Category Archives: Immigration

How Did We React to Refugees in the Past?

Is there anything in our history comparable to our current refugee situation? Yes, the year was 1798.

A bit of necessary background first–The French Revolution which began in 1789 reached its most radical and horrid stage with its Reign of Terror from 1792-5 which unleashed an exodus, many to the U.S. and others to Canada. As a two party system began to develop in this era, most of these refugees gravitated to the party of Jefferson and Madison which will impact our story. Continue reading How Did We React to Refugees in the Past?

Collective Amnesia in the Immigration Debate (3)

Abraham Lincoln welcomed immigrants. He saw immigration as a solution to his manpower issues. His  Act to Encourage Immigrants was a major factor in the Union victory in the Civil War. We competed with other nations for immigrants. The promotion of our “Streets Are Paved with Gold” national image led to one of the greatest influxes of immigration in world history.

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Collective Amnesia in the Immigration Debate (2)

Our victory in the Mexican American War added a huge amount of land to the U.S. and introduced issues of property rights and confiscation. This produced some of the consequences we see in our Southwest today. The Irish immigration following the potato famine led to longstanding issues in our immigration policies. Immigration also became a major factor leading to the Civil War.