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American Civilization For Core and Business Degrees

English Department , ISEAH Kef

Prepared by Ms.
Imen Hbibi

Course Objectives
By the end of this unit students will
Know the historical context that paved the way for the birth of the
American nation.
Know the different waves of immigration the country has witnessed and
how they have shaped the nations culture.
Understand the polemical debate around immigration and ethnic groups
in the US.
Have an understanding of the different types of media.
Understand the power of media in shaping attitudes and transmitting
Chapitre I: Invading the New World
Section One: Settlement and Immigration
Section Two: Encounters between Europeans and Native Americans
Section Three: Waves of Immigration
Section Four: Attitudes to Immigrants: The Contemporary Debate
Movie Projection (The New World) Topics of discussion: The European Settlement
of America, Relationship between Indians and Europeans
Chapitre II: Minorities and Racism in American Society
Section One: Native Americans
Section Two: African Americans
Section Three: Racism and Positive Discrimination in American Society
Movie Projection (Crash) Topics of discussion: minorities, racism, multicultural
American society, representation of minority groups in film
Chapitre III: Media
Section One: Freedom of the Media
Section Two: Contemporary Print and Broadcasting Media
Section Three: Attitudes to the Media
Movie Projection: (Wag the Dog) Topics of discussion: media manipulation,
fabricating reality, power of the media

American civilization course

Section1 settlement and immigration

1/ First Arrivals

Lesson 1: Early Settlements

Spanish: Columbus's first settlement in the New World 1493

French: Jacques Cartier 1534
English: The first months of Jamestown colony, 1607
English: The first year of the Plymouth Colony, 1620-21

Named for the Spanish queen who funded his expeditions to the New World,
this was among the first European settlements - Viking contact predate's it - in the
Americas. La Isabela was established on the northern coast of Hispanola in 1494 by
Christopher Columbus and 1500 colonists. By 1498, it was abandoned. Settling in the
Americas proved much harder than imagined. The rough weather, crop failures, and
hurricanes on the coast drove the settlers away from La Isabela in just four years,
.moving instead to Santo Domingo
In 1534, the Frenchman Jacques Cartier set sail with the hope of finding a sea
passage to Asia. Cartier's expeditions along the St. Lawrence River laid the
foundations for the French claims to North America, which were to last until 1763
English colonies
The English established their first permanent settlement at
Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. Their monarch had no desire to rule
distant colonies, so instead the Crown legalized companies that
undertook the colonization of America as private commercial
enterprises. Virginia's early residents were so preoccupied with a
vain search for gold and a sea passage to Asian markets that the
colony floundered until tobacco provided a profitable export.
Because of the scarcity of plantation labor, in 1619 the first African
laborers were imported as indentured servants (free people who
contracted for 5 to 7 years of servitude). Supported by tobacco
profits, however, Virginia imported 1,500 free laborers a year by the
1680s and had a population of 75,000 white Americans and 10,000
Africans in hereditary slavery by 1700.

In the 1630s, Lord Baltimore established Maryland as a

haven for Catholics, England's most persecuted minority. Maryland's
leadership remained Catholic for some time, but its economy and
population soon resembled Virginia's. In the 1660s, other English
aristocrats financed Georgia and the Carolinas as commercial
investments and experiments in social organization. Within a
generation, these colonies too resembled Virginia, but their cash

crops were rice and indigo. The southern settlers warred with the
natives within a few years of their arrival and by the 1830s drove
the Native Americans from today's South.
To escape religious oppression in England, the Pilgrims, a
small group of radical separatists from the Church of England,
founded the first of the northern colonies in 1620 at Plymouth,
Massachusetts. The Puritans, who established the much larger
Massachusetts Bay colony in 1630, wanted to purify the Church
of England, not separate from it. Mostly well-educated middle-class
people, in America they believed they could create a city on a hill
to show how English society could be reformed. To that end, over
20,000 emigrated in around ten years. By the latter 1600s, the bay
colony had expanded to the coast of present day Maine, swallowed
up Plymouth, and spawned the colony of Connecticut. Flourishing
through agriculture and forestry, the New England colonies also
became the shippers and merchants for all British America. Because
of their intolerance towards dissenters, the Puritans New England
became the most homogeneous region in the colonies. (TD Puritans
and witch hunt
The founding of the middle colonies (New York, New
Jersey and Pennsylvania) was different. The earliest European
communities here were Dutch and Swedish outposts of the fur trade
that almost accidentally grew into colonies. New Netherlands, along
the Hudson River and New York Bay, and New Sweden, along the
Delaware River, recruited soldiers, farmers, craftsmen, clergymen
and their families to meet the needs of the fur traders who bought
pelts from the natives. New Sweden lasted only from 1638 to 1655,
when the Dutch annexed it. New Netherlands itself fell to the English
fleet in 1664. The Dutch maintained their culture in rural New York
and New Jersey for over 200 years. They also set the precedent of
toleration for many ethnic, racial and religious groups in New
Amsterdam. Before it became New York, the city had white, red,
brown and black inhabitants; institutions for Catholics, Jews and
Protestants; and a diversity that resulted in eighteen different
languages being spoken. Although the dominant culture in colonial
New York and New Jersey became English by the end of the 1600s,
the English authorities continued the tolerant traditions of the Dutch
in the city. (picture of New York in 17th C)
Pennsylvania's founders were Quakers who flocked to the
colony after Charles II granted the area to William Penn in 1681 as a
religious refuge. As with the Pilgrims and Puritans, official English
tolerance took the form of allowing persecuted minorities to
emigrate. Penn's publicizing of cheap land and religious freedom
brought some 12,000 people to the colony before 1690. His
toleration attracted a population whose diversity was matched only
by New York's.

