Immigration Policies/ Internal Migration

  • Apr 1, 1492

    The First Americans

    The First Americans
    Sometime between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago (no BC timeline) Asian migrants crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska. Then they entered modern Canada, the US, and Mexico. Native Americans are the decedents of these people. When Columbus arrives in 1492, between 1-5 million Native Americans populated the US and Canada.
  • Spain Colonizes the New World

    Spain Colonizes the New World
    After Columbus started the "Contact Period" many "New World" goods entered Europe and many "Old World" goods entered the America's. This cultural exchange is known as the Columbian Exchange. During this period, Europe had the resources to set up colonies. Spain was the most dominant for nearly a century after Columbus arrived. They settled a number of coastal towns, and the conquistadors dominated the Natives in their exploration of the American territory.
  • Jamestown

    The first permanent English colony is founded. Its inhabitants included mostly young, single men, who spent much time in search of food. Tobacco, a cash crop, allowed the colony to survive.
  • Slaves

    As early as 1619, slaves started being imported from Africa and the West Indies to help support plantations in the southern colonies. By 1750, the black population would be over 200,000 and would outnumber whites in some southern states (SC). Slaves led to many problems in American history including the Civil War, and many rebellions. The Royal African Company lost its monopoly on the slave trade in 1698, which increased the number of American companies importing slaves.
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    The Great Puritian Migration (1630–1640) cont.

    However, the majority of these immigrants arrived in Massachusetts Bay, which was established by the Congregationalists. However, they were dissenters who were not tolerated in this colony. They included Roger Williamms and Anne Hutchinson who were banished from the colony.However, immigration to the North still differed from that to the South, for families tended to immigrate to the North, where mostly single males went to the South.
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    The Great Puritian Migration (1630–1640)

    The population of Massachusetts soared with about 21,000 immigrants arriving to New England. About 1 out of every 3 was from Britian. About 4,000 immigrants arrived on the North American coastline during this period every year. This migration influenced the development of the colonies and contributed to many long-lasting English institutions. People came for both religions, political, and economic reasons. The Seperatists (Puritans) left in search of religions freedom and arrived at Plymoth.
  • Coureurs de Bois

    Coureurs de Bois
    With Beaver Pelts in high demand, many French beaver trappers and Native Americans migrated across America in search for beaver. They traveled through Canada, Utah, Arkansas, Missouri, the Rocky Mountains, and ever the northern boarder of Spanish Texas. Initially, First Nations and Inuit people mainly trapped beaver, and they brought the furs to the trading posts. Later, some of the white men at the trading posts decided to try beaver trapping themselves. They learned from the initial trappers.
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    Ohio River Valley Migration

    Farmers moved to the Ohio River Valley to use the fertile land, which was more productive.
  • Life in the Colonies

    Life in the Colonies
    During 50 years, the population of the colonies increased by about 1 million people. During these years, many non-English populations developed. Scots-Irish, Scots, and Germans all had their own areas of settlement. For example, the Scots-Irish tended to settle along the frontier and the Germans in Pennsylvania. Over 90 percent of all colonists in this era lived in rural areas.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    In response to Pontiac's Rebellion, the British government issued the Proclamation of 1763, limiting the colonists freedom to expand. The goal of the act was the avoidance of future bloody Indian encounters. The British ruled that the colonists were not to settle west of the Appalachian mountains. However, many disregarded the Proclamation and continued westward.
  • Northwest Ordinance

    Northwest Ordinance
    The Ordinance abolished slavery in the Northwest and set regulations on territories becoming states. After the ratification of the Constitution, the US population doubled about every 20 years because of many immigrants. The US population was about 90% rural with 5% living west of the Appalachians. Soon after, in 1791, Vermont became the 14th state and Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio followed. As the population increased, more and more people migrated to these new states.
  • immigrant/emigrant

    In an early American textbook, Jedidiah Morse used the word "immigrant" mentioning '"many immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and some from France' living in New York. Previously writers had referred only to 'emigrants' but after 1789 the American language identified newcomers with the country they were entering rather than the country they had left.'" Source: UNC--> Perreira
  • Naturalization Law of 1790

