“The Immigrant” by Annabel

The Rockefeller-Morgan Trusts “Family Tree”
Link to the visual:
https://archive.org/details/truthabouttrust01moodgoog/page/n12

To visualize this topic, I chose the picture seen above. It depicts how many different trusts all mostly belonging to the Rockefeller-Morgan family are all connected to one another. While discussing notions, we did talk about how rich the family was and still is as a matter of fact. It stuck with me and I found it interesting how one man could be so powerful by owning different factories. The visual shows how all different organizations are connected to each other and gives an overview of all the areas Rockefellers´ were in and how their big trusts are intervined with other smaller trusts creating a powerful network that brought in a lot of money but made the consumers life a lot harder as everything was priced equally high. It shows how most aspects of life were covered by trusts and gives an idea, why the trusts were outlawed as it is certain that the making of money was prioritized and risks of losing money were demolished with the help of trusts. It is impressive to watch on paper, the fact that it worked in real life is what really blows my mind and for that reason I picked this for the visual.

The Review

“The Immigrant” was a film I had high hopes for but it was not what I had expected. Looking at the historical side, they did not really miss with anything as the whole story fictional and the character are only characters. The vundament was based on history and as we all know Ellis Island was a place for the immigrants to enter the USA or be sent back. As a result, we cannot really talk about historic accuracy but I am going to discuss over some aspects of the film.

To start off with, lets talk about the overall flow of “The Immigrant”:

” In theory, Ewa’s unlikely encounter with the rackety world of show business should inject some humour or gaiety into the movie; some energy, anyway. But the film turns out to be heading nowhere, at a leaden funeral-march pace.”

Link to the review: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/may/24/the-immigrant-cannes-2013-review

In all honesty, I could not agree more with this quote. The film started off in an interesting spot and I was hooked at the beginning, I wanted to know what was going to happen to the sister and is there going to be a happy ending or no. To my disappointment the film started to bore me around ten minutes in. In my opinion, the story was interesting but something was missing to make the film better to watch. A certain x-factor that hooks viewers into the films and does not let anything else distract them was, for me, definitely missing from “The Immigrant”. Maybe I was just too tired to watch the film after spending the weekend in the military camp but it was hard for me to keep watching “The Immigrant” and not focus on something else. I believe that it was the main reason I quite frankly disliked the film.

Moving on, I would like to focus on the portrayal of Ewa:

” The newcomer is Ewa Cybulska, a Polish Catholic who has crossed the ocean in 1921 with her sister, in flight from war and deprivation. She is played by Marion Cotillard (proving herself once again to be one of the subtlest and bravest screen actresses of the moment) with a luminous intensity — at once dignified and utterly vulnerable — that brings to mind the stars of silent film.”

Link to the review: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/16/movies/the-immigrant-with-joaquin-phoenix-and-marion-cotillard.html

Even though the film was not my cup of tea, the acting done by the marvelous Marion Cotillard was breathtaking and phenomenal. Her ability to put all Ewa´s feelings into her eyes and make it understandable for the viewer is astonishing. Also the fact that the film uses dialogues in Polish and it really did seem like she was more fluent in it than English gave her character more depth and realness that for me, the other characters lacked.

As it comes out, her role could not have been bad as the director James Gray wrote the character Ewa for Marion specially. They had met in a cafe and argueed about some actress and whether she was overrated or not. Gray saw from that encounter that Marion had a face that could convey emotion without any words and desided to write a film for her. He had an idea for a film like this as he had found his grandparents diaries from when they came through the Ellis Island and how their experience was not the typical ´we came to America and no everything is great and amazing´. James Gray has said that the films´ idea, emotion and feeling is purely based on their diaries and for that reason is closest to his heart compared to his other films.

In conclusion, the film was not my favorite and I did not find it as intriguing as many other did as I found out during our class discussion. But for anybody interested in Marion Cotillard and her talent of bringing a character to life, giving it depth and dimension I would still show them “The Immigrant”.

Links used for the review: https://www.indiewire.com/2013/10/nyff-13-james-gray-on-the-immigrant-film-versus-digital-and-his-short-lived-acting-career-34239/

The Notions


Group 1: The 19th century

Discovery of gold and gold mining

3 GOLD MAJOR FIRST GOLD RUSHES. North-Carolina, Georgia, California

1st rush in 1799 Gold discovered in North-Carolina. The finder didn’t know its value and used it as a doorstop. In 1802 it was recognized and word spread. First miners were farmers. Carolina mines evolved into mine-shafts. By 1835 there was a manifold of it so president Jackson created U.S mint to process it.

2nd rush (Georgia) in 1835 created tensions with aboriginals and resulted in the removal of Cherokee tribes from the area. Also a mint founded.

3rd rush In 1848, a gold mine in Coloma, California by J.W.Marshall. At first, tried to keep it a secret, didn’t succeed. Immigrants started flowing into California. ‘Forty-niners’ rushed to Calif. thanks to which it was made a state. Amateur and pro-miners. Private companies were created to process the gold=Entrepreneurship ‘flourished’.

The construction of railroads (Union Pacific Railroad Co, Central Pacific Railroad Co)

In 1862, a Pacific Railroad Act made 2 companies start building railroads that would connect the land from West to East. In 1869 the 2 sides met in Utah.

At first, people traveled from one coast to other usually by ship which took 6 months. Unless they were willing to go to the hazardous journey by foot, but people’s wish to travel increased with finding gold. Asa Whitney recommended building railroads. Engineer Theodor Judah made it happen after 20 years gaining the approval from Lincoln. The terms included that each company got 48k dollars for each mile which forced a competition early on. The construction companies included many megalomanian businessmen who also made illegal deals for profit. Native Americans feeling threatened of white Americans’  ‘iron horse’ attacked and kept disrupting the work. Poor settlements were founded behind the railroads forming the ‘Wild West’. Railorad constructers were different immigrants. The Union Pacific railroad company managed to cover 4 times as much distance as the Central Pacific one. 2 sides met in Promontory Summit.

Industrialisation (raw materials, effect on development of economy, main industries)

Process where an agricultural economy transforms into a manufacturing one. In USA it began in the early 1800s. After the Civil War, machines replaced much of the manual work. Industrialisation grew economy rapidly thanks to more goods being produced more quickly by machines. America had an abundance of natural resources; especially water helped to keep the machines working. Timber, iron, coal. Communication (telephones, railways, telegraph) helped businesses to succeed. New products such as photograph, telephone, typewriter. Many jobs in the manufactures to maximize efficiency in productivity. ‘Gilded era’-Mark Twain in 1920s-30; the culture of the new wealthy people building mansions and following Europe in its art design etc.