American Civ TD
Jamestown Colony

In 1606, King James I granted a charter to a new venture,

the Virginia Company, to form a settlement in North America. At the
time, Virginia was the English name for the entire eastern coast of
North America north of Florida; they had named it for Elizabeth I,
the virgin queen. The Virginia Company planned to search for gold
and silver deposits in the New World, as well as a river route to the
Pacific Ocean that would allow them to establish trade with the
Roughly 100 colonists left England in late December 1606 on
three ships (the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery)
and reached Chesapeake Bay late the next April. After forming a
governing councilincluding Christopher Newport, commander of
the sea voyage, and John Smith, a former mercenary who had been
accused of insubordination aboard ship by several other company
membersthe group searched for a suitable settlement site. On
May 14, 1607, they landed on a narrow peninsulavirtually an
islandin the James River, where they would begin their lives in the
New World.


Known variously as James Forte, James Towne and James Cittie, the
new settlement initially consisted of a wooden fort built in a triangle

around a storehouse for weapons and other supplies, a church and a

number of houses. By the summer of 1607, Newport went back to
England with two ships and 40 crewmembers to give a report to the
king and to gather more supplies and colonists. The settlers left
behind suffered greatly from hunger and illness, as well as the
constant threat of attack by members of local Algonquian tribes,
most of which were organized into a kind of empire under Chief

An understanding reached between Powhatan and John Smith led

the settlers to establish much-needed trade with Powhatans tribe
by early 1608. Though skirmishes still broke out between the two
groups, the Native Americans traded corn for beads, metal tools and
other objects (including some weapons) from the English, who would
depend on this trade for sustenance in the colonys early years.
After Smith returned to England in late 1609, the inhabitants of
Jamestown suffered through a long, harsh winter, during which more
than 100 of them died. In the spring of 1610, just as the remaining
colonists were set to abandon Jamestown, two ships arrived bearing
at least 150 new settlers, a cache of supplies and the new English
governor of the colony, Lord De La Warr.


Though De La Warr soon took ill and went home, his successor Sir
Thomas Gates and Gates second-in command, Sir Thomas Dale,
took firm charge of the colony and issued a system of new laws that,
among other things, strictly controlled the interactions between
settlers and Algonquians. They took a hard line with Powhatan and
launched raids against Algonquian villages, killing residents and
burning houses and crops. The English began to build other forts
and settlements up and down the James River, and by the fall of
1611 had managed to harvest a decent crop of corn themselves.
They had also learned other valuable techniques from the
Algonquians, including how to insulate their dwellings against the

weather using tree bark, and expanded Jamestown into a New Town
to the east of the original fort.

A period of relative peace followed the marriage in April 1614

of the colonist and tobacco planter John Rolfe to Pocahontas, a
daughter of Chief Powhatan who had been captured by the settlers
and converted to Christianity. (According to John Smith, Pocahontas
had rescued him from death in 1607, when she was just a young girl
and he was her fathers captive.) Thanks largely to Rolfes
introduction of a new type of tobacco grown from seeds from the
West Indies, Jamestowns economy began to thrive. In 1619, the
colony established a General Assembly with members elected by
Virginias male landowners; it would become a model for
representative governments in later colonies. That same year, the
first Africans (around 50 men, women and children) arrived in the
English settlement; they had been on a Portuguese slave ship
captured in the West Indies and brought to the Jamestown region.
They worked as indentured servants at first (the race-based slavery
system developed in North America in the 1680s) and were most
likely put to work picking tobacco.
Pocahontas death during a trip to England in 1617 and the death of
Powhatan in 1618 strained the already fragile peace between the
English settlers and the Native Americans. Under Powhatans
successor, Opechankeno, the Algonquians became more and more
angry about the colonists insatiable need for land and the pace of
English settlement; meanwhile, diseases brought from the Old World
decimated the Native American population. In March 1622, the
Powhatan made a major assault on English settlements in Virginia,
killing some 350 to 400 residents (a full one-quarter of the
population). The attack hit the outposts of Jamestown the hardest,
while the town itself received advance warning and was able to
mount a defense.

