235 Politics of Nativism and Jim Crow, 1880-1925

235 Politics of Nativism and Jim Crow, 1880-1925 -...

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Unformatted text preview: "Nativism and Jim Crow" Nativism Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) "New Immigrants" Immig. Restriction Leagues Prohibition (1919) Immigration Laws (1921, 1924) Scopes Monkey Trial (1925) Sacco & Venzetti Ida B. Wells Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896 W. E. B. DuBois Marcus Garvey "The Irish and the Dutch, They don't amount to much; For the Micks have their whiskey And the Germans guzzle beer; And all real Americans wish That they never come here." Nativist song, c. 1890 Scientifically meaningless Race is a Social Construct Human Genome Project finds that 999/1000 base pairs identical Greater variation for blood type than melanin content "Race" is to "species" what "breed" is to "dog" "Race" gains parlance in 15th c. with rise of slave trade "Natural Selection" and "eugenics" give scientific cover for this social construct What is "Race?" Linnaeus in Systema naturae (1758): Race as Social Construct In 1920s, "standard" IQ tests show 83% of all European immigrants to be "morons" Today, of course, we are much more civilized with our terms... NativeAmericans: "red, ill tempered, harsh, ruled by custom" Whites: "serious, strong, active, very smart, inventive, ruled by laws" Asians: "melancholy, greedy, ruled by opinion" Africans: "impassive, lazy, slow, foolish, ruled by caprice [whim]" Race and Nativism, 1880-1930 Important to understand meanings: "Nativism" Refers to distrust by "native born" whites of immigrants, people of color, and non Protestants "Xenophobia" The fear by Nativists of foreign nations and foreignborn citizens and/or residents "Jim Crow" Refers to a practice of legal segregation based on racial categories "De facto segregation" Refers to a practice of non legal behavioral segregation based on racial categories Nativism and the Republican Party 1896 Election Demographics LaissezFaire Federal Government High Tariffs Gold Standard Capitalists and upper M/C Skilled W/C Explains unrest in terms of "undesirables" American Party Nativism "Chinese Model" Large numbers, mostly male Drawn by economic opportunity (money sent home) China a weak international power (few protections) Economic dependency + racism makes Chinese the "weakest" population against Nativism Chinese Culture Anti-Chinese Response 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act Rise of Immigration and the Nativist Backlash Note relatively small number of Asian immigrants; suggests cultural rather than economic bias on the part of Nativists "New Immigrants" Poorer Jewish and Catholic Illiterate Uneducated and unskilled American Protective Ass'n Dependent Immigration Restriction Leagues Literacy Testing Ellis Island (1892) "Scientific" Progressive Response Progressives argue as forcefully for Immigration restrictions as they do for Child Labor Laws (Other entry points: SF, Galveston, and El Paso) Control flow of Immig. 90% of all Immigrants 5,000 people/day! Nativism Unleashed (1910-1920s) 18th Amendment (Prohibition) Immigration Restrictions Scopes Monkey Trial Sacco & Venzetti Revival of the Ku Klux Klan 1. Prohibition Al Capone Populated by working class, owned and controlled by former workers Forms Saloons John Sloan, McSorley's Bar Activities (besides drinking) Occupational saloons a particular trade or factory, closely connected to unions Ethnic saloons closely connected to immigrant celebrations (wedding), holidays, and fraternal organizations Neighborhood saloons multiethnic, closely connected to local politics/politicians Singing, storytelling, jokes, sports (prize fighting and animal contests) Meeting place, shortterm lodging Solidarity: "treating" "toasting" "equality before the bottle" 1919 Red Scare Quota Act of 1921 JohnsonReid Act (1924) Annual quotas based on % in 1910 census Increases limited to 3% per year Limit of 165,000 immigrants per year Each country limited to 2% of annual totals based on 1890 census! Great Britain allowed 66,000 Russia allowed 2,700 All Asians excluded 2. Immigration Restrictions By 1927: 3. "Scopes Monkey Trial" (1925) Protestantism and Racial Purity (Divine guidance) Darwinian Theory (Natural Selection as chief agent of evolution) 4. Nicola Sacco & Bartolomeo Venzetti According to trial judge Webster Thayer, defendants were simply "anarchist bastards" Executed in 1927 for being Immigrant radicals KKK still active but minor in the South before 1910 5. Revival of KKK Ironically, democratic reforms of populism and progressivism allow poor whites to disenfranchise most blacks Need to demonize blacks in order to feel good about these laws Seen as a legitimate political wing of Democratic Party (IRA/Sein Fein; PLO/PA) Concerned with "uppity" behavior by freeborn children of former slaves Shiftless, dishonest, etc. Violent and immediate response Psychology 101 Uncle Remus Whites very sensitive to any act of defiance or perception of racial equality Racism is unAmerican and everyone knows it "Justify" racism by projecting fears onto minority (sex, violence, culture, etc.) Violence therefore becomes "necessary" to prevent these fears from becoming reality KKK Funeral Corpus Christi, TX 1925 "The Great Migration" Combined events led to massive shift of population Mechanization of southern agriculture Jim Crow laws and revived racial violence in