1. Read the text given below and find the answers to the following questions:
a) What lies in America's diversity?
b) Where did the 'old' immigrants tend to settle?
c) Where did the so-called 'new' immigrants settle?
d) Did the immigrants assimilate or did they preserve their culture?
e) Immigrants have accelerated the economic growth of the US, have not they? How?
f) Is unemployment a direct result of immigration?
The "roots of American diversity" lie in immigration. America is diversity. Thus both the richness of the heritage and the problems the Americans face today - and the keys to the solution of tomorrow - lie in this diversity.
There are also changing factors in the patterns of immigration. When both the colonial European and "old" wave immigrants came, there was a push to leave the seaboard and go to the west. The so-called "new" immigrants coming in the late nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century, tended to stay in the cities. It is true, however, that the "nordics" that came during that period, settled in the Mid-West. Today's wave of immigrants go to all states, but they tend to congregate on just six: New York, California, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois and Texas. That has rather profound implications for the political process.
Earlier groups suffered through some loss of their cultural heritage. To some it was no loss. But the vastness of the country, an economic system that encouraged the learning of English for the marketplace, and a political system that encouraged naturalization and voting in English - made for assimilation. The problem in this area today is that while the economic push is there, the political system is allowing voting in other (Spanish) languages. It could be a trend that will have culture-altering effects on the nation.
America's emergence as a major power, coincided with the major waves of immigration. This is not to say that it could not have developed without, for example, the "new" immigrants. But it would have been without the rapidity. The immigrants brought skills, or a strong body, at a time that the industrialization did not require excessive training. The great expansion of the period 1865 to 1910 would not have been possible without them. In fact, the Americans often take a very limited view of their role. For not only were they laborers, but also the consumers: they were a market. Most immigrants came at the prime age in life to join the work force. So the society as a whole did not have the costs of "rearing them to a working age."
It has been demonstrated in the current wave of illegal aliens that immigrants do not take jobs other Americans want. Their presence here is an absolute must for society. They do not take jobs away from "older" Americans during depressions.
Contrary to a widely held view not all immigrants begin at the bottom and work their way to the top. Some start at the top as noted by the President's Commission on Immigration and Naturalization when it drew up the following list:
"No roster of leading Americans in business, science, arts and the professions could be complete without the names of many immigrants. In our history the following aliens may be mentioned, among many, who became outstanding industrialists: Andrew Carnegie (Scot) in the steel industry; John Jacob Astor(German) in the fur industry; the DuPonts(French) of the munitions and chemical industry; Charles L.Fleischmann(Hungarian) of the yeast business; David Sarnoff(Russian) of the radio industry; and William S.Knudsen(Danish) of the automobile industry.
Immigrant scientists and inventors. . . whose genius has benefited the United States are Albert Einstein (German) in physics; Michael Pupin(Serbian) in electricity; Enrico Fermi(Italian) in atomic research; John Ericsson(Swedish) who invented the ironclad ship and the screw propeller; Guiseppe Bellanca(Italian) and Igor Sikorsky(Russian) who made outstanding contributions to airplane development; John A.Udden(Swedish) who was responsible for opening the Texas oil fields; Lucas P.Kyrides(Greek), industrial chemistry; David Thomas(Welsh) who invented the hot blast furnace; Alexanger Graham Bell(Scot) who invented the telephone; Conrad Huber(Russian) who invented the flashlight; and Otto Mergenthaler(German) who invented the linotype machine ..
The list is endless for Americans are all immigrants. "
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