In an effort to take greater control of the situation, King James I

dissolved the Virginia Company and made Virginia into an official
crown colony, with Jamestown as its capital, in 1624. The New Town
area of Jamestown continued to grow, and the original fort seems to

have disappeared after the 1620s. Though the Powhatan people

continued to mount a resistance (Opechankeno, by then in his 80s,
led another great rebellion in 1644), the colony continued to grow
stronger, and his successor Necotowance was forced to sign a peace
treaty that ceded most of the Powhatans land and forced them to
pay an annual tribute to the colonial governor. In 1698, the central
statehouse in Jamestown burned down, and Williamsburg replaced it
as the colonial capital the following year.


Answer the following questions in separate paragraphs

1) Why was settling in the new world a difficult mission for the
2) How would you describe the relationship between the Indians
and the English? Why do you think it was such?


Invading the New World

In the early 1600s, in rapid succession, the English began a colony (Jamestown) in
Chesapeake Bay in 1607, the French built Quebec in 1608, and the Dutch began their
interest in the region that became present-day New York. Within another generation,
the Plymouth Company (1620), the Massachusetts Bay Company (1629), the

Company of New France (1627), and the Dutch West India Company (1621) began to
send thousands of colonists, including families, to North America. Successful
colonization was not inevitable. Rather, interest in North America was a halting, yet
global, contest among European powers to exploit these lands.
There is another very important point to keep in mind: European colonization and
settlement of North America (and other areas of the so-called "new world") was an
invasion of territory controlled and settled for centuries by Native Americans. To be
sure, Indian control and settlement of that land looked different to European, as
compared to Indian, eyes. Nonetheless, Indian groups perceived the Europeans' arrival
as an encroachment and they pursued any number of avenues to deal with that
invasion. That the Indians were unsuccessful in the long run in resisting or in
establishing a more favorable accommodation with the Europeans was as much the
result of the impact on Indians of European diseases as superior force of arms.
Moreover, to view the situation from Indian perspectives ("facing east from Indian
country," in historian Daniel K. Richter's wonderful phrase) is essential in
understanding the complex interaction of these very different peoples.
Finally, it is also important to keep in mind that yet a third group of people--in this
case. Africans--played an active role in the European invasion (or colonization) of the
western hemisphere. From the very beginning, Europeans' attempts to establish
colonies in the western hemisphere foundered on the lack of laborers to do the hard
work of colony-building. The Spanish, for example, enslaved the Indians in regions
under their control. The English struck upon the idea of indentured servitude to solve
the labor problem in Virginia. Virtually all the European powers eventually turned to
African slavery to provide labor on their islands in the West Indies. Slavery was
eventually transferred to other colonies in both South and North America.
Because of the interactions of these very diverse peoples, the process of European
colonization of the western hemisphere was a complex one, indeed. Individual
members of each group confronted situations that were most often not of their own
making or choosing. These individuals responded with the means available to them.
For most, these means were not sufficient to prevail. Yet these people were not
simply victims; they were active agents trying to shape their own destinies. That
many of them failed should not detract from their efforts.
Read the Text above and answer the following questions in the shape of a paragraph:

"They all came to the new world seeking a dream" There are different reasons
that made colonists settle in the New World. Name at least two reasons.
There are two factors that were indispensable in the successful colonization of
the New World. What are these factors and how did they help in the growth of
the colonies.

Pocahontas saves John Smith

Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, the leader of an alliance of about 30

Algonquian-speaking groups and petty chiefdoms in Tidewater Virginia known as
.Tsenacommacah. Her mothers identity is unknown
Historians have estimated Pocahontas birth year as around 1595, based on the 1608
account of Captain John Smith in A True Relation of Virginia and Smiths subsequent
letters. Even Smith is inconsistent on the question of her age, however. Although
English narratives would remember Pocahontas as a princess, her childhood was
probably fairly typical for a girl in Tsenacommacah. Pocahontas was a favorite of her

father's -- his "delight and darling, according to the colonist Captain Ralph Hamor -.but she was not a princess in the sense of inheriting a political station
Saving John Smith
Pocahontas was primarily linked to the English colonists through Captain John Smith,
who arrived in Virginia with more than 100 other settlers in April 1607. The
Englishmen had numerous encounters over the next several months with the
Tsenacommacah Indians. While exploring on the Chickahominy River in December
of that year, Smith was captured by a hunting party led by Powhatan's close relative
Opechancanough, and brought to Powhatan's home at Werowocomoco.
Smiths 1616 account describes the dramatic act of selflessness which would become
legendary: "... at the minute of my execution", he wrote, "she [Pocahontas] hazarded
the beating out of her own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed
with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown." Smith further embellished
this story in his Generall Historie, written years later.