Formation of trusts

Trusts are formed when several businesses come together to standardize their rules and prices in order to increase profit. Great for businesses but bad for consumers. Trusts emerged when there rose a competition between different firms offering a similar product. Without trusts, companies would have to compete with each other which is not beneficial for either of them. Trusts helped to agree on rules so that no company would have to lower their prices. Famous trusts: Rockefeller’s Oil Trust, the Sugar Trust etc. Because of the negative effect on consumer (prices not lowering), acts were made by congress that would prohibit trusts.

(Stock-holders in a company who’d give their respective trustees the power to vote for decisions within the company. )

The role of Andrew Carnegie

  • American industrialist and philanthrophist
  • Worked in a Pittsburgh cotton factory (earning 1.20/week)
  • Worked in Pennsylvania Railroad as the assistant to Thomas Scott, one of the railroad’s top officials
  • Became a superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1859
  • Invested in iron and oil companies while working for the railroad
  • By 1889, he owned Carnegie Steel Corporation (largest steel company in the world)
  • In 1901, he sold his business and dedicated his time to philanthrophy
  • Established the Carnegie-Mellon University in 1904
Andrew Carnegie
Link to the picture: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/173/andrew-carnegie

The role of John D. Rockefeller

  • founder of The Standard Oil Company (SOC) in 1870
  • Became one of the world’s wealthiest men, major philanthropist
  • Born in New York, entered the oil business by investing in a Cleveland refinery
  • SOC controlled 90% of US refineries
  • Was accused of colluding with railroads to eliminate his competitors
  • In 1911, US Supreme Court ordered SOC to be dissolved, in violation of anti-trust laws
  • During his life, he donated more than 500 million to philantrophy
John D. Rockefeller
Link to the picture: https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-D-Rockefeller

The role of Henry Ford

  • Grew up in Michigan, 1863
  • At the age of 16, left home for Detroit to work as a machinist
  • Returned home to work on the family farm after three years
  • In 1891, he went with his wife to Detroit
  • Was hired an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company(EIC)
  • Promoted chief engineer 2 years later
  • Spent many hours to build a gasoline-powered horseless carriage, or automobile
  • In 1896, completed the ‘’Quadricycle’’ – metal frame with 4 bicycle wheels powered by a gasoline engine
  • In 1902, established his Ford Motor Company
  • A month after, the first Ford car was assembled in Detroit (model T)
  • Assembly process was slow and cars were built by hand
  • Ford introduced new mass-production methods, including large production plants, use of interchangeable parts and the world’s first moving assembly line for cars
Henry Ford & a Ford
Link to the picture: https://www.thoughtco.com/henry-ford-1779249

Group 2: Immigration to the US

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York, in the United States. The copper statue standing at 93 meters, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The Statue of Liberty is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet as she walks forward. The statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, and a national park tourism destination. It is a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad. Fundraising for the statue proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened by lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer, of the New York World, started a drive for donations to finish the project and attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. Between 1886 and 1924, almost 14 million immigrants entered the United States through New York. The Statue of Liberty was a reassuring sign that they had arrived in the land of their dreams. To these anxious newcomers, the Statue’s uplifted torch did not suggest “enlightenment,” as her creators intended, but rather, “welcome.” Over time, Liberty emerged as the “Mother of Exiles,” a symbol of hope to generations of immigrants.

Original look of the Statue of Liberty
Link to the picture: https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/tag/dedication-statue-of-liberty-1886/

Causes of immigration from Europe in the 19th century

Fleeing crop failure, land and job shortages, rising taxes, and famine, many came to the U. S. because it was perceived as the land of economic opportunity. Others came seeking personal freedom or relief from political and religious persecution. More than 70 percent of all immigrants, however, entered through New York City, which came to be known as the “Golden Door.” Throughout the late 1800s, most immigrants arriving in New York entered at the Castle Garden depot near the tip of Manhattan.

A major wave of immigration occurred from around 1815 to 1865. Majority of the immigrants came from Northern and Western Europe.

  • Approximately one-third came from IRELAND, which experienced a massive famine in the mid-19th century. In the 1840s, almost half of America’s immigrants were from Ireland alone. Typically impoverished, these Irish immigrants settled near their point of arrival in cities along the East Coast. Between 1820 and 1930, some 4.5 million Irish migrated to the United States.
  • Also in the 19th century, the United States received some 5 million GERMAN immigrants. Many of them journeyed to the present-day Midwest to buy farms or congregated in such cities as Milwaukee, St. Louis and Cincinnati. In the national census of 2000, more Americans claimed German ancestry than any other group.
  • During the mid-1800s, a significant number of ASIAN immigrants settled in the United States. Lured by news of the California gold rush, some 25,000 Chinese had migrated there by the early 1850s.

Between 1880 and 1920, a time of rapid industrialization and urbanization, America received more than 20 million immigrants. Beginning in the 1890s, the majority of arrivals were from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.

  • In that decade alone, some 600,000 ITALIANS migrated to America, and by 1920 more than 4 million had entered the United States.
  • JEWS from Eastern Europe fleeing religious persecution also arrived in large numbers; over 2 million entered the United States between 1880 and 1920.

Different waves of immigration

First Wave 1790 – 1820

Groups of immigrants came for a variety of religious, political, and economic reasons. Northern and Western Europeans (English, Irish, Germans, Dutch, French, Spanish etc). Starvation, disease, and shipwreck killed 1 in 10 of those immigrants who set sail for America before they even set foot on land.  (relatively little immigration, significant emigration to Canada)

Second Wave 1820 – 1860  

Immigrants came for new opportunities because in Europe, peasants displaced from agriculture and artisans were made jobless from the industrial revolution. Some immigrants received “American Letters” which were encouraging friends and relatives to join them in America. German (escaping economic problems and seeking political freedom), British, Irish 40% (poverty and famine encouraged emigration). The Roman Catholic church was the single largest religious body in the United States by 1850.

Third Wave 1880 – 1914  

Immigrants came over to America for more job opportunities and freedom of religion. Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian countries (migrated to the western states). In the 1910 census, foreign-born residents made up 15 percent of the U.S. population and 24 percent of the U.S. labor force.

Fourth Wave 1965 – Present  

A new law that altered the selection of immigrants from the country they were from, to giving priority to people who already had family in the United States or had skills that were needed in the labor market. Europeans, Asians, Hispanics (Mexico). In the 1980s and early 1990s, Asians made up about one-third of the immigrants entering America. Hispanics made up about one-half of the number of immigrants in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Jewish immigration

Sephardic wave

The first group of Sephardic settlers arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654 from Brazil. For several decades afterward, adventurous Sephardic and Ashkenazic merchants established homes in American colonial ports, including Newport, R.I., New Amsterdam (later New York), Philadelphia, Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga. This was a departure from the Old World, where synagogues in places like Amsterdam, London, and Recife, taxed commercial transactions, regulated Jewish publications, and punished members for lapses in individual or commercial morality.

