Becoming American: 19th - 20th Century Immigration

Teacher: Beth Olesen
Extra Help: Tuesday, 3-4 PM, Room 149 or by appointment.

Course Overview

Essential QuestionsWhat does it mean to be "American"? What does it feel like to be an immigrant? How has immigration influenced the U.S.? Why is it important to regulate immigration? 

During this course you will dive into the tumultuous world of the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many groups of immigrants from a wide variety of countries decided to come to the U.S. during that time period. Some immigrated out of hope for a richer and more liberated future, some out of desperation, and others as a way to escape the oppression they faced in their native countries. We will seek to understand select groups’ experiences of immigration as well as the long-ranging effects immigration has had on the trajectory of U.S. politics, cities, and economics. 

Unit 1: Early to late 19th century Immigration: Industrialization, Urbanization, and Irish Immigration

EQs: What were the major changes in the US economy and social conditions in the mid-and late 1900? Why did Irish immigrants come to the U.S., and how were they received and perceived once in the country? How did your, your friends’, or prominent U.S. citizens’ ancestors come to the U.S.?

Assessments: Quiz, Ancestry Investigation

Unit 2: Radicalization and Reform: The Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, and the "New Wave" of Immigrants

EQs: How are movements created? What makes a movement successful? How did the U.S. live up to its ideals of liberty, justice, equality, and freedom in its treatment of 19th and early 20th century immigrants and laborers?

Project: Progressive Era Movement Photograph Presentation

Unit 3: Drawing Parallels: Chinese Immigration and Immigration Today

EQs: Are undocumented immigrants criminals? Why is it important to regulate (make laws about) immigration? Does the U.S. have a responsibility to other countries' citizens? 

Projects: Capstone Project - Immigration Today Thesis Essay; Immigrant Interview