Waves of Immigration

The Founders

The people who established the colonies are considered founders

rather than immigrants because they created the customs, laws and
institutions to which later arrivals (the first immigrants) had to


II The first wave of immigration 1680- 1776

The founders had come for economic gain and religious freedom,
but their descendants gave the first large wave of European
newcomers a warm welcome only if they were willing to
conform to Anglo-American culture and supply needed labor.
The reception that immigrants received varied according to location
and the individual's qualities, from the extremes of largely hostile
New England, to the more tolerant, diverse middle colonies.
The largest group of immigrants (voluntary newcomers) were the
Scots-Irish. Roughly a quarter of a million of them left Northern
Ireland for the American colonies after 1680 because of economic
discrimination by the English. Most paid their passage across the
Atlantic by becoming indentured servants. When their term of
service was finished, they usually took their freedom dues (a small
sum of money and tools) and settled on the frontier where land was
Immigration from Ireland included thousands of single, male, Irish
Catholic indentured servants, who assimilated even more rapidly
than the Scots-Irish, because of religious discrimination and the
difficulty of finding Catholic wives. The Scots, perhaps because of
their hatred of English attempts to suppress their culture at home,
followed a conservative pattern, using compact settlement, religion,
schooling and family networks to preserve their culture for
generations in rural areas. English colonists severely limited their
civil rights and sometimes attacked their churches or synagogues,
but accepted marriage with them as long as they changed their
religion. As a result, their communities nearly vanished
The period's 200,000 German immigrants aroused more opposition
than the Scots-Irish. The largest non-English speaking group in the
colonies, they believed their descendants had to learn German if
their religion and culture were to survive in North America. For
mutual support, they concentrated their settlements. Developing
German-speaking towns, they kept to themselves and showed little
interest in colonial politics. For some immigrants, the last straw was
the Germans prosperity. Renowned for their hard work, caution,
farming methods and concern for their property, they were too
successful, according to their envious neighbors. Benjamin Franklin
expressed what many feared when he said they might Germanize
us instead of us Anglicizing them.
Other smaller groups in the first wave showed the contrasting ways
in which immigrants could adjust to new and varied conditions.
England sent some 50,000 convicts and perhaps 30,000 poor people
as indentured servants to ease problems at home while supplying
the labor-starved colonial economy, and these people formed an
underclass that quickly Americanized.

This first wave of immigration transformed the demography

of the colonies. By 1776 English dominance had decreased from
four-fifths to a bare majority (52 percent) of the population. AfricanAmerican slaves composed 20 percent of this population and were a
majority in large parts of the southern colonies. Most NativeAmerican cultures had been forced inland to or beyond the
Appalachians. Non-English peoples were a majority in the coastal
towns, Pennsylvania, the south and parts of all the other colonies.
The cultural, political and economic dominance of AngloAmericans was clear, but the first wave had played a major
role in bequeathing America a tradition of pioneers on the
frontier, a new vision of itself as diverse, possessed of
religious tolerance, and with a federal system of
government that reserved most power to the new nation's
quite dissimilar thirteen states.
The Second Wave: the 'old' immigrants 1820- 1890
Between 1776 and the late 1820s, immigration slowed to a trickle.
The struggle for independence and the founding of the nation
Americanized the colonies diverse peoples. The dominant AngloAmerican culture and time weakened the old ethnic communities;
most ethnic groups assimilated. A range of factors pushed
Europeans from their homelands: religious persecution drove many
German Jews to emigrate, and political unrest forced out some
European intellectuals and political activists, but economic push
factors were decisive for most of the so-called old north-western
Europe's population doubled between 1750 and 1850. In Ireland and
parts of Germany rural people depended on the potato, which
yielded more food per acre than grain. The rapid growth of cities
encouraged farmers to switch to large-scale production based on
farm machinery, the elimination of smallholdings and enclosure of
common lands. With these changes, such a large population could
not make a living in the countryside.
Following changes in the Atlantic labor market, people moved to
where the jobs were. Steamships and trains made migration abroad
safer, faster and cheaper, and America letters from family and
friends in the USA gave a remarkably accurate picture of changing
economic conditions there. Of the 60 million people who left their
homelands between 1820 and 1930, two-thirds settled in the USA.
During the old immigration, 15.5 million people made America
their home.


