The main political and social challenges facing America
During 1907, 1.25 million people were processed on Ellis Island. As the number of immigrants increased, some Americans began to doubt the government's Open Door policy. Traditionally, the immigrants had tended to come from northern and western Europe – Britain, Ireland, Germany. Between 1900 and 1914 13 million arrived, mainly from southern and eastern Europe – Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Western Poland and Greece. People started feeling angry towards these 'new' immigrants because:
As a result, the US Congress passed three laws to restrict immigration and each law in turn was more severe than the previous one.
The Open Door was now closed to many. The government did not believe that the new immigrants enriched the life and culture of the USA. As a result, there was more fear of immigrants, xenophobia and racial persecution.
At the end of this section it is important that you know the following.
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