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Difficulty of Immigration in the 1900's versus Previously Essay

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When most people think about immigration to the United States, they think of the U.S. as being the “land of opportunity,” where they will be able to make all of their dreams come true. For some people, immigration made their lives richer and more fulfilled. This however, was not always the case. A place that is supposed to be a “Golden Land” (Marcus 116) did not always welcome people with open arms. Even after people became legal citizens of the United States, often times the natural born Americans did not treat the immigrants as equals but rather as outsiders who were beneath them in some way. In some situations, people’s lives were made worse by coming to the “land of opportunity.” Often times people were living no better than they were in their own countries not able to make ends meet, just to live in the United States. Virtually all immigrants during the 1900’s had the same dream, to become successful and provide for their families as citizens of the United States, but they soon found out that the life in their new country was not going to be easy.
Throughout all of the readings and letters, there seemed to be a common theme faced by all of the immigrants, and that was hardship. Immigrants alike, no matter their country of origin, faced these hardships. The main thing that all of the immigrants wanted was to be able to have a real life and to be able to provide a better life for their children so they could have successful futures. While reading “Letters from the Great Migration,” it seemed as though each individual in their own words expressed the same dilemmas. Most of the people in their letters were trying very hard to get out of the South and move to the North in order to find decent work and to provide for their families. It seemed like they would endure pretty much anything to secure a job in the North, particularly the man from Houston, Texas. He says that he wants to find a job in the North so he can go “where a man is a man,” (Marcus 134). This shows that people from the South feel like their lives could be fulfilled in a greater way in the North rather than in the South, where they currently reside. Particularly for the men, this quote seems to also suggest that the men in the South do not feel like real men, in the sense that they can’t find decent work in order to provide a good life for themselves or their families. It also appears t...


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... such a wide variety of people “under one roof?” Although I am sure that it is still not easy to leave your family and come to a new land and start whole new life for yourself, I would have to imagine that it is a lot easier today based on the fact that people are now more educated and seem to be more accepting of change and diversity. Colleges for examples, jump at the opportunity to accept a student who is not 100% U.S. born. There are also many immigrants who are at the top of their fields. One great example is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not only is he an accomplished actor in the United States, but he now holds office as Governor of the state of California, and he is not a natural born U.S. citizen.
Immigration is a very important part of the history of the United States and continues to be today. Immigrants during the 1900’s had many hardships to face and sometimes the “golden land” was not so golden. Many immigrants had very high hopes about what their lives could have been like here in the U.S., and unfortunately only very few got to experience that great life. Although each of the readings had their differences, the theme of hardship seemed to prevail throughout.





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