History 53 Spring 2000 Immigration/Migration America and Immigration When reading two articles that are decades apart, one sees that the nations, as a whole, opinion has changed about immigrants. In an article from 1905 the South wanted immigrants because they were cheap labor. Almost 80 years later, in 1983, the South had a different opinion about immigrants. In his 1905 article, Immigration and the South, Robert DeCoury Ward just begins to touch on the idea that immigrants could be bad for Americas economy. On the contrary, the 1983 article, Immigration: How Its Affecting US, James Fallows bluntly tells of immigration being harmful to the U. S.
economy. When Robert DeCoury Ward wrote his article Immigration and the South, it was during a time when there was a heavy flow of immigrants to the North and the South was just beginning to receive immigrants. The North was clearly growing tired of the immigrants, yet the South welcomed them. For example, he stated, The North finds itself greatly burdened with the many problems which have grown out of, or have at least been greatly aggravated by immigration. He then goes on to say the following, The South is developing a newborn zeal for immigration. These two statements clearly show the opinions of the American people during this time in the 20 th century.
There are a few prime reasons for the Souths new zeal for immigration. First of all, the rapid growth of manufacturing resulted in a demand for thousands of new workmen. This was a need that the native population of America could not meet. Second, with the newly freed Negroes asking for higher wages and more vacation, landowners needed cheaper workers, which is exactly what the immigrants were.
One other key reason, and maybe the one that standouts the most, is that the South had not really experienced immigration yet. They did not know of the troubles that the North had been experiencing for years now. They just saw immigrants as cheap labor. After reading the entire DeCoury article, the reader gets a sense that DeCoury wants them to believe that immigration is a controversial subject with no right or wrong views. He definitely leaves the reader to form their own opinion about immigration. When James Fallows wrote his article about immigration, it was during a time in America when inflation was high, the economy wasnt so good, and jobs were scarce.
Obviously there is not going to be a kind feeling toward immigrants in this article. The way Fallows looks at immigrants no matter where they are from is not in a positive light. He expects the reader to get this sense also. For example Fallows uses a quote from Richard Lamm, the Democratic governor of Colorado at that time, Our immigration policy is making us poorer, not richer. This was pretty much the opinion of most people during this time in history.
Fallows also made a statement of his own, Who needs additional people when we cannot employ our own citizens It is clear that there was a hatred of immigrants during this period. I think that this article clearly shows this opinion of most Americans of the time period. Despite the difference in opinion, both writers performed admirably in trying to get across their points. They clearly had different opinions on immigration and this was mainly due to the huge gap in time that separates these two writers. They were both well written articles that clearly stated the points that they authors intended to imply.