Teaching Resources: Immigration Course


Americans All: Foreign-born Soldiers and World War I by John McNamara and Ron Nash

Late 19th- and Early 20th-Century Immigration and Migration: History through Art (Grades 6–12) by Tim Bailey


Verses on Norwegian Emigration to America, 1853

San Francisco’s Chinatown, 1880

Statue of Liberty, 1884

Map of the Foreign-Born Population of the United States, 1900

Immigration Cartoon, 1916


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“Coming to America: Ellis Island and New York City” by Vincent J. Cannato

“‘The New Colossus’: Emma Lazarus and the Immigrant Experience” by Julie Des Jardins

“The 1965 Immigration Act: Opening the Nation to Immigrants of Color” by Tom Gjelten

“Immigrants and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798” by Terri Diane Halperin

“Why Immigration Matters” by Thomas Kessner

“Immigrant Fiction: Exploring an American Identity” by Phillip Lopate

“‘In the Name of America’s Future’: The Fraught Passage of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act” by Maddalena Marinari

“The Dillingham Commission and the ‘Immigration Question,’ 1907–1921” by Robert Zeidel


US Immigration since 1850: A Statistical and Visual Timeline

Immigration: An American Story


“The Quest for Equality: European Immigration, Part 1” by Matthew Jacobson

“The Quest for Equality: European Immigration, Part 2” by Matthew Jacobson

“Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America” by Erika Lee

“Immigration since 1965” by Mae Ngai


Lecture 1

What does it mean to “think like a historian”?

How can we use past events to better understand current events?

Lecture 2

What is the difference between colonists and immigrants?

What conflicts arose between Irish Catholic immigrants and native-born Protestants in the mid-1800s?

Lecture 3

Why were Jewish immigrants categorized by religion, rather than country of origin, as had been done in the past?

What prompted the second big wave of immigration?

Lecture 4

Why does Professor Cannato feel the experience of Chinese immigrants differs from the experiences of immigrants from other Asian countries?

What were the push and pull factors for Chinese immigrants?

What kinds of discrimination did Chinese immigrants face in America?

Lecture 5

Why was immigration to the United States restricted at the beginning of the 20th century?

Why did opponents of immigration to America advocate for literacy requirements?

What was the Bracero Program?

Lecture 6

How did the Immigration Act of 1965 differ from previous legislation?

Why did the United States so often use quotas when it came to immigration?