The factor that pulled most people to the USA was an apparently
unlimited supply of land. Few seriously considered the claims of
Native Americans.
Another pull factor was work. The USA needed both skilled and
unskilled labor. American railroad companies as well as state and
territorial governments sent immigration agents to Europe to recruit
people with promises of cheap fertile farms or jobs with wages much
higher than they could earn at home. News of boom times in the
USA, land giveaways such as the Homestead Act of 1862 and the
discovery of gold in California brought peaks in the rising

The Third Wave: the "new" immigrants, 1890- 1930

Around 1890 immigration from north-western Europe declined
sharply (but did not stop), while arrivals from southern and eastern
Europe rose. By 1907, four out of five newcomers were new
immigrants. Between 1890 and 1914, the volume of immigration
also soared, topping a million annually and equaling the 15.5 million
of the old immigration in just twenty-four years. In numerical order,
the largest new groups were Italians, Jews, Poles and Hungarians,
but many Mexicans, Russians, Czechs, Greeks, Portuguese, Syrians,
Japanese, Filipinos and others also immigrated.
To most Americans, the change mostly involved the feeling that the
typical immigrant had become much less like them. The religions,
languages, manners and costumes of the Slavic peoples seemed
exotic or incomprehensible. But this wave of people was in several
ways similar to its predecessors. The basic economic push and pull
factors had not changed. The new immigrants had the same dream
of bettering their own and their children's future. Like the Puritans,
eastern European Jews emigrated because of religious persecution,
chiefly the bloody Russian pogroms.
By the late 1800s falling train and steam-ship ticket prices (often
prepaid by relatives in America) made immigration affordable even
for the very poor and the young. Cheap travel also permitted people
to see immigration as a short-term strategy, and many new
immigrants were sojourners, birds of passage, who stayed only
long enough to save money to buy land or a small business in the
old country. In general, the new immigrants were younger, more
often unmarried, and more likely to travel as individuals rather than
in family groups.


The opportunities in America had changed too. The closing of the

frontier around 1890 signaled the end of the era of government
land-giveaways. Less than a quarter of the newcomers found
employment in agriculture. The Japanese in California are the best
example of those who succeeded by buying unwanted land and
making it productive. Four-fifths of immigrants went where the jobs
were: to the industries in the big cities of the north-east and midwest. America had an enormous need for factory workers, but, due
to mechanization, most jobs were unskilled and poorly paid.

Fourth Wave of Immigration

From 1965 to the present










immigration, which rose to a peak in the late 1990s and produced

the highest immigration totals in American history. In addition to the
many immigrants allowed by the hemispheric limits (changed to a
global total of 320,000 in 1980), the wave has included hundreds of
thousands of immediate relatives and refugees outside those limits.
It has also contained millions of illegal aliens, who cross borders
without (or with false) papers or arrive at airports on student or
tourist visas and then overstay. Between 1960 and 2007 nearly 39
million people settled legally in America. The list of the ten largest
nationality groups among these is shown in (Table 1) for 1960 and
2007 below.


TABLE 3.1 The effects of the fourth wave on the ten largest immigrant
groups, 1960 contrasted with 2007. (* = percent of the total foreign-born
in the USA)



4.4 %

































The table shows only one Latino and no Asian immigrant

groups but many European nationalities in 1960. The prominence of
Mexicans around half-way down the list, however, foreshadowed
future trends. At the peak of the fourth wave in the 1990s, some 11
million more newcomers arrived. The second list of groups, from
2007, well after the peak brought by the 1965 Act, reveals the law's
unexpected benefits for the Third World immigrants of the fourth
wave. In 2007 no Europeans groups were in the ten largest. Three
quarters of the legally resident foreign-born (over 38 million people)
were Latino (51 percent) or Asian (25 percent). Remarkably, another
42 percent of the immigrant population in 2007 consisted of people
whose nations contributed fewer than the ten nationalities listed in
the chart. In other words, although this wave is predominantly
Latino and Asian, it is also the most diverse wave the USA has seen.
Another striking feature of the table is the Mexicans rise in
prominence from a mere 6 percent in 1960 to a presence
approaching a third of the entire group in the present wave of
Push and Pull factors:
Like the earlier waves of newcomers, the fourth includes a broad
range of socio-economic groups. One result of saving visas for

needed occupations is that a very noticeable minority are highly

skilled workers, professionals (especially engineers, doctors and
nurses) and entrepreneurs with capital. The large majority of both
legal and illegal immigrants are unskilled workers. They have come
because commercialization and industrialization disrupted their
traditional economies.
At the socio-economic bottom of this wave are often recently arrived
groups of refugees from wars and other disasters. In the 1960s and
early 1970s huge groups of people fled south-east Asia to the USA
as a result of America's involvement in the Vietnam War. The
poorest also include people who obtain visas because they are nearrelatives of recent, more skilled immigrants or who take jobs
Americans do not want. Among the latter are Latino women
recruited by agencies as live-in domestic servants and nannies.
Spreading the word about these jobs and moving into better-paid
work once they have acquired more English, they bring their
families and forge the links in chain migration.
The nationalities and skin colors of most people in this wave are
different and more various, however, and they arrive in different
ways and settle in different places. There are colonies of Hmong in
Minneapolis, Vietnamese on the Mississippi Delta, east Indian hotelowners across the Sunbelt, Middle- Eastern Muslims in Detroit and
New Jersey and large concentrations of Latinos not only in the
south-west and the nation's big cities, where their communities are
large and long-established, but also across the rural districts and
small towns of the south and mid-west. These large foreign-born
settlements have given rise to contemporary forms of racism and
nativism. Groping for ways to adjust to the changes in their
country's population, some Americans are again resorting to broad