    Naturalization Law of 1790
    Congress establishes a 2-year period for "free white persons" to gain citizenship through naturalization. Notably, it excludes freed African Americans, slaves, and later Asians. Naturalization Law of 1790 (TEXT)
  • The Naturalization Act of 1795

    The Naturalization Act of 1795
    Many Americans during the 1790's expressed concern towards the number of political refugees immigrating to America. The alarmed Americans, wanting to protect their liberties, modified the Act of 1790, by increasing the number of years for an immigrant to become naturalized from two to five. The Naturalization Act of 1795 (TEXT) <a href='
  • The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798

    The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798
    Congress increased the time immigrants must remain in the US to become citizens to 14 years from 5 years. It also allowed the president to deport any "dangerous" immigrants among other actions that discriminated against immigrants. "The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798from Folwell's 'Laws of the U.S.'"
  • The Alien and Sedition Acts Expire

    The Alien and Sedition Acts Expire
    Naturalization duration is reduced to 5 years.
  • The Louisiana Territory

    The Louisiana Territory
    Jefferson, faced with the bargain from Napoleon, shifted his political views to that of loose-construction to purchase this territory, which existed from July 4, 1805 until June 4, 1812, when it was renamed the Territory of Missouri. Jefferson also sent many people to explore the region, such as Lewis and Clark, who returned with favorable reports.
  • Jacksons' War

    Jacksons' War
    Many migrated into Indian land. There were several battles in which the Indians fought for ownership of their land. At the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Andrew Jackson crushed the Creek Indians. This had effectively broke the Indian resistance in the area east of the Mississippi. This made this area open to settlement, further expanding the US.
  • Acquiring Florida and Oregon

    Acquiring Florida and Oregon
    During Monroe's presidency, Oregon's boarders were agreed upon with the British. Pioneers slowly arrived in this new territory via the "Oregon Trail." The Oregon trail was used popularly throughout the 1840s. It was a 2000 mile trail that stretched across America. Many Americans already inhabited West Florida. During the war of 1812 America obtained the remainder of Florida. through the Adams-Onis treaty with Spain.
  • Steerage Act of 1819

    Steerage Act of 1819
    Legislation that includes the reporting of immigration on passenger ships and vessels. Analysis of Immigration and Race Laws
    --Also mentions the Chinese Exclusion Act
  • Immigration into Texas

    Immigration into Texas
    The Mexican Government promoted the settlement of Texas by offering cheap land to increase the population of the area. The problem was that most of the people who migrated here were Americans. Americans flooded into this region but did not relinquish their American citizenship or traditions such as slavery, which the Mexican government forbade.
  • Relocating the Indians

    Relocating the Indians
    Under Jackson's presidency, Native American nations were moved forcibly from southeastern parts of the present-day United States. Members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, and Choctaw nations are some Indian tribes that were forced to relocate to sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma along the "Trail of Tears"
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    Mormon Pioneers

    Mormons, lead by Bringham Young migrate to Utah.
  • Gold Discovered In California

    Gold Discovered In California
    Many people flock to the west coast in search of gold after it was discovered at Sutter's Mill. California soon becomes a state and its population exceeds 300,000. Migrating to California
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    California Gold Rush

    Thousands of people flock to California hoping to strike it rich. Millions of dollars are made.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo

    Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
    United States acquires what becomes Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, California, and parts of Utah and Nevada from Mexico for $15 million. The residents of the territory from Mexico were allowed to remain. However, they were subjected to much discrimination and would later make up a majority of American Southwest labor. The act also opened up these lands to settlers and fueled the slavery debate.
  • pre-Civil War immigration/migration

    pre-Civil War immigration/migration
    Many immigrants found the North more appealing than the South because of employment opportunities. This increased the economic and political power of the North. As more Americans moved West, California became a state- only after a slavery debate. Some blacks reached the North via the underground railway. And many people flocked to the Kansas/Nebraska territory to try to get the state to become slave or free. Additionally, petroleum was discovered in Pennsylvania which provided employment.
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    Tammany Hall and Immigrants

    n return for political support, the 'bosses' of Tamany Hall improved the situation for many immigrants entering the New World. Because the federal government did very little to aid the immigrants, Tammany Hall did have its benifits towards American society. What was Tammany Hall?I
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    Americans Move to the City