German wave

German Jews began to come to America in significant numbers in the 1840s. Jews left Germany because of persecution, restrictive laws, economic hardship, and the failure of movements — widely supported by German Jews — advocating revolution and reform there. Some 250,000 German-speaking Jews came to America by the outbreak of World War I. This sizable immigrant community expanded American Jewish geography by establishing themselves in smaller cities and towns in the Midwest, West, and the South. If German Jews had one city of their own invention, it was Cincinnati.

Eastern European wave

Eastern European Jews began to immigrate to the United States in large numbers after 1880. Pushed out of Europe by overpopulation, oppressive legislation and poverty, they were pulled toward America by the prospect of financial and social advancement. Between 1880 and the onset of restrictive immigration quotas in 1924, over 2 million Jews from Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Romania came to America. The immigrants found work in factories, especially in the garment industry, but also in cigar manufacturing, food production, and construction. Large-scale Jewish immigration to the United States ended in 1924.

Ellis Island

On January 1, 1892 – her 15th birthday – Annie Moore from County Cork, Ireland, became the first person admitted to the new immigration station on Ellis Island. On that opening day, she received a greeting from officials and a $10.00 gold piece. Annie traveled to New York with her two younger brothers on steerage aboard the S.S. Nevada, which left Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, on December 20, 1891 and arrived in New York on the evening of December 31. After being processed, the children were reunited with their parents, who were already living in New York.

Ellis Island is a former immigration inspection station in New York Harbor, within the states of New York and New Jersey. It was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States as the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. After an arduous sea voyage, immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were tagged with information from their ship’s registry; they then waited on long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States. From 1900 to 1914 – the peak years of Ellis Island’s operation – some 5,000 to 10,000 people passed through the immigration station every day.

Reed-Johnson Immigration Act of 1924

The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census. It completely excluded immigrants from Asia. Signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge.

The 1924 Immigration Act also included a provision excluding from entry any alien who by virtue of race or nationality was ineligible for citizenship. Existing nationality laws dating from 1790 and 1870 excluded people of Asian lineage from naturalizing. As a result, the 1924 Act meant that even Asians not previously prevented from immigrating – the Japanese in particular – would no longer be admitted to the United States. Many in Japan were very offended by the new law, which was a violation of the Gentlemen’s Agreement. The Japanese government protested, but the law remained, resulting in an increase in existing tensions between the two nations. Despite the increased tensions, it appeared that the U.S. Congress had decided that preserving the racial composition of the country was more important than promoting good ties with Japan.

1917 >>> They created a plan that lowered the existing quota from three to two percent of the foreign-born population. They also pushed back the year on which quota calculations were based from 1910 to 1890.

The notion of Melting Pot vs Salad Bowl

The USA is traditionally called a melting pot because with time, generations of immigrants have melted together: they have abandoned their cultures to become totally assimilated into American society. Historically, it is often used to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the United States.

But in the UK, where cultural diversity is considered a positive thing, immigrants have always been encouraged to maintain their traditions and their native language. This model of racial integration can be described as a salad bowl, with people of different cultures living in harmony, like the lettuce, tomatoes and carrots in a salad. New York City can be considered as being a “salad bowl”

Both models of multicultural societies have contradictory aspects:

  • in a melting pot there is no cultural diversity and sometimes differences are not respected;
  • in a salad bowl cultures do not mix at all.

“Yes, there are many different types of people living here, but we are not all mixed together as one big happy community. Our country is so incredibly divided. Even in towns where there are many different groups of people, they are still split apart. You always see that the run down inner city part of the community is where they put all of the minority groups like blacks and Hispanics, while the clean, rich communities are where the white people reside. This is not us “living together” this is us still separate, and not equal.”

Present situation

Immigrants comprise about 14 percent of the U.S. population: more than forty-three million out of a total of about 323 million people. Together, immigrants and their U.S.-born children make up about 27 percent of U.S. inhabitants. Illegal immigration. The undocumented population is about eleven million and has leveled off since the 2008 economic crisis, which led some to return to their home countries and discouraged others from coming to the United States. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 71 percent of Americans considered immigration a “good thing” for the United States.

Forty-six percent of immigrants in 2017 reported their race as single-race White, 27 percent as Asian, 9 percent as Black, and 16 percent as some other race. About 2 percent reported having two or more races. In 2017, approximately 78 percent (239.3 million) of the 306 million people ages 5 and older in the United States reported speaking only English at home.

Group 3: The US at the beginning of the 20th century

Urbanisation (living conditions, labour unions)

The US was a predominantly rural in the 18th century. In 1790 approximately 95% of people lived outside a city. At that time only 3 cities had more than 15.000 residents. However, urbanisation exploded during the Industrial Revolution. The nation changed from an agricultural to an urbanized and industrialized one. Before the Revolution, rich people tended to live in the center of the city. However, rapid urbanization opened the possibilities of larger roads and mass public transport, which allowed towns to expand their borders. Because factory workers did not need to live in a close range to their workplace, suburbs were built. The North became heavily urbanized and industrialized, while the South remained rural. Only in 1920 did the number of citizens living in urban areas become bigger than in rural areas. Because of the growing number of factory workers, more people demanded tolerable working conditions. This marked the rampant start of labour unions. Eventually, labour unions played a key role in abolishing child labour and increasing wages, reducing working hours and improving sanitation in factories across USA.

Progressive Movement: Theodore Roosevelt

The Progressive Movement, also known as Progressive Era, was a period from 1830s to 1920s. The later political movement supported equal conditions for everybody and it developed because of the socio-economic problems as a consequence to industrialization. Many progressives lived in cities and were well educated. Many problems, such as immigration, corruption, better education and the right to vote were tackled. The peak of the activism was when Theodore Roosevelt came to power as president. He was the governor of New York and he was aware of city problems, which only the government could resolve. He noticed the public’s outcry over rising prices in industries controlled by a monopoly. He began to eliminate monopoly, such as in the railroad, tobacco, beef and oil industries. His reforms’ purpose was to allow a free market and to end corruption and monopolism. To add, he claimed a lot of land in the west to harvest resources and develop an infrastructure for citizens. The Progressive Era ended after World War I, when the horrors of people were exposed and many began to associate president Wilson’s sayings with the war. He was the creator of National Pubs in the US.