Attitudes to Immigrants: The Contemporary

In 1982, when the Gallup Organization asked Americans whether
specific ethnic groups had been good or bad for the USA, on the
whole, the longer the group had been in the country, the more
favorable was the public response. Thus, by then large majorities
thought Irish Catholics and Jews, who earlier suffered from
widespread discrimination, had been good influences on the country.
Racial attitudes, however, appeared to be decisive in creating longterm low opinions of non-white ethnic groups. Fewer than half of the
Americans questioned in 1982 thought Japanese, Chinese and
African Americans had favorably affected the country, and only one
in five or fewer approved of having recent non-white groups, such as
Puerto Ricans, Vietnamese and Haitians in the USA.
Large numbers of Asian immigrants in the fourth wave arrive with
more capital and a higher level of education than most Latinos.
Those facts and popular attitudes towards some Asian cultures
emphasis on respect for parents, education and hard work have led
some media commentators to lump all Asian Americans together
under the label of the model minority. This ignores the large
majority of Asian immigrants who come with little money and
education; the problems of Asian refugees who have experienced
wartime traumas; and job discrimination and violence against Asian
For its own convenience, the federal government invented the word
Hispanics to put in a single category all the Central- and South
American Spanish-speaking cultures arriving in the USA in the fourth
wave. The word became identified with illegal immigrants in the
popular mind because of the large number of immigrants unlawfully
crossing the border with Mexico. It thus contributed to prejudice
against hugely diverse Latino populations. About two-thirds of
illegals are Mexicans, but the undocumented come from countries
as diverse as China, Nigeria and Iran.
Illegal immigration causes heated debate over government policy to
control entry to the USA. One segment of public opinion stresses
that tolerating illegal immigration encourages a general disregard
for the law, lowers wages for other workers, and undermines the
1965 law that gives all nationalities an equal chance for immigrant
visas. Other Americans emphasize that illegal immigrants take jobs
that US citizens do not want, are paid less than the legal minimum
wage, work in substandard conditions and, while needing the
benefits of social welfare programs, dare not reveal the facts of their
situation for fear of being deported.
Legislations and Immigration Acts

The federal government responded to this ongoing debate in 1986

by passing the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). The law
attempted to minimize illegal immigration while expressing
acceptance and giving rights to people already inside the USA. It
sets fines and penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens and
also attempts to prevent employment discrimination through rules
that outlaw firing or refusing to hire people because they look
foreign. The law offered amnesty (legal immigrant status) for
illegals who had stayed in the USA for four years and for many
temporarily resident farm workers. Almost 3 million people became
legal immigrants through IRCA. Their improved situation was the
one great success of the legislation.
In spite of rising reactions against immigration in the 1980s,
national policy became more liberal through the Immigration Act of
1990. It raised the annual total of immigrant visas, the limit for
individual nations and the number of asylum seekers who could
remain in the USA. It also removed restrictions on the entry of many
groups, including homosexuals, communists, people from nations
adversely affected by the 1965 law, and additional family members,
including the spouses and children of illegals given amnesty. During
the economic boom of the 1990s, the shortage of unskilled labor
made most Americans willing to overlook the problem of illegal
The Growing Need for Immigration Reform Today
Sharp differences, nonetheless, continued to mark American public
opinion about immigration after 2001. Most of the country's
economic, political and cultural elites accepted high levels of legal
and illegal immigration. The general public, on the other hand,
increasingly linked immigration to concerns about job competition,
national security, population growth, environmental problems and
cultural differences. Majorities of those polled therefore favored
more effectively restricting entrance to the country. A dramatic
example of this chasm in attitudes about immigration occurred in
2004. Having implemented a variety of national security measures
in response to the 9/11 attacks, including more high-tech
surveillance and patrols of the border with Mexico, President Bush
announced his support for a revised guest-worker amnesty plan,
similar to the one proposed by Mexico three years earlier. The public
rejected the idea by large margins in a series of polls, and it quietly
disappeared from the presidential agenda.
Members of Congress, however, continued to respond to mounting
public pressure in the seven states most affected and from some
groups demanding immigration reform and restriction. From
February through May, 2006 Latino groups mobilized hundreds of
thousands of legal and illegal immigrants to march in major cities in
protest against a bill passed by the House of Representatives that

would make illegal entry a federal felony (serious crime) for both
those who entered illegally and anyone who helped them. Leaders
of the protest movement rallied perhaps half a million marchers
against the bill in 102 cities in early April and, calling their next
major action a day without immigrants, urged the undocumented
and legal immigrants to demonstrate how dependent the economy
was on them by boycotting their jobs on May 1. An estimated
450,000 immigrants filled the streets in dozens of cities.

