The Business Times

Anti-immigration tide not new to America

Nativist sentiments were directed against incoming Irish and German Catholics in the 1830s

Published Thu, Dec 10, 2015 · 09:50 PM
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A STRONG anti-immigration sentiment was sweeping America. Americans who were born and raised in the United States were concerned that with hundreds of thousands of foreigners arriving on American shores, the country was changing into something that looked and sounded so, well, un-American.

In particular, the fact that a large number of the new immigrants were affiliated with a religious group which seemed to be identified with values that were antithetical to liberal principles like separation of religion and state, and women's rights, contributed to the sense of anxiety among many Americans who assumed that the religious orientation of those foreigners would make it difficult, if not impossible, to assimilate them in the American society.

That some of those immigrants were involved in violent activities only helped to stir up those fears.

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