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The Uprooted Essay

718 words - 3 pages

The UprootedIt is historian Oscar Handlin's thesis that the demand that immigrants assimilate and surrender their separateness made them adjust to the American way of life; but they were treated immorally and were condemned under the shadow of consciousness that the immigrants were strangers and outsiders that would never belong.Immigrants would come with minds and spirits fresh for new impressions; and being in America would make Americans of them. The sense of being welcome gave them the assurance that their struggles to build a new life would be regarded with sympathy. The expression of doubts that some parts of the population might not become fully American implied the existence of a ...view middle of the document...

To subscribe to a newspaper was one of the acts of a citizen of the New World. People changed their names. August Bjőrkegren decided to be called Burk, and Andry Blumberg, Kelly. There were matters in which they wished to be like others, undistinguished from anyone else, but they never hit upon the means of becoming so. In truth, these people found it difficult to know what were "American forms" they were expected to take on. What they did know was that they had not succeeded, that they had not established themselves to the extent that they could expect to be treated as if they belonged where they were.The Immigrants were constantly treated immorally and blamed for the disorders in the country. They were first accused of poverty. Indeed to citizens, the ghettos were altogether alien territory associated with filth and crime. American social scientists approached their subject through the analysis of specific disorders such as criminality, intemperance, poverty, and disease. Everywhere they looked, they found immigrants somehow involved in these problems. They concluded that immigrants...

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