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During the progressive era, tens of millions of immigrants pertained to the United states from Europe to meet their American dream. During this period most came from southern and eastern Europe, particularly from Italy, Russia, and also the Slavic countries. Numerous of the "new" immigrants come from bad regions and also often had tiny formal education; literacy, therefore, ended up being a benchmark for your acceptability together Americans.

You are watching: The immigration restriction league

The immigrant Restriction league (IRL), established by Harvard graduates and led through Prescott F. Hall, lobbied because that stricter rules on immigration. In 1903, the IRL attracted up a report to controversy its case and identify those immigrant it reputed "undesirable," as opposed to those "whose character and standards fit them to end up being citizens":

hile there has been some boost in the immigrant from Northern and also Western Europe, the an excellent proportion of immigration has actually come as usual indigenous the less preferable races of Southern and Eastern Europe, and also there has actually been a significant influx of illiterate Japanese.

William Williams, Commissioner at brand-new York, is quoted as declaring that, together a an outcome of this demographic shift,

at the very least 200,000 (and more than likely more) aliens came right here who, although castle may have the ability to earn a living, yet room not wanted, will certainly be the no advantage to the country, and will, top top the contrary, be a detriment, due to the fact that their existence will tend to lower our standards.

In 1917, this significant lobbying group, through the assist of an effective political allies, gained Congress to pass a proficiency test as part of the 1917 immigrant Act. The IRL essentially identified which ethnic groups had the "character and also standards" worthy of accept in America.

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inquiries for conversation

Read the development and study the complete pamphlet. Then use your understanding of American background to prize the complying with questions:

Imagine that you could interview Prescott F. Hall of the immigration Restriction League. Exactly how would he explain the factor for the establishment of the immigrant Restriction League and its objectives, and also how would certainly you respond?By nationality, i m sorry potential immigrants would have actually been included amongst the immigrant Restriction League’s “less desirable races”?According to the immigrant Restriction League, what would have been the impact on the United says of the continued admission that “undesirables”?Who did william Williams, Commissioner at new York, organize responsible because that encouraging immigration at the turn of the century?Click here for a printer-friendly version.