Theodore Roosevelt
Link to the picture: https://www.biography.com/us-president/theodore-roosevelt

An American Empire (the Philippines, Cuba)

It was a Spanish-American war. The first battle was held in the Philippines. Americans knew nothing about Philippines culture or history so American military diplomacy was being carried out in the arrogant cover of almost total ignorance. In 1896, a riot against the Spanish had started in the Philippines. The rebels had adopted a constitution modeled after the American constitution. They had elected a government, including a president: Emilio Aguinaldo. Spain agreed on a truce but then tricked the Philippines so America sent their troops to help the rebels out. Rebels didn’t accept the help put the troops never left. Spain knew they were losing so they surrendered, but only to the US. Americans stayed there and from their point of view, Filipinos were a conquered people. They had no right, US troops searched their houses without any warrants. Americans called them “indians” and the soldier referred to them as “niggers”. American soldiers also landed in Cuba. In less than two weeks of fighting, the Spanish were again defeated. Other American soldiers occupied Puerto Rico, another Spanish-owned island close to Cuba. In July the Spanish government saw it was beaten. It asked the Americans for peace.

When peace was signed, Spain gave most of its overseas empire to the United States – Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and a small Pacific island called Guam. Spain sold the Philippines to America for 20 million dollars. But not everything is bad, the Americans built schools and hospitals, constructed roads, provided pure water supplies and put an end to killer diseases like malaria and yellow fever in the lands they now ruled. They continued to rule most of them until the middle years of the century. The Philippines became an independent country in 1946. In 1953 Puerto Rico became self-governing, but continued to be closely tied to the United States. In 1959 Hawaii was admitted as the fiftieth state of the Union. Cuba was treated differently. When Congress declared war on Spain in 1898 it said that it was only doing so to help the Cuban people to win independence. When the war ended, Cuba was soon declared an independent country. Nevertheless, US used Cuba as a military base.

Dollar Diplomacy

Dollar Diplomacy, foreign policy created by U.S. President William Howard Taft and his secretary of state, Philander C. Knox, to ensure the financial stability of a region while protecting and extending U.S. commercial and financial interests there. It grew out of President Theodore Roosevelt’s peaceful intervention in the Dominican Republic, where U.S. loans had been exchanged for the right to choose the Dominican head of customs (the country’s major revenue source).Under the name of Dollar Diplomacy, the Taft administration engineered such a policy in Nicaragua. It upheld the overthrow of José Santos Zelaya and set up Adolfo Díaz in his place; it set up an authority of traditions; and it ensured loans to the Nicaraguan government. The hatred of the Nicaraguan individuals, however, in the long run resulted in U.S. military intervention too. Taft and Knox also attempted to promulgate Dollar Diplomacy in China, where it was even less successful, both in terms of U.S. ability to supply loans and in terms of world reaction. The dismal failure of Dollar Diplomacy—from its simplistic assessment of social unrest to its formulaic application—caused the Taft administration to finally abandon the policy in 1912. Dollar diplomacy has come to refer in a disparaging way to the heedless manipulation of foreign affairs for strictly monetary ends.

Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued on December 2, 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved, or were at the point of gaining, independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires. To simplify the Monroe Doctrine was a principle of US policy, originated by President James Monroe, that any intervention by external powers in the politics of the Americas is a potentially hostile act against the US.

The US in WWI

The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, more than two and a half years after World War I started. Before entering the war, the U.S. had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers.The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material, and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General of the Armies John Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived at the rate of 10,000 men a day on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. During the war the U.S. mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including around 45,000 who died due to the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces.After a relatively slow start in mobilizing the economy and labor force, by spring 1918, the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world, although there was substantial public opposition to U.S. entry into the war. Although World War I began in 1914, the United States did not join the war until 1917. The impact of the United States joining the war was significant. The additional firepower, resources, and soldiers of the U.S. helped to tip the balance of the war in favor of the Allies.

Versailles Treaty of 1919

The Treaty of Versailles was perhaps one of the most important treaties in all of mankind, ending the Great War, or better known as World War I. Initially, it originated from President Woodrow Wilson, with his Fourteen Points Speech to the Congress on January 8, 1918. The Treaty was signed on June 28, 1919. Under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, Germany was held responsible for all war crimes and damages, therefore they had to pay 132 billion marks (roughly 396 billion euros in today’s economy) in reparations. This was also the cause of the hyperinflation in Germany.

Most of the border territories were either given back to the original country or given as entirely new land for neighbouring countries who aided the Triple Entente (Denmark, Belgium, Poland and Lithuania). The treaty demanded that Germany would lower their armies forces, all while prohibiting the use of certain class weapons and later on, be completely disarmed. However, due to the rise of Hitler in 1932, the treaty’s terms were completely avoided.

League of Nations

The League of Nations was to be formed under the first part of the Treaty of Versailles, later officially founded at the Paris Peace Conference on January 10, 1920. There were 42 original founding members and 15 other countries who joined later on. Its primary goal was to maintain world peace, by negotiation before things got worse. Their most successful achievement was the creation of the Geneva Protocol (prohibited use of biological and chemical weapons), while their other endeavours were not able to be enacted. A lot of problems were not able to be solved because of countries not believing that they were a threat to the attackers, meaning that the League had to mostly watch from the sidelines.

Even though it was Woodrow Wilson’s plan to form an intergovernmental organization to stop wars from ever happening, the US refused to join them. This, and the Soviet Union joining the League and later declaring war on Finland severely lowered their reputation.

During World War II, the League of Nations’ members were supposed to stay neutral, but France and Germany did not agree to this. That shows how low the organization had fallen, and in the early to mid-40’s, it basically ceased to exist. Only 26 of them remained as part of the League until its disbandment in 1946.


The Immigrant

http://metrocosm.com/animated-immigration-map/

This graph depicts almost everything one needs to know about the four immigration waves and that is why is chose it. Most importantly, the waves are easily distinguishable together with the decades they took place in, but the graph also displays the number of immigrants who came to the USA and what were the most popular homelands. When usually talking about the immigration waves, what happened between them, is often left out. But once again, the graph saves the day, because all of that is also visible on it and in my opinion, it creates a more thorough and better understanding of the history of immigration to the USA and is comprehended more easily than a regular text.

Notions

Group 1: The 19th century

Discovery of gold and gold mining

3 MAJOR FIRST GOLD RUSHES. North-Carolina, Georgia, California

1st rush in 1799 Gold discovered in North-Carolina. The finder didn’t know its value and used it as a doorstop. In 1802 it was recognized and word spread. First miners were FARMERS. Carolina mines evolved into mine-shafts. By 1835 there was a manifold of it so president Jackson created U.S mint to process it.

2nd rush (Georgia) in 1835 created tensions with aboriginals and resulted in the removal of Cherokee tribes from the area. Also a mint founded.

