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Early American Immigration

Early American Immigration

Reading Quizzes

Available to teachers only as part of theTeaching Immigration: Era of Open BordersTeacher Pass

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Sample of Reading Quizzes

Big Picture


1. What is nativism?
2. Why can't we assume that the past patterns of immigration and acculturation in the past will continue the same way in the future?
3. What are the four main periods of immigration to America?


1. Nativism is opposition to immigration on the grounds that an influx of foreigners will marginalize the English language, undermine American culture, destabilize American politics, and weaken the economic status of American workers
2. History isn't a predictive science: just because events happened this way in the past doesn't mean that they'll continue to happen.
3. The first wave was pre-1776, with the majority of people coming from Africa as slaves, and the rest coming from England and other European settlements. The second wave came in the mid-19th century, until 1882 (with the Chinese Exclusion Act), with the majority of people coming from Northwest Europe and Ireland. The third wave was from 1880-1920, with the vast majority coming from southern or Eastern Europe and were primarily composed of Catholics and Jews. The fourth wave began in 1960s and continues until today, with the vast majority of immigrants coming from Latin America or Asia.