    Only about 20% of the American population lived in cities in 1860. This number doubled by 1900. Both farmers and immigrants seeking industrial employment greatly contributed to this rise.
  • Anti-coolie Law

    Anti-coolie Law
    ''An act to protect free white labor against competition with Chinese coolie labor, and to discourage the immigration of the Chinese into the State of California." Wikipedia Article on the Anti-Coolie Act
  • Homestead Act

    Homestead Act
    Provided applicants with 160 acres of cheap land. The Homestead Act was intended to encourage American settlement of the West. As a result, many people, seeking to start over again economically or wanting a steady farming job moved out west. Background Information and Text
  • Immigration Act of 1864

    Immigration Act of 1864
    Congress attempts for the first time to centralize immigration control. It was intended to encourage immigration, but it was repealed in 1868. It also authorized labor contracts to recruit laborers from foreign countries.
  • Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

    Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad
    This railroad line travelled from the East coast to the West coast of the United States, effectively allowing travel across the entire country. It was constructed by the Central Pacific Railroad Company who began in the West, and by the Union Pacific Railroad Company who began in the East. This line allowed the population the ability to easily spread to the Midwest for settlement. The Transcontinental Railroad
  • Henderson v. Mayor of New York

    Henderson v. Mayor of New York
    The Supreme Court of the United States “definitively barred state restrictions on immigration.” U.S. Government's Immigration Policy
  • Page Law

    Page Law
    States immigration to the US must be free and voluntary and set consequences for the violation of the above statement. Page Law TEXT
  • The Telephone

    The Telephone
    The telephone is invented by Bell. The phone made long distance communication almost instant, which allowed people to move further away from crowded cities. Telecommunication
  • Sitting Bull and his Followers Enter Canada

    Sitting Bull and his Followers Enter Canada
    After the Battle of the Little Big Horn, in an attempt to avoid a deadly conflict with the U.S. Army, Sitting Bull, along with some of his followers crosses into Canada. Video
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    Northern Great Plains Migration

    The Homestead Act encouraged immigration to the American Mid-West. Mostly farmers. The Great Plains
  • Chinese Exclusion Act

    Chinese Exclusion Act
    Prevented Chinese from immigrating to the US because they were believed to be a threat. More Information on the Chinese Exclusion Act
  • Contract Labor Law

    Contract Labor Law
    Prohibited the importation of foreigners under a contract to perform labor.
  • Dawes Act

    Dawes Act
    Congress significantly reforms the reservation system in which the male heads of family were given a specific allotment of land. Native Americans are pushed further off their native lands. All land not alloted to the Native Americans was sold. Dawes Act TEXT
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    Leaving Kansas

    Drought causes western Kansas to lose half of its population. “Fifty miles to water,/A hundred miles to wood,/To hell with this damned country,/I’m going home for good.”
    -Song about leaving the West, THE AMERICAN PAGEANT
  • Jane Addams founds Hull House

    Jane Addams founds Hull House
    Upon observing the plight and poor condition of the immigrants, Addams noticed that they needed to be taken care of. The government was doing very little, so she decided to act. Thus, she created a place for them to improve their condition in the city of Chicago. About Hull House
  • "Boomers" and "Sooners"

    "Boomers" and "Sooners"
    The federal government opened parts of Oklahoma to settlement. Over 50,000 Americans rushed in to stake their claims. Oklahoma History
  • Frederick Jackson Turner and the Frontier

    Frederick Jackson Turner and the Frontier
    The Census Bureau declares the frontier is closed. Turner writes a paper in which he argues the frontier shaped American society. The Frontier Thesis
  • Native Americans Confined to Reservations

    Native Americans Confined to Reservations
    By the 1890's nearly all Indian resistance ended. The white men now had nearly complete control of all American land. Indian History
  • Ellis Island Opened