3rd rush In 1848, a gold mine in Coloma, California by J.W.Marshall. At first, tried to keep it a secret, didn’t succeed. Immigrants started flowing into California. ‘Forty-niners’ rushed to Calif. thanks to which it was made a state. Amateur and pro-miners. Private companies were created to process the gold=Entrepreneurship ‘flourished’.

https://hackernoon.com/blockchain-after-the-gold-rush-e1c6d3044dae?gi=63068efd2d19

The construction of railroads (Union Pacific Railroad Co, Central Pacific Railroad Co)

In 1862, a Pacific Railroad Act made 2 companies start building railroads that would connect the land from West to East. In 1869 the 2 sides met in Utah.

At first, people traveled from one coast to other usually by ship which took 6 months. Unless they were willing to go to the hazardous journey by foot, but people’s wish to travel increased with finding gold. Asa Whitney recommended building railroads. Engineer Theodor Judah made it happen after 20 years gaining the approval from Lincoln. The terms included that each company got 48k dollars for each mile which forced a competition early on. The construction companies included many megalomanian businessmen who also made illegal deals for profit. Native Americans feeling threatened of white Americans’  ‘iron horse’ attacked and kept disrupting the work. Poor settlements were founded behind the railroads forming the ‘Wild West’. Railorad constructers were different immigrants. The Union Pacific railroad company managed to cover 4 times as much distance as the Central Pacific one. 2 sides met in Promontory Summit.

https://www.greatbigcanvas.com/view/old-railroad-car-inside-view-with-passengers-usa-19th-century-colored-engraving,2478763/

Industrialisation (raw materials, effect on development of economy, main industries)

Process where an agricultural economy transforms into a manufacturing one. In USA it began in the early 1800s. After the Civil War, machines replaced much of the manual work. Industrialisation grew economy rapidly thanks to more goods being produced more quickly by machines. America had an abundance of natural resources; especially water helped to keep the machines working. Timber, iron, coal. Communication (telephones, railways, telegraph) helped businesses to succeed. New products such as photograph, telephone, typewriter. Many jobs in the manufactures to maximize efficiency in productivity. ‘Gilded era’-Mark Twain in 1920s-30; the culture of the new wealthy people building mansions and following Europe in its art design etc.

https://selfstudyhistory.com/2015/03/20/industrialization-in-other-countries-usa/

Formation of trusts

Trusts are formed when several businesses come together to standardize their rules and prices in order to increase profit. Great for businesses but bad for consumers. Trusts emerged when there rose a competition between different firms offering a similar product. Without trusts, companies would have to compete with each other which is not beneficial for either of them. Trusts helped to agree on rules so that no company would have to lower their prices. Famous trusts: Rockefeller’s Oil Trust, the Sugar Trust etc. Because of the negative effect on consumer (prices not lowering), acts were made by congress that would prohibit trusts.

(Stock-holders in a company who’d give their respective trustees the power to vote for decisions within the company. )

The role of Andrew Carnegie

  • American industrialist and philanthrophist
  • Worked in a Pittsburgh cotton factory (earning 1.20/week)
  • Worked in Pennsylvania Railroad as the assistant to Thomas Scott, one of the railroad’s top officials
  • Became a superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1859
  • Invested in iron and oil companies while working for the railroad
  • By 1889, he owned Carnegie Steel Corporation (largest steel company in the world)
  • In 1901, he sold his business and dedicated his time to philanthrophy
  • Established the Carnegie-Mellon University in 1904
https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/2041/andrew-carnegie-1835-–-1919-ironmaster-and-philanthropist

The role of John D. Rockefeller

  • founder of The Standard Oil Company (SOC) in 1870
  • Became one of the world’s wealthiest men, major philanthropist
  • Born in New York, entered the oil business by investing in a Cleveland refinery
  • SOC controlled 90% of US refineries
  • Was accused of colluding with railroads to eliminate his competitors
  • In 1911, US Supreme Court ordered SOC to be dissolved, in violation of anti-trust laws
  • During his life, he donated more than 500 million to philantrophy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Rockefeller

The role of Henry Ford

  • Grew up in Michigan, 1863
  • At the age of 16, left home for Detroit to work as a machinist
  • Returned home to work on the family farm after three years
  • In 1891, he went with his wife to Detroit
  • Was hired an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company(EIC)
  • Promoted chief engineer 2 years later
  • Spent many hours to build a gasoline-powered horseless carriage, or automobile
  • In 1896, completed the ‘’Quadricycle’’ – metal frame with 4 bicycle wheels powered by a gasoline engine
  • In 1902, established his Ford Motor Company
  • A month after, the first Ford car was assembled in Detroit (model T)
  • Assembly process was slow and cars were built by hand
  • Ford introduced new mass-production methods, including large production plants, use of interchangeable parts and the world’s first moving assembly line for cars
https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/expert-sets/101113/

Group 2: Immigration to the US

Statue of Liberty – Liberty enlightening the world. Situated on Liberty Island Representing a figure of Libertas, torch in right and tabula ansata with independence dates on it in left hand. A broken chain lies at her feet as she walks forward. A gift from France to the US on October 28, 1886 for gaining independence, although the work on it began 100 years later. It’s designed by F. A. Bartholdi and the metal framework is by G. Eiffel. French financed the statue, Americans provided the site and pedestal. Head and right hand were exhibited individually before completion of the whole statute. Public access to the balcony has been barred since 1916. The Statue of Liberty was a reassuring sign that they had arrived in the land of their dreams. To these anxious newcomers, the Statue’s uplifted torch did not suggest “enlightenment,” as her creators intended, but rather, “welcome.” Over time, Liberty emerged as the “Mother of Exiles,” a symbol of hope to generations of immigrants.

http://fiveminutehistory.com/liberty-enlightening-the-world/

Causes of immigration from Europe in the 19th century – about 30 million immigrants from Northern and Western Europe, fleeing from rising taxes, land and job shortages, crop failures and hunger. US was considered a land of economic possibilities. Some also came in search of religious and political freedom.

Different waves of immigration –

First wave 1790-1820; Europeans; religious, economical and political reasons. 1/10 died before reaching land

Second wave- 1820-1860; Europeans; industrial revolution had left European peasants jobless, about 40% came from Ireland

Third wave- 1840-1910; Asians; came for more job opportunities and religious freedom, in 1910 foreign-born residents made up 15% of American population

Fourth wave- 1965-present; Europeans, Asians, Mexicans; a new law that made people with families already in USA or skills needed in labor, preferred

Jewish immigration –

Sephardic Jews- first settlers arrived in 1654 from Brazil, by 1730 they were outnumbered by Ashkenazi Jews but the community remained sephardic

German Jews- 1840s, about 250 000 of German Jews fled persecution and restrictive laws, seeking new opportunities from USA

Eastern European Jews- after 1880, escaping overpopulation, poverty and oppressive legislation, over 2 million immigrants

Ellis Island – former immigration inspection in New York Harbour (now a museum) busiest station between 1892-1954 letting through over 12 million immigrants, was the first federal immigration station, now part of Statue of Liberty National Monument. Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were tagged with information from their ship’s registry; they then waited on long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States.

https://www.britannica.com/place/Ellis-Island

Reed-Johnson Immigration Act of 1924 – Signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge, prevented immigration from Asia, limited the number of immigrants from Eastern Hemisphere to 2% from one nation. Many in Japan were very offended by the new law, which was a violation of the Gentlemen’s Agreement. The Japanese government protested, but the law remained, resulting in an increase in existing tensions between the two nations. The purpose was to preserve the Ideal of US homogeneity.

