We spent a week of class discussing the role of immigration in the US economy in the wake of the Civil
War – it’s changing composition, evolving US immigration policy, and the economic impacts. As part of
that discussion, we brainstormed “push” and “pull” effects that likely influenced migrants’ decisions to
leave a home country and migrate to a new country. As conditions in the US and abroad have changed,
so have the flows and composition of immigrant populations.
This assignment asks students to explore the history of US immigration from a nation of your choosing.
For the nation that you chose, you will explore the history of immigration from that country to the United
States, identifying any periods where there were exceptionally large flows of migrants. For such a time
period, students will identify the push and pull factors affecting that population during that time. For full
credit on this assignment, write an essay addressing each of the following:
1. Identify a nation of origin (or a group of people) that have contributed to US immigration.
Briefly discuss the nation/group you have identified, and provide a brief history of when US
immigration from that nation began and how those immigration flows have changed over time.
2. Choose a notable time period of immigration from the nation you have chosen, and discuss the
push and pull factors influencing the decision to migrate to the United States during that period.
Ideally this time period is one of exceptionally large immigration flows from the nation you
chose. This discussion should include (i) what were the push factors influencing migrants’
decisions to leave their home country during that time – was there economic, political, social, or
violent conflict? Similarly, (ii) what were the pull factors at play – was there already a large
community here in the US, what was going on in the US economy, and what other factors may
have influenced the decision to relocate in the United States?
3. Research and discuss the immigration experience.
Lastly, spend some time researching the immigration experience of this migrant population. Did
they tend to locate in specific regions? Did they tend to find economic opportunities in specific
industries, or have they made major economic contributions through innovation or
entrepreneurship? Have they faced any challenges in assimilating and integrating into the US?
While there is no formal length requirement, I expect that the final product should be anywhere between
3 and 6 pages. Grading will be based upon the accuracy and degree to which you address the criteria
outlined above. Full credit requires a thoughtful and thorough discussion of each. Please use MLA style
for your citations and please double-space your document.