History | United States Immigration History
A300 | 27507 | Marsh


A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only

The story of America is, in large part, the story of immigrants
trying to make new lives for themselves here. In order to understand
America today, then, we must explore the history of immigration to
the United States. In this course we will look at several groups of
immigrants, including: the “first” immigrants—both voluntary and
involuntary—to colonial America; the experiences of immigrants in
Indiana before the Civil War; the “new” immigrants from southern and
eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century; Japanese-
American experiences during World War II; and Mexican immigration in
the late twentieth century.

By the end of the class, we will have a sense of the forms anti-
foreignism has taken in American history and the impact it has had
on immigrants' lives, how each new group of immigrants to America
has rekindled the debate over what it means to be “American,” and
how the experiences of immigrants in America often hinge more on
their ethnicity, gender, and race than on their individual talents,
skills, and hard work.

The goals for this course include: 1) to improve your critical and
evaluative skills in the handling of a variety of primary and
secondary sources; 2) to improve your ability to express yourself in
writing in a clear, logical, and persuasive manner; and 3) to give
you an understanding of significant events, themes, and debates in
American immigration history.