Illegal immigrants have 'earned the

right to be U.S. citizens', says Homeland
Security Secretary
Illegal immigrants must be able to become citizens in order to keep
America safe, the man charged with protecting the country has
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said that around 11 million
people who are in the country illegally have 'earned the right to be
Mr Johnson said: 'An earned path to citizenship for those currently
present in this country is a matter of, in my view, homeland security to
encourage people to come out from the shadows.
'It is also, frankly, in my judgment, a matter of who we are as
He used his speech to more than 270 mayors at the United States
Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. to call for 'comprehensive,
common sense, immigration reform'.


Mr Johnson added: 'To offer the opportunity to those who want to be

citizens, whove earned the right to be citizens, who are present in this
country - many of whom came here as children - to have the
opportunity that we all have to try to become American citizens.'
'Comprehensive immigration reform would also promote a more
effective and efficient system for enforcing our immigration laws, and
should include an earned path to citizenship for the approximately 11and-a-half-million undocumented immigrants present in this country,
something like 86% of whom have been here almost 10 years.'
Mr Johnson's intervention came as House Republican's prepared to
reveal their plans for a shake-up of the immigration system.
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders will
also call for illegal immigrants to be given the oportunity to gain legal
status - but stop short of calling for them to be able to become citizens.
They are expected to demand tougher border security during their
.annual retreat in Cambridge, Maryland later this week
This apparent softening of the Republican stance would see the party
attempting to reach a consensus with the Obama administration.
In June, last year, the Senate passed a measure reforming immigration
which included a 13-year path to citizenship.
Mr Johnson, who took up the role of Department of Homeland
Security chief in December, also reiterated the need for effective
border policing, adding: 'Border security is inseparable from homeland
'The five core missions of the Department of Homeland Security are
guarding against terrorism, securing our borders, enforcing our nations
immigration laws, safeguarding cyberspace and critical infrastructure
in partnership with the private sector, and supporting emergency
preparedness and response efforts at every level,' Johnson said.
'Common sense immigration reform is supported by the U.S.
Conference of Mayors, businesses, and if the polls (are) to be believed,
the majority of the American people,' Johnson said.


'And border security must and should be part of comprehensive

immigration reform protecting our borders, securing our ports,
promoting the lawful flow of trade and travel through our ports to
cities and other communities,' he said.
Johnson touted the alleged improvement in border security over the
last four years and said comprehensive immigration reform also would
increase that security.

Read more:

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Imen Hbibi
Civilisation Course

Module 1: DM
Part One: Explain two of the following terms in a paragraph
(10 points)
Old Immigrants
Middle colonies
Melting pot
Push and Pull Factors
Part Two: Write a short essay on one of the following topics
(10 points)
1 Describe one of the four major waves of immigration to the
United States, explain the factors that paved the way for it
and discuss the kind of reception the newcomes received.
2 Explain why the encounters between Native Americans
(Indians) and the Eurpean settlers were so disastrous?


Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation

on Immigration

THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans, tonight, Id like to talk with you about immigration.
For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has
given us a tremendous advantage over other nations. Its kept us youthful, dynamic, and
entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities
people not trapped by our past, but able to remake ourselves as we choose.
But today, our immigration system is broken and everybody knows it.
Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the
rules. Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the
competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. All of us take offense
to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities
of living in America. And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those
responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn


Its been this way for decades. And for decades, we havent done much about it.
When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by
doing what I could to secure our borders. Today, we have more agents and technology
deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history. And over the past six
years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Although this summer,
there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the
number of such children is now actually lower than its been in nearly two years. Overall, the
number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s.
Those are the facts.
Meanwhile, I worked with Congress on a comprehensive fix, and last year, 68 Democrats,
Republicans, and independents came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate. It
wasnt perfect. It was a compromise. But it reflected common sense. It would have doubled
the number of border patrol agents while giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to
citizenship if they paid a fine, started paying their taxes, and went to the back of the line.
And independent experts said that it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits.
Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of bill a simple yes-or-no vote, it would
have passed with support from both parties, and today it would be the law. But for a year
and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote.
Now, I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to
pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the
legal authority to take as President the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and
Republican presidents before me - that will help make our immigration system more fair
and more just.
Tonight, I am announcing those actions.
First, well build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law
enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings, and speed the
return of those who do cross over.
Second, Ill make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and
entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have
Third, well take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants
who already live in our country.
I want to say more about this third issue, because it generates the most passion and
controversy. Even as we are a nation of immigrants, were also a nation of laws.
Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held
accountable - especially those who may be dangerous. Thats why, over the past six years,
deportations of criminals are up 80 percent. And thats why were going to keep focusing
enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not
children. Gang members, not a mom whos working hard to provide for her kids. Well
prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.


