Race and Ethnicity it) the
Our Differencesand Our Roots
Eastern Kentucky University
Australia • Canada • Mexico • Singapore • Spain • United Kingdom • United States
The "NrJJ lmmigt ·tmtI " a11dtht 014 Minoriiia: I UO-J Mi • t 79
'Each point on gnph includes
New Immigrants from Europe
The United States rece ived much of its modern character from European immigni nt s who arrived between J880 and 1914. The ir numbers alone-26 million new
Americans-w uld Jea\·e a perm2nent m.r · Although 11n11ugrnnts
(both Proum11n1 and Catholic), , candinn ia, 2nd the Bmish
Isles, snurhca. tern Europe w~. the SO\lrce of mosr (Figure 6. 1). People from C4~t·
cm Genmny, Poland, Russia, July, Greece. Hunl!'ary- all the lav1c counmcSarrivcd in cw York harbor looking for opporrun i~•. ffeeing Oppre~. inn. or both.
pAcc constraints prohlhu doing even minimal 1us ice to this mass of humonicy.
Ra,b.er than rrymg w 1ell tou many scories, we focu. on two groups-Jt~r.~~s
and casrern l:uropc11nJew-to provide a A.a,·oro the ,i1..-ersm·of the..senew 11nm1gr~m.sand 1he dme in istory !.heyarrived. Thcs rwo grou p5, ere ~clccml for
·che s11,e of rhclr ,mmtl!'ration plus their cultural di f..rcnccs from m~m rrcam
The first Italians co enter the United States were men, either single or craveli.og
out their wives and children. ~vpicaUy,they were of working-age uns1:Wed(44 per·
cent), and illitt:race (Brown, 1989; Cohen M, J 992)..The primary go:il
to earn moner in the new country and rerurn home ni th it ns they had m me past
(Cohen M, 1992). Now ch~tthe Atlantic crossing was quicker, Sil er, and chuper wlth
the coming of the steamship, it was possible for these men to go back ~ndforth several times before finall}'bringing their familiesover. ln many cases, 11
i es and children
would remain i-nItaly for decades before being permanentl · reunit ed with the_ir hus·
bands and fathers. By J 900, the Italian community 1n the United Smcs w-..ssoll only
:5 percent women (Friedman-Kaaba, J996).
Al, with most European unmigrants Ii-omthe mld-J800s on, most ltahans became
urlr.init~ Ut the Un1~d totes. B the 1880s, almost all European immigrants were
heing routed thruugh the immigration processing cemer on Ellis Island in ~e New
lon, 1 ·e-i· YorkCity was their first ei-perienceof Amenca. One
I RO• Part Two 11.ir C= of C/111rnaei,:
Thr "Ntw /r,rwig r1111
,.;" a11dthe Old Minodr:ies:1880-1965 • 181
could ?1'd work_there .ancl move into 11p-owmg lcah:111
ethruc community "'here life
s:emca less for:1gu. Sult, it c!W J,ipnnese entrepreneu rs were noc in direct competition with Ew-opean
American businessmen (who di,l nol, for ex~mplt, grow ~trnwherrics), their success
only increased the pr·111C:.t · .\111cncJ11 f.1111ik }:, 111:.
l /, ·..!C)l~l':111/11\
p·HC111$ ., '
the rs \\'t'l' I! rht· ult111;!1t1:
11mh11nci~I .. c, ~ l,1rae1criic< )' ~cro:,~ lc.1.lcrsh1p. F:r.11J1h(\nt\ ,\ 1 h .. • . , d
, >Ill ,lln r l('r~ t\u1111:1111l.'J con,irlcrahlc infor:11,1'
· · ot 'r.; ,lf!ll\1 c~ "·en• pnrttl'llhrh ,·1
~po:1,illlc/or t:,lrlv childhnt>d~ :1 I . . 1' . ' lf1(')11~n
t ll~\111"l 1' 11l
·1 l 1·n 1c
I , 't''
,,clc "' l ,~ pu iht· ~dt ofll ,_,·s1~111. l . ,,. the
' , 111,C'g:.11c,rn \11i.·nl·;111 ,·hildrc:1. '\1sc.: 1 children c, cll ·d . 1·, I . I lCt < 11us-c.
\ Vhc~ he
was gone shi smocl thcr" smashing cups and
l.tuwlsand platters until the whole ~ct lay in
scattered blue.and white frogrnenu across the
.\lleanwhilc, the W3r Reloc;itinn Auth ricy (WRA) was crcateci to form :1nd run
the relocation eirnp.s. As the ,amp!i lilted, the Cnited . mes govcmmcn1 began to
con ider th pn. ibility of lln all-J3panesc American uni in the army Becnu e he
UnmJ , taf military v~ssti)I racially segregated in World V :ir n. this umr wonltl
consi~iof only Japanese Amer can troops led b - Eur ope an :\mcric-anoffic1:rs.On Februar:yl, 194 ~, Secrc ary o \,\,' r timson annuunc:cdthe formanon rhc 4-llnd Reg-
imcnral Combat Tc-am. Tite Selective Semce Sy cm originally had cl. ssificd the
1'.isci-ru:4-C (th~ 3lm: SU! Ii as cncm~ aliens), but their clii:ss1fic:arion
was ehnnged to
I ·A, making them a11A1lable
for the ,traft.rIawaiianJapnnese A.rneriCllns
majority()(this new unit , bur_ isd in the camps 11
~llinl!to ~ign lo)•a!tyoaths also, ere
eligible. They were tr. ined 3nd sent to Europe to fight whiletheir familie5remained
tn the relocationcamps.
The 442nd I ould nlrimalel)• see 111.000, ' isei men in it; service, most o( I.hem
volu1ueers.By the end or the war, they had reccivecl9,4 6 c sualriesand been \\3rded
h1alciccnr:irfons1m: udingonc Congrcss1or1nl
Nlcdal of Honor (19 rotal
were aw rc!e
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