    Ellis Island Opened
    President Benjamin Harrison designated the first Federal immigration station to be on this island.
  • Geary Act

    Geary Act
    The Chinese Exclusion Act is extended for ten more years.
  • Lillian Wald opens Henry St. Settlement

    Lillian Wald opens Henry St. Settlement
    Lillian Wald opens the Henry Street Settlement in New York. Here, nursing care and other aid to the new immigrants was provided. Wald opened this settlement house after seeing the immigrant poor first hand, and what little the government did to aid their plight.
  • Immigration Restriction League formed

    Immigration Restriction League formed
    This group attempted many times to pass a literacy requirement for U.S. entry. This group exemplifies the many American nativists opposed to the new waves of immigration. The new immigrants were different, and the nativists disliked change. Additionally, the new immigrants provided cheap labor, taking away employment opportunities.
    Immigration Restriction League (U.S.)
  • Hawaii

    In 1898, America granted Hawaii territorial status. In 1900, Hawaii was granted self-governance. The "Big-Five" continued to import cheap labor, and many Americans migrated to these islands, in hopes of "Americanizing" it. Examples of such people include missionaries, sailors, and traders. Filipinos also made up a significant percentage of the immigrants
  • Nativist Opposition

    Nativist Opposition
    The former group, the Immigration Restriction League, exemplified the many American nativists opposed to the new waves of immigration. The new immigrants were different, and the nativists disliked change. Additionally, the new immigrants provided cheap labor, taking away employment opportunities.
  • Anarchist Ban

    Anarchist Ban
    After McKinley is assassinated by an anarchist, Congress acts to prevent anarchists from entering the country
  • Indian Reservations

    Indian Reservations
    The Commissioner of Indian Affairs reported that in the US, in 1908, there were 161 reservations. In total, this amounted to 52,013,010 acres. Below, is a link to the names of the reservations. Indian Reservations Link
  • Gentlemen's Agreement

    Gentlemen's Agreement
    President "Teddy" Roosevelt engages in a deal with Japan. Japan agreed to restrict the number of laborers who would leave Japan to enter the United States.
    <a href='>Gentlemens Agreement</a>
  • The Mexican Revolution

    The Mexican Revolution
    During the Mexican Revolution, nearly 900,000 people migrated out of Mexico into the US. Through entering the US, the Mexicans were hoping to escape the danger and violence of the war. They also viewed America as a place where they could work and earn money.
  • Nickelodeons

    Nickelodeons were cheap movies that were very popular in the Progressive Era, especially among immigrant children who would imagine their parents were similar to the parents in the movies (offered a lot of freedom).
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    First Great Migration (African American)

    Millions of African Americans leave the South to escape racism and find jobs.
  • The Passing of the Great Race

    The Passing of the Great Race
    Madison Grant wrote this book, The Passing of the Great Race, during the Progressive Era. Among many other things, it called for immigrant restriction and absolute racial segregation.
  • Literary Test

    Literary Test
    After many years, the government finally enacts a literacy test, which prevented any illiterate immigrant above the age of 16 from entering the US. The test did not keep out a significant number of immigrants.
  • 1917 Immigration Act

    1917 Immigration Act
    An act that prevented "idiots, imbeciles, epileptics, alcoholics, poor, criminals, beggars, any person suffering attacks of insanity,...and those who have any form of dangerous contagious disease, aliens who have a physical disability that will restrict them from earning a living in the United States..., polygamists and anarchists" from entering the US. The act also imposed a tax on immigrants and barred many Asians from migrating to the United States-hence also known as Asiatic Barred Zone Act.
  • 1918 Wartime Measure

    1918 Wartime Measure
    An act that protects public safety through regulating the entrance and departure of peoples to and from the US and gives the government power to deal with these "criminals"
  • Emergency Quota Act

    Emergency Quota Act
    An act that sets temporary quotas on alien immigration into the United States is passed. The act favors Europeans, from both the North and the West.
  • Johnson Act

    Johnson Act
    This act further restricted European immigration to the United States, which increased the availability of jobs available to the Puerto Ricans who were now choosing to migrate in greater numbers. The passage of the Jones Act partially influenced the migration of Puerto Ricans into the US.
    Puerto Rico History
  • Japanese can not be citiznes

    Japanese can not be citiznes
    Supreme Court bars Japanese from citizenship.
  • American Indians Citizens?

