America Immigration: Cultural Inheritance

Figure 1.--Unfortunately many photographs of turn of the century immigrants are unidentified. These boys mat be Italians, but there is no ways to be sure. Like many immigrants who rrived in America with bery little, they did bring their musical talents with them. Their clothing suggests that they had recently arrived. I doubt, however, the one boy brought a harp with him.

Most immigrants arrived in America with very little money in their pockets and only a smll valise or bundle of possessions. In fct, however, they brought a great deal with them. Immigrants made a major contrubution to the industrial development of America because of their job skills and technical background. The same is true of those who homesteaded new farms. Many immigrants with professional skills were exemted from natiojal quotas. Many immigrants entered America with little education. Quite a number were illiterate. But they also did not arrive in America empty handed, they brought their cultures with music, food, social values, and other aspects which added to the American tapestry. America in the mid-19th century was still a largely Anglo-Protestant society. The America that emerged as a super-power from World War II was a vey different, more diverse society as a result of the late 19th and early 20th century immigration. While America emerged as a more diverse society, the British legal and political tradition was maintained and throughly accepted by the successive waves of non-Annglo immigrants.


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Created: 4:14 AM 10/4/2006
Last updated: 4:14 AM 10/4/2006