The Golden Door

Essay by Exotic105University, Master'sA+, May 2005

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Ever since the birth of the Untied States in 1776, the nation has attracted immigrants from all over the world. To the oppressed and poor of many countries America represents the land where dreams of Horatio Alger myths came true. To these people, immigrating to America was considered their salivation from starvation, a life of suffering and even death. Once these immigrants decided to embark on their voyage to America, it marked the beginning of a new life filled with new opportunities

Numerous immigrants set out to America in search of better economic and occupational opportunities. During the 1880's, the greatest influx of immigrants came to America from Southern and Eastern Europe. This period was referred to as the Second Wave of immigration.. Two particular ethnic groups that arrived in large numbers were the Italians and Jews. The promise of immediate employment, political and economic freedom lured these groups to America.

The Italians and Jews came to this country with little or no financial resources or assets. They came with just their willingness and determination to work. Despite their economic setback, they were not confined to the realms of poverty. In America, they had the chance to move up in the occupational ladder and escape the confines of an underprivileged class.

In Europe, mobility was only restricted to the wealthy and privileged; however in America mobility was open to all sects of people whether American -born, immigrants or their children. Over any given period of time anyone had the chance to move up in the social ladder. Thomas Kessner's The Golden Door provides evidence that proves that mobility was both rapid and widespread. Upon their arrival these immigrants were only able to obtain menial jobs, such as laborers and peddlers, but with time and hard work they found higher levels...

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