    American Indians Citizens?
    American Indians are granted full citizenship.
  • National Origins Act

    National Origins Act
    This act defined the limits on the number of immigrants who could enter the US from foreign nations. It also defined those who count as exempt from this quota.
  • Leaving it all Behind

    Leaving it all Behind
    After the crash of the stock market and the down economy, many people were left homeless and forced to live in "Hoovervilles"- shantytowns of cardboard boxes and other cheap materials. These 'towns' were generally located in the larger cities. Additionally, many Mexicans in the Southwest returned to Mexico.
  • Dust Bowl

    Dust Bowl
    In the 1930s there was a prolonged draught in the southern Great Planes region. A combination of this draught, high winds, and poor farming techniques lead to massive dust storms. Tens of thousands of refugees fled to the West to states such as California to seek employment, but with low pay and poor housing, life remained miserable. The San Joaquin Valley in California was where most of the fleeing Dust Bowl farmers ended up.
  • The RA

    The RA
    The Resettlement Administration (RA) was a government agency that aimed at relocating struggling farmers to planned government communities.
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    2nd Great Migration (African American)

    African Americans tended to move to cities and to the Northwestern states. About 5 million African Americans migrated. This was partially the reaslt of the mechanical cotton picker, which decreased the demand for southern labor. This was also due to the fact that there was an increased demand for labor in the North because many laborors had gone off to fight in the war. Some Blacks even enlisted, but they served in segregated unites.
  • Smith Act

    Smith Act
    The Smith Act primarily made it illegal for anyone in the US to advocate the overthrowing of the government. But, this law also stated that all "alien residents" of the US, who were over 14years old, must fill out a statement of their status (occupational and personal) and of their political beliefs. By October about 5,000,000 aliens registered under this law aimed at targeting leftist political groups.
  • WWII

    During World War II, the American people put aside their differences for a common cause. This increased the rate of assimilation.
  • Japanese Internment

    Japanese Internment
    The American government sent west coast Japanese to internment camps with poor conditions. The government feared acts of Japanese espionage and viewed Japanese people (1st-Isei, 2nd, Nisei, and 3rd- Sansei generations) as a threat. After the war, they were released, but monetary reparations were only made later.
  • Chinese Exclusion Laws Repealed

    Chinese Exclusion Laws Repealed
    Chinese people can now immigrate to the US. The law that repealed the exclusion act is called the "Magnuson Act."
  • Bracero Program

    Bracero Program
    Men, and some women, who were previously in the workforce were now fighting in the war. In order to maintain successful production, those empty positions needed to be filled. The solution was found in Mexico. The US would bring Mexicans over to boarder and provide them with employment. This was the Bracero Program. The majority of "Braceros" found work on fields in the West.
  • Native Americans

    Native Americans
    During and following the WWII years, many Native Americans left reservations to seek employment in major cities. Others also enlisted in the army to aid the war effort. Others aided the war effort by becoming "code-talkers"- using their native languages as a code to communicate confidential US messages. The code was not broken during the war.
  • War Brides Act

    War Brides Act
    Temporarily allowed Asian immigration and temporarily lifted the quotas on European immigration. It also allows the wives and children of US military persons to enter the US after WWII.
  • The Sunbelt

    The Sunbelt
    From this point, and for the next 30 years, the population of the Sunbelt, a 15 state region in the southern US, saw a dramatic increase in population. Exemplifying this success is the fact that in the 1950's, California overtook New York as the most populous state. The result of this immigration was increased economic and political power in the South. Reasons for immigration include an abundance of new 'modern' jobs, a better climate, and lower taxes.
  • Immigration and Nationality Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act
    The age requirement for naturalization is reduced to 18 years old, and a "declaration of intention" is no longer necessary. However, it also increased the restrictions on immigration.
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    The Eisenhower Era

