Immigration to the USA

… Twenty seven million white immigrants entered the United States between 1880 and 1924. Two thirds of these so-called new immigrants came from different parts of Europe that were economically underdeveloped. In the first decade of the 20 th century, about six million immigrants arrived from Russia, Austria, Hungary and Italy. They were drawn by the flourishing manufacturing sector of the economy. They not only brought their labour force but also their skills that were vital to industries such as construction and textile. Nevertheless, their customs and culture struck native-born, Americans who considered them as impossible to assimilate.

T hat phenomenon did not last forever. With the end of the colonial empires in the fifties and sixties and emergence of independent Asian and African countries, a new law was voted: The 1964 Hart-Cellar Act. This law gave equal access to Asians, Africans, Latin-Americans and Europeans. Since then, over eight million legal immigrants have entered the United Stated, about half of them from the Third World.

The new immigrants are likely to change the composition of the American population. Some demographers predict that by 2030, American and Europeans roots will not be a majority. Even the dominance of the English language is seen as uncertain. The problem is whether the diversity of origins will continue to maintain American Society as united as it has been so far.

A. Find in the text words or phrases that mean almost the same as …

  1. a period of ten years
  2. understand
  3. poorer countries of Asia, Africa and South America
  4. variety

B. Fill in the chat with information from the text.

number of immigrants

countries of origin

period

between 1880 and 1924

from the Third World

C. True or false? Justify.

  1. Native-born Americans reacted against the new immigrants’ culture and customs.
  2. The Hart-Cellar Act continued to favour European immigrants.

D. Answer the questions.

  1. How did the new immigrants contribute to the development of the American industry?
  2. Is the American population likely to change in the coming years? Explain!

Key

Exercise A

  1. decade
  2. assimilate
  3. Third World
  4. diversity

Exercise B

number of immigrants

countries of origin

period

18 million

from underdeveloped countries of Europe

between 1880 and 1924

about 4 million

from the Third World

from 1964

Exercise C

  1. True . Nevertheless, their customs and culture struck native-born Americans who considered them as impossible to assimilate.
  2. False . This law gave equal access to Asians, Africans, Latin-Americans and Europeans.

Exercise D

  1. The new immigrants contributed to the development of the American industry through their skills in the fields of construction and textile.
  2. Yes. According to the writer, some demographers predict that in the coming years, European-root Americans will not make the majority of the US society; consequently, English will not be the dominant language

2 commentaires:

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