Differences from 1917 – They created a plan that lowered the existing quota from three to two percent of the foreign-born population. They also pushed back the year on which quota calculations were based from 1910 to 1890.

The notion of Melting Pot vs Salad Bowl – USA is traditionally a Melting Pot  – different nations and cultures have melted together

UK preferes the Salad Bowl concept, where the ideas don’t mix but simply exist together.

Both models of multicultural societies have contradictory aspects:

  • in a melting pot there is no cultural diversity and sometimes differences are not respected.
  • in a salad bowl cultures do not mix at all and it can create tensions and disagreements between different communities..

Present situation – Immigrants comprise about 14 percent of the U.S. population: more than forty-three million out of a total of about 323 million people. The laws are quite strict and and the public attitudes have grown more repulsive due to the terrorism attacks, but the number of immigrants keeps growing. Most immigrants come from South America and Southern Asia. It is estimated that the US population will grow by 100 million with immigration in less than 50 years and 20% of the population will be foreign-born.

Group 3: The US at the beginning of the 20th century

Urbanisation (living conditions, labour unions)

The US was a predominantly rural in the 18th century. In 1790 approximately 95% of people lived outside a city. At that time only 3 cities had more than 15.000 residents. However, urbanisation exploded during the Industrial Revolution. The nation changed from an agricultural to an urbanized and industrialized one. Before the Revolution, rich people tended to live in the center of the city. However, rapid urbanization opened the possibilities of larger roads and mass public transport, which allowed towns to expand their borders. Because factory workers did not need to live in a close range to their workplace, suburbs were built. The North became heavily urbanized and industrialized, while the South remained rural. Only in 1920 did the number of citizens living in urban areas become bigger than in rural areas. Because of the growing number of factory workers, more people demanded tolerable working conditions. This marked the rampant start of labour unions. Eventually, labour unions played a key role in abolishing child labour and increasing wages, reducing working hours and improving sanitation in factories across USA.

Progressive Movement: Theodore Roosevelt

The Progressive Movement, also known as Progressive Era, was a period from 1830s to 1920s. The later political movement supported equal conditions for everybody and it developed because of the socio-economic problems as a consequence to industrialization. Many progressives lived in cities and were well educated. Many problems, such as immigration, corruption, better education and the right to vote were tackled. The peak of the activism was when Theodore Roosevelt came to power as president. He was the governor of New York and he was aware of city problems, which only the government could resolve. He noticed the public’s outcry over rising prices in industries controlled by a monopoly. He began to eliminate monopoly, such as in the railroad, tobacco, beef and oil industries. His reforms’ purpose was to allow a free market and to end corruption and monopolism. To add, he claimed a lot of land in the west to harvest resources and develop an infrastructure for citizens. The Progressive Era ended after World War I, when the horrors of people were exposed and many began to associate president Wilson’s sayings with the war. He was the creator of National Pubs in the US.

https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-18-132/papers-of-president-theodore-roosevelt-now-online/2018-10-17/

An American Empire (the Philippines, Cuba)

It was a Spanish-American war. The first battle was held in the Philippines. Americans knew nothing about Philippines culture or history so American military diplomacy was being carried out in the arrogant cover of almost total ignorance. In 1896, a riot against the Spanish had started in the Philippines. The rebels had adopted a constitution modeled after the American constitution. They had elected a government, including a president: Emilio Aguinaldo. Spain agreed on a truce but then tricked the Philippines so America sent their troops to help the rebels out. Rebels didn’t accept the help put the troops never left. Spain knew they were losing so they surrendered, but only to the US. Americans stayed there and from their point of view, Filipinos were a conquered people. They had no right, US troops searched their houses without any warrants. Americans called them “indians” and the soldier referred to them as “niggers”. American soldiers also landed in Cuba. In less than two weeks of fighting, the Spanish were again defeated. Other American soldiers occupied Puerto Rico, another Spanish-owned island close to Cuba. In July the Spanish government saw it was beaten. It asked the Americans for peace.

When peace was signed, Spain gave most of its overseas empire to the United States – Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and a small Pacific island called Guam. Spain sold the Philippines to America for 20 million dollars. But not everything is bad, the Americans built schools and hospitals, constructed roads, provided pure water supplies and put an end to killer diseases like malaria and yellow fever in the lands they now ruled. They continued to rule most of them until the middle years of the century. The Philippines became an independent country in 1946. In 1953 Puerto Rico became self-governing, but continued to be closely tied to the United States. In 1959 Hawaii was admitted as the fiftieth state of the Union. Cuba was treated differently. When Congress declared war on Spain in 1898 it said that it was only doing so to help the Cuban people to win independence. When the war ended, Cuba was soon declared an independent country. Nevertheless, US used Cuba as a military base.

https://www.deviantart.com/healy27/art/Map-of-the-American-Empire-2054-543627692

Dollar Diplomacy

Dollar Diplomacy, foreign policy created by U.S. President William Howard Taft and his secretary of state, Philander C. Knox, to ensure the financial stability of a region while protecting and extending U.S. commercial and financial interests there. It grew out of President Theodore Roosevelt’s peaceful intervention in the Dominican Republic, where U.S. loans had been exchanged for the right to choose the Dominican head of customs (the country’s major revenue source).Under the name of Dollar Diplomacy, the Taft administration engineered such a policy in Nicaragua. It upheld the overthrow of José Santos Zelaya and set up Adolfo Díaz in his place; it set up an authority of traditions; and it ensured loans to the Nicaraguan government. The hatred of the Nicaraguan individuals, however, in the long run resulted in U.S. military intervention too. Taft and Knox also attempted to promulgate Dollar Diplomacy in China, where it was even less successful, both in terms of U.S. ability to supply loans and in terms of world reaction. The dismal failure of Dollar Diplomacy—from its simplistic assessment of social unrest to its formulaic application—caused the Taft administration to finally abandon the policy in 1912. Dollar diplomacy has come to refer in a disparaging way to the heedless manipulation of foreign affairs for strictly monetary ends.

Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued on December 2, 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved, or were at the point of gaining, independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires. To simplify the Monroe Doctrine was a principle of US policy, originated by President James Monroe, that any intervention by external powers in the politics of the Americas is a potentially hostile act against the US.

The US in WWI

The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, more than two and a half years after World War I started. Before entering the war, the U.S. had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers.The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material, and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General of the Armies John Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived at the rate of 10,000 men a day on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. During the war the U.S. mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including around 45,000 who died due to the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces.After a relatively slow start in mobilizing the economy and labor force, by spring 1918, the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world, although there was substantial public opposition to U.S. entry into the war. Although World War I began in 1914, the United States did not join the war until 1917. The impact of the United States joining the war was significant. The additional firepower, resources, and soldiers of the U.S. helped to tip the balance of the war in favor of the Allies.

https://cdn.kastatic.org/ka-perseus-images/74e4f1eaf65b345ac4ddc637d5aa7c66998c652c.jpg

Versailles Treaty of 1919

The Treaty of Versailles was perhaps one of the most important treaties in all of mankind, ending the Great War, or better known as World War I. Initially, it originated from President Woodrow Wilson, with his Fourteen Points Speech to the Congress on January 8, 1918. The Treaty was signed on June 28, 1919. Under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, Germany was held responsible for all war crimes and damages, therefore they had to pay 132 billion marks (roughly 396 billion euros in today’s economy) in reparations. This was also the cause of the hyperinflation in Germany.

Most of the border territories were either given back to the original country or given as entirely new land for neighbouring countries who aided the Triple Entente (Denmark, Belgium, Poland and Lithuania). The treaty demanded that Germany would lower their armies forces, all while prohibiting the use of certain class weapons and later on, be completely disarmed. However, due to the rise of Hitler in 1932, the treaty’s terms were completely avoided.

League of Nations

The League of Nations was to be formed under the first part of the Treaty of Versailles, later officially founded at the Paris Peace Conference on January 10, 1920. There were 42 original founding members and 15 other countries who joined later on. Its primary goal was to maintain world peace, by negotiation before things got worse. Their most successful achievement was the creation of the Geneva Protocol (prohibited use of biological and chemical weapons), while their other endeavours were not able to be enacted. It had no official army which was ever formed, so it only relied on the Allies’ powers. A lot of problems were not able to be solved because of countries not believing that they were a threat to the attackers, meaning that the League had to mostly watch from the sidelines.

Even though it was Woodrow Wilson’s plan to form an intergovernmental organization to stop wars from ever happening, the US refused to join them. This, and the Soviet Union joining the League and later declaring war on Finland severely lowered their reputation.

During World War II, the League of Nations’ members were supposed to stay as neutral, but France and Germany did not agree to this. That shows how low the organization has fallen, and in the early to mid-40’s, it basically ceased to exist. Only 26 of them remained as part of the League until its disbandment in 1946.

https://oc.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichièr:The_Gap_in_the_Bridge.png

500 words

“The Immigrant” was a movie to show the hardships of immigrating into the USA in 1920s. Although the immigration part might not be so relatable for us anymore, Ewa’s devotion to her sister, her uncle’s rejection because of rumors, Emil as the beautiful getaway versus Bruno’s unreasonably strong feelings, are timeless.

“When Jeremy Renner appears as Orlando, a magician working the burlesque house circuit, we wonder if he will offer Ewa some kind of escape route from her passive-aggressive relationship with Bruno. You can’t help but wish he would pull out a magic rope, which the pair could shimmy up and emerge in a better film.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/10079847/Cannes-2013-The-Immigrant-review.html

I, not even for once, wished for it. I liked, or even loved, Bruno from the beginning for the deep feelings he had for Ewa, even though he had a hard time figuring out how to act upon them. I even think Bruno’s feelings were one the most sincere and strong aspects of “The Immigrant” and Ewa’s gradually growing sympathy for him only complemented his.

“That first journey into Manhattan is a thrill: the old city is realised in rich and convincing detail, less ambitious in scale than the sets of Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time In America, but certainly with the same glister of authenticity.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/10079847/Cannes-2013-The-Immigrant-review.html

I never noticed anything that didn’t belong to the 1920s, not that I’m an expert, but the environment definitely supported the story for me. I was most amazed by the fancy dresses the women wore in the theatre and it was clear that the makers had put a lot of effort in the visual details.

“The Immigrant is almost worth seeing for its final shot: an image of forked paths and bifurcated destinies with a sense of fatalism that seems positively Dostoevskian.”

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/may/16/the-immigrant-review-marion-cotillard-james-gray

I couldn’t agree more. I even think it’s the most beautiful final scene from all those I’ve seen. I also loved the non-visual aspects behind it, that it wasn’t a typical contemporary love story, that it was kept perfectly simple and clear, that the feelings were so obvious and strong even without having to force them on viewers with redundant kisses and tears. These points were somewhat present throughout the whole movie and I admired that about the “The Immigrant”.

I enjoyed it. The shortcomings of the story’s depth were made up by the elaborate camerawork, which, as usual for James Gray’s movies, pushed exactly the right buttons and played with the watching experience.

https://www.thehoya.com/movie-review-the-immigrant/

”The Immigrant” – Isabel

Visual

For my visual representation of this movie I chose a photo of the Statue of Liberty. I think it fits quite well into this time period’s historical context, because the Statue of Liberty served as a symbol of friendship between the Americans and the French. The statue was built as a joint effort by two famous sculptors (one from from France and the other from the US). For years after it was built, it served as a reassuring sign for the immigrants that they had reached the ”land of their dreams”. It was a symbol of hope for the thousands of immigrants who escaped the Great War, looking for a better life in the Americas. The woman with the raised torch also represented freedom and enlightenment for the immigrants. The statue was built in France, dismantled into 340 individual pieces and shipped to New York in 214 crates, where it was built back together on a new pedestal, 110 years after the Declaration of Independence.

Review

The fourth movie we watched was a bit different from the previous movies. Even though during that time period there was the Great War, we didn’t see a single soldier in the scenes. The movie however, showed the war from a viewpoint of an immigrant who tried to escape the difficulities in her homeland, only to face even greater ones when arriving in New York.

’’Showcasing a handsome reproduction of early 1920’s New York, Gray’s film is a very sympathetic portrait of the burden of immigrant life.’’

https://www.imdb.com/review/rw3052863/?ref_=tt_urv

Personally, I think the portrayal of the burden of immigrant life made this movie a lot more interesting. Through seeing what the immigrants had to go thorugh, in order to get their life back on track, I was able to really open my eyes and gain a new outlook on the miserable way of life millions of people had to endure. For example, in the beginning of the movie we could see the immigrants sitting in the registration hall, each of them tagged with a white piece of paper. One every piece of paper, there was a number that would later on serve as the identity of the immigrant when going through an inspection that decided their future. Many of the immigrants were sent to the medical facilities including Ewa’s sister Magda. 

