The history textbooks provided to American 11th graders all deal with immigration. It is an importnt part of the American story. The account generally given to to the students is that immigrants were cramped into cramped, unhealthy tennaments and led miserable lives of privation and poverty. This is in part true, especially when comparing immigrant living conditions to modern America. What the textbooks generally omit, however, is that while the conditions were far below what we would now consider as acceptable, they were much better than the conditions that the immigrants left behind in Europe. This was the case because American capitlism was so efficent that it generated the wealth allowing companies to pay better wages than in Europe. and not only were conditions better, but there were far greater opportunities. This is clearly the case because immigrants came and continued coming in massive waves. If conditions were not better, the immigrant flow would not have continued. The only reason the flow ceased was first World War I (1914-18) and then restrictive immigrantion laws passed by Congress after the War (1924). Not only were Americn wages and living standards higher than in Europe, but American had a first class public school system to ease the immigrant assismilation and to provide the basic educational tools needed to suceed. But those who want to build the narative that America is not a nobel country that has done great good around the world seek to deny the facts. The indisputable facts are the millions of Europeans who voted with their feet, Those who are intent on painting America and capitalism in negative terms come up with absurd cliams such as the immigrants were ignorant and fooled into coming here. And then once here were stuck unable to afford the passage home. Actually not every one succeded. Some indeed failed and returned home, but most suceeded and stayed. And it only took a postage stamp to describe their experiences to family and friends. And the immigrnts wrote home, describing in glowing terms their experiences. This is one reason why immigrants came in such numbers. Incomprehensibly, rarely do American history textbooks make this obvious point. The same is true today. The American left comes up with not existent issues like the war on womem, police brutality, homophobia, black lives matter, voter suppression, racism, Islamapobia, and much more. What they can not explain away, however, is why millions of people around the world of all races and religions are willing to go to such extent, often risking their lives, to get to America if it is such a cruel, unfair society.
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