Old world backgrounds of immigrants and new world background of immigrants
America is known as the world’s largest melting pot of cultures, customs, religions, and ethnicities. This was once something we were very proud of as a whole it seemed.
Immigration began during America’s war for independence when Europeans tried to move in quickly. In the meantime, this was while the nation was still young so immigrants were voyaging to America to claim whatever they could get their hands on. On the other hand, there were many foreigners who embarked on the journey to America for other reasons. Reasons such as some of the poor were trying to escape war in their own land, persecution, or even debt.
Technically, “old world” immigrants were of Anglo, Dutch, French, and Spanish ethnicities. Not only do these people represent the past in so many ways, but also the present and undoubtedly, the future. It is extremely difficult in this present day and age to find a person who is not of the German, Irish, or Italian descent. These facts are caused mainly by mass immigrations of millions of different people throughout the 19th century. Ports conveniently located around New York made transportation available. This is how so many people were able to come to America during this time. The smaller nation, at the time, was very welcoming. The Germanic people arrived in the north and made their way out west. In the 1840s, many Roman Catholic families began mass immigrations into American ports. This was during the time where Ireland suffered an epidemic that most definitely led to the famine of that time. After those particular mass hauls started, that paved the way for others to begin coming in by large numbers. Chinese, Italians, Poles, Scandinavians, Czechs, and many others made their way into New York harbors throughout the rest of the 19th century.
All of the “old world” immigrants were from struggling countries or coming from their own personal struggles. America was called the land of opportunity and that is truly what the immigrants hoped for: an opportunity. A way to make money, take care of families and loved ones, send money or goods back home, etc. This sole factor is why everyone who came over were such hard workers. These less than fortunate folks appreciated the chance they were given and would do whatever they had to do to succeed in this new foreign country they furthermore called “home”. Hard workers by blood – European immigrants were welcomed by the U.S. government as they filled the lower ranks of the active-duty military from 1776-1917. Not only had these people began to serve for what they called their country, there were also many other, equally important occupations in which they filled. Sources of cheap labor for immigrants during this time period were canal builders, factory and railroad workers, and the mining industry.
It’s extremely impressive America thrived the way that it did during these times of immigration. Why? Mostly all of the immigrants in the United States were already at a disadvantage in one way or another. The Germans didn’t speak the same language as the ‘natives’. The Irish didn’t have the same religion. The Italians suffered both issues together, speech and religion. Additionally, the Chinese were one of a completely different culture altogether that was considered racially distinct. This group were narrowed to only few locations while most other ethnicities and groups of people spread in any direction of the ports.
Other things that immigrants began to do to help out with any of the various barriers they were facing during this time was to develop organized crime. There were many crooked business practices. Mostly what these immigrants cared about were two basic principles: “fight our wars and work hard for our businesses and your reward shall be that you too will be granted your own little place in our society.” That same very attitude is what makes Americans who they are today. Instilled inside them thanks to the ruling class at the time, the Anglo-Americans, are the work hard attitudes.
What we are seeing today is a similar scenario, people who just want an opportunity. Population of the world has risen since this last major flux of immigrants and continues to rise. Thus, it appears we are becoming less welcoming, less inclined to love our neighbor whether they are classified as an immigrant or just a granny next door.
The United States used to be the place of the American Dream but as immigrants consider relocation, it seems as its less for a strive to thrive and rather the need to get by. There are thousands of displaced and dying people in Aleppo and we as Americans brought more attention to the bombing in Paris. 130 people died in Paris in total, the same amount of people died just last week, bullets to the face. In Aleppo, women, children, and innocent men are being shot in the street. The opportunity to surrender to the ‘government forces’ are the only option or face death.
The battle began on 19 July 2012 and is part of the Syrian Civil War. A stalemate that had been in place for four years ended in July 2016, when Syrian government troops closed the rebels’ only supply line into Aleppo. Rebel counteroffensives in September and October failed to break the siege, and in November the government embarked on a decisive campaign that would result in total Syrian government victory by December 2016. The Syrian government victory was widely seen as a “turning point” in Syria’s civil war, while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hailed it as “historic”.
History certainly will be made from the barrel bombs dropping down upon innocent people and calling it a victory. Which history will you decide to read? The false information on Facebook? The very biased and negative news you see on television? Be cautious of where you receive your information!
Remember, from the old world immigrants we were able to learn of various cultures. I wouldn’t have turned out Italian, Irish, German and Dutch had the immigrants not associated and worked together to displace the Native Americans in time. If you are feeling contempt toward immigrants today just imagine how those Indians felt being forced into ‘reservations’ to conserve the little bit of themselves they had left. Remember that just this month protestors took a stand in North Dakota to protect safe waters on an Indian Reservation. Aleppo gets their resources cut off and shot point blank; North Dakota pipeline will lead to lack of resources and with our government.
It seems as though all we can do is pray for peace and instill nonviolence as often as you can. Try your best to love without fear when the news reminds you of anything but that!