Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    Oct 01, 2023  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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HIST 4252 - Migration and the Peopling of America: A Perennial Debate

(crosslisted) AMST 4252 , SOC 4240 
(HA-AS, HST-AS)      
Fall. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Offered in Washington, D.C.

K. Benton-Cohen.

This seminar offers a hands-on approach to US immigration history from the colonial era to the present. In addition to learning the contours of the surprising history of immigration to the United States from all corners of the world, including the impact of questions of legal status, gender, and race, students will strive to develop a sophisticated sense of the historical context of today’s immigration debates and issues, with the opportunity to learn about these issues in Washington DC. In the late 19th century, for example, the native born often saw Southern Italian, Eastern European Jewish, and Chinese immigrants as threats to their jobs, their health, and their cultural values. Restrictionists in Congress sought to close the door through legislation or administrative regulation. Others, such as settlement house workers, sought to “Americanize” newcomers and assimilate them into the American population. Immigrants were often aware of the double message and sought to negotiate a place in American society that allowed them to succeed economically while retaining their identities. The debate continues today as millions of migrants from Latin America and Asia, documented and undocumented, arrive. After a discussion of indentured servitude and slavery (involuntary migration) this course seeks to examine the perennial debate over voluntary immigration through the eyes of both native-born Americans and through immigrants eyes to the present. 

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