and that community involvement is key to finding Black identity.

Karen Byrd, an African American writes that at school there was no discrimination, whereas when she started college it all changed. She was'taught' that she should take pride in her culture and participate in Black community events. She also had to 'identify' with people she didn't know due to them being Black as well.

This helps debate whether there is a criteria for being Black; either support from others to be proud and 'unite together' or if due to being a minority that this shouldn't be an issue they shouldn't have to 'stick' together just because of their skin colour, rather their identity should be through their personality and character.

Karen also writes that middle and upper class Black citizens are treated as responsible for 'uplifting the race' and are no longer dedicated to the struggle in America. She believes that there shouldn't be a different identity for whites, blacks, Asians or anyone else as only our skin colour is different we are still all the same people. By offering a identity for Blacks separate to other races, will still cause racial distribution and everyone will feel they have to be part of their racial group.

I agree with many things that are written in the article and believe although it may not be direct support for Blacks, it's expressing how identity shouldn't be a label and that it isnt importance to class yourself as something, rather you should show your identity throught who you are as a person.