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The paper outlines John Bodnar's main argument in "The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America" that immigrants experienced tension between the needs of their families and the challenges of American capitalist society. The paper then looks at Matthew Frye Jacobson's assertion in "Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917" that immigration was necessary to keep the American machinery running smoothly, and much of that immigration was based largely on American imperialism. Finally, the paper examines Handlin's "The Uprooted: Epic Story of the Great Migrations That Made the American People," which takes a deep look into the lives and emotions of European immigrants, mostly peasants, and their thoughts about coming to America. The paper discusses the strengths and weaknesses of these three works and describes each author's qualifications in writing on this subject. The paper shows how these books all cover very different aspects of American immigration history and are each extremely valuable in its own right. The writer of this paper selects Handlin's work as the most appealing and posits that reading Handlin's work gives a much clearer picture of the immigrants themselves.
From the Paper:"Throughout the book, the author often returns to the notion of families and their vital importance in immigrants' lives. The family was there for each other when times were tough, they helped find jobs for each other, they all worked to support the family members, and they worked together to learn how to assimilate to American culture while leaving behind their peasant roots. He discusses how immigrants ultimately became the American middle-class, and their work conditions helped create unions and labor laws that guide employers to this day. Through it all, he shows how the families were tied to capitalism and conforming, the major themes of this work."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Bodnar, John. The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America. Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 1985.
- Handlin, Oscar. The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations That Made the American People. Boston, MA: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1973.
- Jacobson, Matthew Frye. Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917. New York: Hill and Wang, 2000.
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Immigration in the Early 20th Century (2010, December 29) Retrieved September 19, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/immigration-in-the-early-20th-century-146505/
"Immigration in the Early 20th Century" 29 December 2010. Web. 19 September. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/immigration-in-the-early-20th-century-146505/>