Jews Left Russia and Eastern Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

From Jessica McElrath, Your Guide to African-American History)."

In addition to the renaissance the new found self-confidence and pride that was found by Southern Blacks who moved north also impacted the work environment.

Social protest was not only possible it was available to those who were not happy with their working conditions in the North (the BLACKS and the UNIONS ( it was extremely oppressed compared to the life of African-Americans today, it was still a far cry and significantly better than anything they had experience in the south up to that point.

Currently the nation is facing a social crisis when it comes to the plight of Mexican immigrants. Whether they are here legally or illegally there are an estimated 12 million Mexicans working and living inside the American boundaries. If one were to compare their plight to those of the Southern blacks they would find several similarities. They arrived on foot, by boat or through any means they could just as long as they could get here. They did it because they heard many stories about the prosperity of the American people and they believed if they could only get to America they too would have a chance at that prosperity.

It is rare to hear of a Mexican immigrant who was doing well financially back in his or her homeland. In fact it is almost unheard of and instead the millions of Mexican immigrants are usually from poverty stricken families and have often times been sent here to work and send money home to their children.

Many of the Mexican immigrants grew up in Mexico in poverty. When they first arrive they ar4e hesitant to look people in the eye and they are afraid to speak up for their rights. This is also how it was for many of the Southern Blacks that arrived in the Northern part of the nation.

They have heard about America probably in much the same way that the Southern Blacks would hear stories about the North. Once the immigrants arrive however they find that it is not the land of gold they believed it to be though it is much better than the circumstances that they left behind. They get jobs that nobody else will take, which was also something that many Southern Blacks found themselves doing when they arrived in the north. They work for lower wages because they are willing to do so which was also experienced by Southern Blacks.

Even given the hardships that the Mexican immigrants experience when they get to America they are also given a new sense of pride because they are making more money than they ever made at home and they are able to send money home to their waiting families.

For those who bring their families with them they are able to look their children in the eye and tell them that they will receive an education and will be able to become anything that they want to if they work hard and pay attention in school. The sense of pride and confidence that they are given is not really given to them it is earned by them with their hard work and dedication. They have left their homeland and come to a nation where they don't usually speak the language. They have managed to find work, find places to live and placed their children in the public school system. They are able to eat, send money home and have a little left over to purchase things that their children eye in the local store. These are all things that give them a sense of pride and accomplishment though the plight of Mexican immigrants is extremely similar to the Southern Black of yesteryear in the way they are often treated once they arrive in America.

Why did so many immigrants, both free and slave (and the descendents of slaves), return to their countries of origin after immigrating to the United States? And why did so many remain in the United States often despite severe obstacles to success? Pay special attention to national origin and the historical periods when different groups arrived. Do you see any parallels in this respect between overseas immigrant groups and indigenous native and Latino groups? Use several specific and concrete examples to support your views.

America has been known as the land of the free since its inception, though when the African-Americans arrived they found that they were anything but free for the most part. Immigrants have traveled to America almost since it began in the effort and quest to find a better life. Often times they have come because they herd stories of prosperity and gold if they could only get here and find work. Back in their homeland they would save money or entire families would put all of their money together to send one or two of the young strong family members to America so that they could strike it rich.

Once the immigrants arrived however they were often met with obstacles, problems and anger from those who were already living in America.

During American history many immigrants have come across the ocean or over the borders only to turn around and go back to their homeland after several months or years. There were many reasons for this to happen including politics, economics and other pressures that they did not foresee before making the trip.

At various times in history the government has made it extremely difficult for immigrants to get started in this country, while at other times it has been made much easier.

Whether or not the immigrants stayed also had a lot to do with what was going on in their homeland at any given time.

To illustrate this concept there are two significant examples in American history, the Russian Jews and the African-Americans.

The Jewish exodus from Russia caused millions of the Jewish population to flee the motherland and come to America to start anew.

They had to leave because of the extremely oppression and brutalization that they had begun to encounter in their homeland. Jews were prohibited from taking jobs, going to school or living any where but the designated run down ghettos. They were often physically attacked with little to no reason and instead of being able to turn to law enforcement for protection they had to hide because it was often law enforcement officers committing the attacks.

When they arrived in America they found a lifestyle of welcoming warmth. While they were not always dealt with fairly once they arrived they no longer had to fear being attacked with government support. They were allowed to work at any job they wanted to and get any educational level that they felt they wanted to attain. In addition they were encouraged to prosper and get ahead in life thereby being able to support their families and provide their children with a better life than they had left.

In contrast the African-Americans experienced almost the exact opposite when they arrived in America.

African-Americans were often shipped here as slaved. They had been kidnapped and sold on the Black Market and were put into ships to travel across the ocean in extremely harsh conditions. Only the strongest survived and for their hard one survival they were sold as slaves. Often times they wrenched away from their spouses and family members and sold away.

Those who did not arrive on a slave ship often immigrated here because their loved ones HAD been kidnapped and sold to America as slaves. The immigration was for the purpose of locating those loved ones and either buying them back or running away with them.

It is easy to understand with these two glaring examples standing side by side why some immigrant groups often returned home while others made America their forever place of residence. The African-Americans were not treated well and they wanted nothing more than to go home where they could be respected and given the chance at a life that would include their cultures and traditions.

They were not treated as if they were welcomed here and they were given a tremendous amount of abuse when they were here.

The Jewish that fled Russia got the kind of treatment in Russia that the African-Americans were receiving in America.

Because of these two differences and the government attitude about that treatment it is not difficult to understand why the Jewish by and large stayed in America while African-Americans often chose to return to their homeland if they had the chance.

Other immigrant groups followed suit. Many of the Irish immigrants eventually returned home to fight the religious battles that were ongoing there. In addition immigrants from other parts of the world had been perfectly content in their homeland but were struggling financially. They came to America to make some money then return to their homeland as soon as they could.

At various times in history the political climate of the nation also played…

Sources Used in Document:


People at Risk

Harlem Renaissance


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