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Reviews the history of immigration to the United States up to the restrictive law passed in 1924. A dramatized scene in a European steamship office is used to show the economic, political and religious motives for immigration. Contains scenes of Ellis Island and New York City in the early 20th century.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc.
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Immigration; Diversity; U.S. History: 1900-1927
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: All That to Immigarate to the US?
You, you, you, you...you mean..learn the English language in school? Go through some kinda process where they weed out criminals? Check people for bedbugs and stuff? Turn some people away? Yikes! What was that all about? Thank God they just opened up the derned borders and let 'em all in like flies through an open screen door. Just think, we probably have less government employees nowadays because we dont have to staff those busy immigration posts anymore. And after all, its easier to follow terrorists and drug cartels when they're in your own backyard, isn't it? Makes sense to me.
Yes onward and upward! As I view this horrid film of the utter people abuse of yesteryear, I realize America is on the right track!
Subject: Made after W.W.II
A 1946 film shortly made after World War II. Of course it was going be optimistic. It conceintrates on the major groups that immigrated here in the 19th and first quarter of the twentieth century. While a more enlightened and accurate history of our country is taught now, for its time it did a good job.
Subject: A Small World After All
An optimistic and assimilationist history of immigration to America made in 1946. Since just about all of the immigrants we see in this film are white, they easily fit themselves into American life. Interestingly, the film mentions membership in trade unions as one of the ways that different immigrant groups learn to ÃÂÃÂwork together.ÃÂÃÂ Trade unions were still viewed positively in 1946, but as the postwar years went on and anti-communist hysteria took hold in America, that would unfortunately change.
According to the film, immigrants came to America in order to be able to own land, hold independent political views and escape religious persecution. But does America really represent those freedoms anymore? As the years go on America is starting to become more and more like the oppressive Old Countries our ancestors wanted so badly to get away from.
Subject: Welcome all of you white people!
A pretty shocking and historically incorrect film which first blurts out that everyone in the United States is an immigrant, blatantly ignoring any mention of American Indians. Then we the atypical european family arriving from wherever they were to Ellis Island. We know that they'll have a nicer time here because we don't mind your religion or language (but color is another story all together it seems). This is a fairly historically important film, for all the wrong reasons.