Immigration from England
My family decided to move to the US from England because of the low wages in our town. The wages here were said to be much better, and the people seemed to be welcoming. My family and I are Catholics, while the rest of the country is Protestant. However, most people treat us as equals when discussing topics other than religion. We are allowed to talk about our culture and experiences. My family lives near other Catholic immigrants from Germany.
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Although they are well-educated and literate people, they have a harder time because they do not speak English as well as we do. Our family had enough money to settle into a nice neighborhood, and I found a job without any complications. We’ve been living in the US for a couple of years, and I see the growth of the community around us. I encouraged my brother to move here because the conditions are much nicer than they are back in England.
My family does not feel pressured to be assimilated, as we do not want to change our location or leave. While some people are negatively inclined when they talk to us, most citizens are welcoming. My career is evolving steadily, although I hear that some workers feel threatened by immigrants and the possibility of lowering wages. Some of the people I work with propose a strike. I do not want to engage in anything that might threaten my family’s peace.
However, I want to support my new community. My new friends and I spend some evenings together. There are many ways of recreation in America, but the most popular way to spend leisure time is baseball (Nichols & Unger, 2017). Playing baseball or watching other teams play takes up most of the time on weekends for everyone in this neighborhood.
I firmly believe in the “American dream” as an equal opportunity for everyone to achieve success. The American dream is achievable for us and everyone else if people work hard enough. Although my family came to this country with some money, we were able to acquire even more and find stable living conditions. The businesses help people achieve this dream, as they help people to find work and move up the corporate ladder. Moreover, the communities and their activities also contribute to the American dream. Group sports and variety shows help many workers to fight city congestion and rest from work (White, 2017).
Most of these leisure opportunities are accessible to Americans as well as immigrants, such as my family and neighborhood. In my opinion, the people who do not want to see more immigrants enter the country restrict the opportunities of achieving the American dream. Although my community is not filled with immigration protesters, some people still fear that immigrants are bringing new religions and cultures to the country while taking away the jobs and freedoms of American citizens. However, most of these sentiments are not directed at me.
Immigration from China
Relocating from China to the USA was a thought that I considered for a long time before I moved. My intentions were to explore the new opportunities of the West and to earn more money than I could in my home town. The country and its citizens met me with mixed emotions. While I knew that my labor was needed, the attitude of the earlier generations was not welcoming or polite. Political equality and religious freedom that was preached by various pamphlets and papers in China were hard to find here (Adams, 2014).
I settled in the area with other Chinese residents and families, where we were able to speak Chinese and preserve some of our traditions (Adams, 2014). Many of the Chinese immigrants were men who came to this country to work and send money back to their families. We all worked on the railroads, which were advertised as a place with high wages and equal opportunities.
At first, I wanted to stay in America, but I later decided to leave and go back to China under the pressure of my co-workers and superiors. I wanted to participate in the new culture, but I was separated from immigrants from other countries.
Many of the Unions, which were created to protect worker’s rights, accepted only educated and English-speaking workers. Therefore, many Chinese men continued to work in harsh conditions for lower rates without the ability to engage in a strike. Working hours were long, so there was no opportunity for many people to rest properly. Many types of recreation that were situated in the urban neighborhood did not welcome me because of my race. I saw adverts for variety shows and musicals that parodied immigrants and played on people’s feelings of safety and individuality.
Many people came to the US to pursue the American dream. However, when met with racism and prejudice, the majority of immigrants realized the harsh truth behind this idea. Although in the beginning, my labor was seen as needed, with time, the tensions grew, and my community was accused of stealing jobs and being in the wrong place. Many workers opposed monopoly and big corporations believing that they ruined the idea of American freedom of action. The anti-immigration sentiments significantly affected my time in America and the lives of many Chinese people, who decided to stay in the country. These people lost most of their rights and were neglected many opportunities.
Adams, B. (2014). Old and new New Englanders: Immigration and regional identity in the Gilded Age. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Nichols, C. M., & Unger, N. C. (Eds). (2017). A companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
White, R. (2017). The republic for which it stands: The United States During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.