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In trying to understand why people migrate, some scholars emphasize individual decision-making, while others stress broader structural forces. Many early scholars of migration emphasized the importance of "push" and "pull" factors. According to this viewpoint, people decide to leave their homeland when conditions there are no longer satisfactory and when conditions in another area are more attractive.In recent years, many scholars have argued that a thorough understanding of the decision to migrate involves looking at various...
The study of migration encourages us to think about the process of cultural adjustment and adaptation that takes place after migrants move from one environment to another. In the early twentieth century, Americans commonly thought of migration in terms of a "melting pot," in which immigrants shed their native culture and assimilated into the dominant culture. Today, we are more likely to speak of the persistence and blending of cultural values and practices.Assimilation: Absorption into the cultural tradition of another group...
Recommended readings about immigration and immigrant life.
Many of our most memorable images of the past come from movies. Films set in the past provide a vivid record of history: of the “look,” the clothing, the atmosphere, and the mood of past eras. Nevertheless, movies remain a controversial source of historical evidence. Because moviemakers are not held to the same standards as historians, historical films often contain inaccuracies and anachronisms. Further, films frequently blur the line between fact and fiction and avoid complex ideas that cannot be presented visually.Of course,...
The following charts are presented in the book The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930 by Kenneth T. Jackson. The first chart represents the states with the highest recorded membership in the Klan during this time period. The approximate numbers are based on the estimates of former members, media reporters, and Klan documents. The second two charts provide a comparison between Klan members’ occupations in Winchester, IL, and Chicago, IL, during the years 1922-1923. This information comes from publication of Klan membership in an...
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based units. These units were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Through this step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.
Over the course of four lessons, students will compare and contrast the dangers of the American West in the mid-to-late nineteenth century as described in the short story “To...