    In 1956, the Hungarians revolted against the Soviet Union. The Soviets crushed the opposition and there was massive bloodshed. The US, in an attempt to aid the Hungarians, revised its immigration quota laws to allow for 30,000 Hungarians to enter America as immigrants. Additionally, Eisenhower cracked down on illegal Mexican immigration, which hindered the success of the Bracero Program. In one year alone, 1954, 1 million Mexicans were forced to return back to Mexico.
  • Operation Wetback (Part II)

    Operation Wetback (Part II)
    Other Mexicans observed the events that were happening and became so afraid of violence that they left the US. However, the operation was largely successful because its criteria for interrogating potential aliens included stopping people that looked Mexican on the street and asking for identification. This method sparked many protests. After a time of opposition in both the US and Mexico based on "police-state" methods, Operation Wetback was disbanded.
  • Operation Wetback (Part I)

    Operation Wetback (Part I)
    In 1949, the US Border Patrol seized about 280,000 illegal immigrants and 1953 is seized nearly three times that number. The US government felt obligated to do something about this increasing illegal immigration. Operation Wetback, devised in 1954, was the government's solution. Gen. Joseph Swing was the new commissioner of the Immigration and Nationalization Service, and he successfully executed the operation. In the first year alone, nearly 1 million illegal immigrants were caught.
  • The Growth of the Suburbs

    The Growth of the Suburbs
    During the Cold War era, as blacks and poor people moved into the cities, many whites moved to the suburbs. This pattern is known as the “white flight.” Factors contributing to this migration include “new housing developments, higher incomes, G.I. Bill loans to veterans, and the construction of interstates.” This migration helped fuel civil rights protests in which blacks sought to establish economic equality.
  • Increased Asian and Hispanic Immigration

    Increased Asian and Hispanic Immigration
    After 1960, about 45% of all immigrants arrived from the Western Hemisphere. 30% of all immigrants came from Asia. This is a new pattern of immigration that emerged after nearly a century of European dominance. Around this time, the issue of illegal immigration also became highly debated in political culture. This debate was especially hot in the southwest and west. In an attempt to limit immigration, the government began to pass many more restrictive immigration bills.
  • Hart-Celler Act (Part II)

    Hart-Celler Act (Part II)
    Initially, many government programs existed to help the Vietnamese assimilate. But there was much protest, from both the immigrants and natives. In 1978, these quotas were later combined into a worldwide limit of 290,000 persons. Then, two years later, in 1980, the Refugee Act reduced this quota to 280,000 persons and removed refugee preferential status.
  • Hart-Celler Act (Part I)

    Hart-Celler Act (Part I)
    The act eliminated the previous national origins quotas. It established separate quotes for the eastern and western hemispheres. The act also offers preference to those with family ties, critical skills, artistic talent, and refugees. Many refugees that migrated to America under this act came from Vietnam, because the South Vietnamese citizens feared the Northerners and hoped to renew their lives in a safe place such as America.
  • The Great Society

    The Great Society
    Although many people in the South resented immigration, Johnson, as part of his 'Great Society' abolished many immigration quotas: This exemplified the president’s liberal program, which led to the liberalization of immigration laws. Laws that were passed during his presidency abolished some immigration restrictions as well as the previously widely used quota system to determine the amount of immigration from a certain area
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    New Great Migration

    African Americans move back to the South with improved conditions.
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act

    Immigration Reform and Control Act
    Act provided amnesty for many illegal aliens who have resided in America since the year 1982. Those who employed illegal aliens were to receive penalties.
  • Immigration Act of 1990

    Immigration Act of 1990
    This act further restricted legal immigration to the US. It also revised terms for exclusion and deportation. It only allowed for 10, 000 unskilled laborers a year and promoted the immigration of skilled labor and those with family ties.
  • Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act

    Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act
    Addresses the responsibilities of immigrants and border control among many other aspects of immigration.
  • Arizona Immigration Bill SB1070

    Arizona Immigration Bill SB1070
    Possibly one of the 'toughest legislations in the nation'. This law requires all immigrants in Arizona to carry their registration documents and gives police the power to question anyone who they think is illegally in the US. It also addresses immigrant trafficking.