But even as we focus on deporting criminals, the fact is, millions of immigrants in every
state, of every race and nationality still live here illegally. And lets be honest - tracking
down, rounding up, and deporting millions of people isnt realistic. Anyone who suggests
otherwise isnt being straight with you. Its also not who we are as Americans. After all, most
of these immigrants have been here a long time. They work hard, often in tough, low-paying
jobs. They support their families. They worship at our churches. Many of their kids are
American-born or spent most of their lives here, and their hopes, dreams, and patriotism are
just like ours. As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it: They are a part of American
Now heres the thing: We expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. We
expect that those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded. So were going to offer the
following deal: If youve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who
are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check,
and youre willing to pay your fair share of taxes youll be able to apply to stay in this
country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get
right with the law. Thats what this deal is.
Now, lets be clear about what it isnt. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to
this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the
future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same
benefits that citizens receive - only Congress can do that. All were saying is were not
going to deport you.
I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, its not. Amnesty is the
immigration system we have today - millions of people who live here without paying their
taxes or playing by the rules while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up
votes at election time.
Thats the real amnesty leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be
unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What Im
describing is accountability a common-sense, middle-ground approach: If you meet the
criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If youre a criminal,
youll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and
sent back just went up.
The actions Im taking are not only lawful, theyre the kinds of actions taken by every single
Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century. And
to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system
work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one
answer: Pass a bill.
I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I
sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary. Meanwhile, dont let a
disagreement over a single issue be a dealbreaker on every issue. Thats not how our
democracy works, and Congress certainly shouldnt shut down our government again just
because we disagree on this. Americans are tired of gridlock. What our country needs from
us right now is a common purpose a higher purpose.


Most Americans support the types of reforms Ive talked about tonight. But I understand the
disagreements held by many of you at home. Millions of us, myself included, go back
generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become
citizens. So we dont like the notion that anyone might get a free pass to American
I know some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are, or take our jobs,
or stick it to middle-class families at a time when they already feel like theyve gotten the
raw deal for over a decade. I hear these concerns. But thats not what these steps would do.
Our history and the facts show that immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our
society. And I believe its important that all of us have this debate without impugning each
others character.
Because for all the back and forth of Washington, we have to remember that this debate is
about something bigger. Its about who we are as a country, and who we want to be for
future generations.
Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit
and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law? Or are we a nation that
gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better
Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents arms? Or are
we a nation that values families, and works together to keep them together?
Are we a nation that educates the worlds best and brightest in our universities, only to send
them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us? Or are we a nation
that encourages them to stay and create jobs here, create businesses here, create
industries right here in America?
Thats what this debate is all about. We need more than politics as usual when it comes to
immigration. We need reasoned, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our
hopes, not our fears. I know the politics of this issue are tough. But let me tell you why I
have come to feel so strongly about it.
Over the past few years, I have seen the determination of immigrant fathers who worked
two or three jobs without taking a dime from the government, and at risk any moment of
losing it all, just to build a better life for their kids. Ive seen the heartbreak and anxiety of
children whose mothers might be taken away from them just because they didnt have the
right papers. Ive seen the courage of students who, except for the circumstances of their
birth, are as American as Malia or Sasha; students who bravely come out as undocumented
in hopes they could make a difference in the country they love.
These people our neighbors, our classmates, our friends they did not come here in
search of a free ride or an easy life. They came to work, and study, and serve in our military,
and above all, contribute to Americas success.
Tomorrow, Ill travel to Las Vegas and meet with some of these students, including a young
woman named Astrid Silva. Astrid was brought to America when she was four years old.
Her only possessions were a cross, her doll, and the frilly dress she had on. When she


started school, she didnt speak any English. She caught up to other kids by reading
newspapers and watching PBS, and she became a good student. Her father worked in
landscaping. Her mom cleaned other peoples homes. They wouldnt let Astrid apply to a
technology magnet school, not because they didnt love her, but because they were afraid
the paperwork would out her as an undocumented immigrant so she applied behind their
back and got in. Still, she mostly lived in the shadows until her grandmother, who visited
every year from Mexico, passed away, and she couldnt travel to the funeral without risk of
being found out and deported. It was around that time she decided to begin advocating for
herself and others like her, and today, Astrid Silva is a college student working on her third
Are we a nation that kicks out a striving, hopeful immigrant like Astrid, or are we a nation
that finds a way to welcome her in? Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger,
for we know the heart of a stranger we were strangers once, too.
My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers
once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the
Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and
taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or
what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared
commitment to an ideal - that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to
make of our lives what we will.
Thats the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us.
Thats the tradition we must uphold. Thats the legacy we must leave for those who are yet
to come.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless this country we love.
8:16 P.M. EST