Higham Origins of Immigration Restriction.pdf

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Organization of American Historians and Oxford University Press are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Mississippi Valley Historical Review. Origins of Immigration Restriction, 1882-1897: A Social Analysis Author(s): John Higham Source: The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Jun., 1952), pp. 77-88 Published by: on behalf of Oxford University Press Organization of American Historians Stable URL: Accessed: 18-01-2016 20:39 UTC Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] This content downloaded from 206.224.223.244 on Mon, 18 Jan 2016 20:39:44 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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Notes and Documents Origins of Immigration Restriction, 1882-1897: A Social Analysis BY JOHN HIGHAM At no period in American national history has immigration from Europe been so strongly encouraged and so fervently blessed as in the 1860's and early 1870's. During these years the federal gov- ernment, two thirds of the states, and innumerable business organ- izations raided Europe's manpower.' Exuberant patriots rejoiced at the trans-Atlantic influx,2 and few indeed opposed it. Yet a very few years saw a very great change. A campaign to reduce immigra- tion replaced the campaign to increase it; friendliness turned into fright. Beginning with the law of 1882,which established federal supervision of immigration and excluded certain groups unable to support themselves, the restriction movement blossomed into a formidable and even violent crusade in the late eighties and nine- ties. It reached its crest in the winter of 1896-1897, when only the stubbornness of Grover Cleveland prevented the enactment of a drastic test to stop theentry of illiterates. Thereafter the drive subsided abruptly, but it left a legacy oftensions, policies, andideas which a later generation abundantly exploited. To explain the formative stagein the restriction of European ' Merle Curti and Kendall Birr, "The Immigrant and the American Image in Europe, 1860-1914," Mississippi Valley Historical Review (Cedar Rapids), XXXVII (September, 1950), 204-11; Maurice G. Baxter, "Encouragement of Immigration to the Middle West during the Era of the Civil War," Indiana Magazine of History (Bloomington), XLVI (March, 1950),25-38. A thorough compilation of federal and state legislation is contained in Reports of the Immigration Commission, "Immigration Legislation," Senate Documents, No. 758, 61 Cong., 3 Sess. Since the regulation of Chinese immigration was regarded at the time as a wholly different issue, it does not enter into thepresent discussion.
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