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The experience of the new immigrants in the late 19th century was little different from

the experience of preceding groups of immigrants to the United States. Assess the validity
of this statement.
The Unites States has always been a melting pot of cultures, religions, and peoples.
However, new lifestyles and ideas were not always widely accepted. Immigrants from before the
late 19th century, or the old immigrants, faced very similar issues that the immigrants in the
late 19th century, or the new immigrants, faced. Both groups faced nativism and strong
opposition because of the new ideas they were bringing to America. One major difference was
the level of discrimination the immigrants faced. Therefore, this statement is partially true.
Nativism took a stronghold in America as new immigrants began pouring into the
country. Many people despised the idea of American culture changing. Therefore, antiimmigration organizations formed. Before the late 19th century there was the Know-Nothing
Party, or people who were against all immigration. In the late 19th century there was the
American Protective Association, who were against all Catholic immigrants.
Both the old and the new immigrants brought over new ways of life and changed cultural
dynamic. The Irish Catholics of old immigration brought a religion that most Americans loathed,
leading to great injustice against them. Southern and Eastern Europeans (the new immigrants)
became a threat to Americans for exposing the country to the three isms. These were
socialism, anarchism, and communism. Changing the American lifestyle was something that
many Americans were not comfortable with.
One major difference between the old and new immigrants was the level of disrespect the
groups received. For the most part, old immigrants blended well into society. For example, the
Germans moved West and began cultivating farms. The major issues arose with the Irish

Catholics, who were uneducated and stayed in large groups in major cities. New immigration on
the other hand was commonly looked down upon at all costs. The Southern and Eastern
Europeans and their ideas were discriminated against by most of the country.
This statement suggests that immigrants experienced the same issues in their quest to
American citizenship. For the most part, their experiences paralleled. Immigration had even been
an issue preceding the 19th century, as seen in the Alien and Sedition Acts, which tried to limit
immigration into the Americas. The old and new immigrants faced many issues upon their
arrival, but worked hard and fought discrimination in hopes of achieving the American dream.