the South WWI Chicago Defender: "To die from the bite of frost is far more glorious than at the hands of a mob." 4 million men go into service Immigration almost stops [Also an active period of Mexican immigration and MexicanAmerican migration] Leads to Split in Black Leadership and Tactics Booker T. Washington Atlanta Accommodationist Southern realist "cast down your bucket" Too easy to dismiss his message out of hand Seemed to justify approach Growing Black M/C Colleges, hospitals, etc. Harvard Ph.D. W. E. B. DuBois 1903, The Souls of Black Folks "The honor, I assure you, was Harvard's" Historian, reconstruction Directly rejects "Bookerism" and assimilation Rejects black separatism, they are Americans and must act as citizens Advocates multicultural acceptance (with AfricanAmericans as model/test case) Founded on the heels of 1908 race riot in Springfield, Illinois Demands equal rights as American citizens Demands of blacks that they fulfill their "duty" to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens Focus on the "talented tenth" 1909, Niagara Movement NAACP A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen in this class as well (SPA) Active opposition to legal segregation Active challenge to U.S. to stand by promises made in 14th and 15th Amendments Supreme Court holds it "cannot change social conventions and customs" SCOTUS: "Legislation is powerless to eradicate racial instincts or to abolish distinctions based on physical differences, and the attempt to do so can only result in accentuating the differences of the present situation. If the civil and political rights of both races be equal, one cannot be inferior to the other civilly or politically. If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them on the same plane." Permits "separate but equal" facilities; invalidates the 14th Amendment Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896 Jim Crow Laws Concern over new "uppity" blacks turns to legal remedies Final nail in the coffin to formal disenfranchisement Williams v. Mississippi, 1898 First passed in 1887 Residency req'ts Poll taxes Literacy tests Everywhere by 1900 Social Cost of Formal Segregation Environmental inequalities ignored based on racial prejudice "Progressive" Racism Expands AfricanAmericans formally described as "degenerate race" "Experts" argue that mixed marriages result in loss of "genetic vigor" Mixed marriages banned, defined as a "Negro" if one of eight greatgrandparents were black ("1/8th Negro") Popular culture AA entertainment was "child like" Black men were lecherous, desired white women Birth of a Nation (1915) Based on Thomas Dixon novel The Clansman National Sensation NAACP, Jane Addams, and many others urge boycott of the movie Woodrow Wilson: "It is like writing history with lightening. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true." Revival in the South Northern antiImmigrant and antiCatholic bias Populist acceptance of blacks in Alliance system pushes merchants and planters into active KKK support Modern KKK Greencastle, IN Washington, D.C. "Judge Lynch" Mississippi Oklahoma Michigan Florida Texas Anti-Lynching Campaigns Ida B. Wells Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Cultural pride, mass rallies, reject white culture (hair straighteners and skinlighteners), International focus 500,000 members or "Garveyites" Nationalism: Marcus Garvey Attacked by U.S. Gov't (young J. Edgar Hoover) Mostly emerging middleclass (like Earl Little, father of Malcolm Little, later Malcolm X) Garvey deported for mail fraud, 1927 Effects? Race Riots (18981908) North Carolina, (1898) South Carolina (1898) New Orleans, Louisiana (1900) New York City, New York (1900) Springfield, Ohio (1904) Atlanta, Georgia (1906) Greenburg, Indiana (1906) Brownsville,Texas (1906) Springfield, Illinois (1908) Formal Federal Segregation Wilson approves segregation, 1913 Troops segregated in WWI Race Riots (19171921) East St. Louis, Illinois (1917) Chester, Pennsylvania (1917) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1917) Houston, Texas (1917) Washington, D.C. (1919) Chicago, Illinois (1919) Omaha, Nebraska (1919) Charleston, South Carolina (1919) Longview, Texas (1919) Knoxville, Tennessee (1919) Elaine, Arkansas (1919) Tulsa, Oklahoma (1921). Conclusions to Nativism and Jim Crow 1. Racial and Ethnic Discrimination is a social construction, therefore can find causes in the social pressures of the day 2. Clearly, African American community was not the same as that of the 1870s Political parties use the issue to further gains Nativeborn use "logic" to justify fears of the era Freedman concerned with staying free By 1900, young blacks not "Up From Slavery" (Booker Washington) but concerned with rights as citizens Modern Civil Rights movement has begun 3. AntiImmigrant feelings really were never addressed Conclusions (cont.) 4. Nativism in the U.S. was closely linked to Progressive Era WWI and WWII end the onrush of immigration, "irritant" removed Nativist culture still has problems accepting "cultural pluralism," still influenced by "progressive" notions of race Justified as "Scientific" As American Empire grew, logic of race and ethnic segregation made even more sense ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2012 for the course HIST 1302 taught by Professor Carter during the Spring '08 term at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.

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