The burden didn’t stop outside of the walls of Ellis Island. After being set free, lots of the immigrants (including Ewa) sruggled to earn money to get on with their former way of life. Having lost close family members, it was even more difficult for the immigrants, but the thought of saving her sister one day motivated Ewa into doing whatever she could to aid in her freedom.

‘’Rather, what makes The Immigrant a great film is the way in which Gray uses actors and his mastery of the unspoken to create a tremendously lived-in, felt-through world. Every space—public or private, interior or exterior—feels authentic, historically and emotionally. ‘’

https://film.avclub.com/james-gray-s-the-immigrant-is-an-american-masterpiece-1798180525

I can somewhat agree with this viewpoint. The director of this movie did an amazing job by bringing the audience closer to the historical time period, using detailed scenery and showing the underside of 20th century New York. The only thing I didn’t like about this movie was the lack of character development. When watching this movie, I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters and I would’ve loved to learn some more about their personalities.

In conclusion, this movie shows history through a different approach (compared tho the previous ones). It’s an emotional and dramatic masterpiece, showing the difficulities that war brought along. I found this movie quite interesting and watching it was enjoyable, but putting more effort into developing relationships in this movie would’ve made it even better.

Notions

Discovery of gold and gold mining

In January 1848, James Wilson Mashall found flakes of gold in the American River near Coloma, California. At the time, Marshall was working to build a water-powered sawmill owned by John Sutter.  At first, they tried to keep the discovery a secret, but the word got out and newspapers started reporting that large quantities of gold were turning up at Sutter’s Mill.

His discovery set the beginning stages of immigrants fleeing to California. By June, 75% of the males in San Francisco had left the town for gold mines. Throughout 1849, people around the US did all they could to travel to California ( in pursuit of the wealth they left their families and hometowns behind) – these people were known as ‘49ers. 

Fortune seekers travelling to the California goldfields to find new diggings

By the end of 1849, the population of California had risen from 20 000 to 100 000. Gold mining towns sprung up all over the region. These tows srarted out as tent camps, but grew as more people arrived and more businesses were set up. Overcrowding caused chaos in the mining camps – towns grew lawless, crime, prostitituon, violence. The presence of immigrants forced the Native Americans into starvation, because the 49ers took over their food supply and claimed it for themselves as they began hunting on Indian land.

The Gold Rush sped up California’s admission the the Union as the 31st state. According to the Compromise of 1850, California was allowed to enter as a free state.

The construction of railroads

Transcontinental Railroad

Before, it cost 1000 dollars to travel between California and New York, but with the constrution of the Transcontinental Railroad,  the price dropped to 150, and the trip took a week. When railroads abled Americans to travel more easily, they were able exchange ideas and conduct business with each other (goods moved faster and cheaper).

The Native American way of live however, was severely damaged. The railroads pushed through tribal lands and many natural resources were destroyed.

A locomotive crosses a railway bridge during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad

The Union Pacific Railroad

The Union Pacific Railroad was the eastern half of the Transcontinental Railroad. Construction started in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1864, but there were not many workers available, because so many men were still fighting in the Civil War. Once the war ended, the construction of the 1087 miles of track began. The railroad linked with existing railroads from the east and with the Central Pacific Railroad

The Central Pacific Railroad

Construction on the Central Pacific started in Sacramento, California, in 1863. It covered only 690 miles (from California to Utah). The railroad went through a mountain range Sierra Nevada, and workers had to blast 15 tunnels through the mountains. There were days when workers only made two or three inches of progress, but the construction sped up when they started using nitroglycerin.

Industrialisation

Before 1880, industrialization depended un division of labor, but after 1880, it depended on mechanization (the replacement of people with machines)

America’s rich natural resources contributed to economic growth. The nation’s water supply helped power industrial machines. The larger cities in the Northeast developed the fastest.  Cotton textile factories were built in Massachusetts and New Bedford. Chicago made its name processing grain and lumber. Meat processing became such an enormous industry that most of the meat the  Americans ate was processed in the city. Iron and coal mines were built and used for powering factory machines, iron for building machines and buildings, steel for railroads. 

The South fell behind on industrial expansion, but caught up in the 20th century. Some industry developed, but the South remained mostly agricultural throughout industrialization. Birmingham, Alabama, for example flourished as a center for iron and steel manufacturing. Growth of cotton mills in California began in the 1870s. After the 20th century, textile industry spread.

Formation of Trusts

 There were several giant businesses known as ‘’trusts’’, that controlled whole sections of the economy. Two of the most famous trusts were US Steel and Standard Oil.

Standard Oil

  • Formed by John D. Rockefeller
  • Controlled almost all oil production, processing and marketing
  • Fcaed many legal issues after the Sherman Antitrust Act
  • Was forced to break up into seven state comapnies ‘’Seven Sisters’’

US Steel

  • Formed by several businessmen
  • Charles M Schwab – president
  • Was capitalized at 1.4 billion, the first billion-dollar corporation in American History
  • Absorbed many companies

When one company controlled an entire industry, there was less competition. People had no choice who to buy from and prices went higher. This made the public go angry and demand the government to take action. 

President Theodore Roosevelt broke up many trusts with ‘’antitrust’’ laws. The goal of these laws was to protect consumers and promote competition in the marketplace.

The Sherman Act – illegalized agreements that would limit competition (price fixing)

The Clayton Act – stopped companies from merging into one big company

Federal Trade Commission Act – federal agency to watch out for unfair business practices

Andrew Carnegie

  • American industrialist and philanthrophist
  • Worked in a Pittsburgh cotton factory (earning 1.20/week)
  • Worked in Pennsyavania Railroad as the assistant to Thomas Scott, one of the railroad’s top officials
  • Became a superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1859
  • Invested in iron and oil companies while working for the railroad
  • By 1889, he owned Carnegie Steel Corporation (largest steel company in the world)
  • In 1901, he sold his business and dedicated his time to philantrophy
  • Established the Carnegie-Mellon University in 1904

John D. Rockerfeller

  • founder of The Standard Oil Company (SOC) in 1870
  • Became one of the world’s wealthiest men, major philanthropist
  • Born in New York, entered the oil business by invensting in a Cleveland refinery
  • SOC controlled 90% of US refineries
  • Was accused of colluding with railroads to eliminate his competitors
  • In 1911, US Supreme Court ordered SOC to be dissolved, in violation of anti-trust laws
  • During his life, he donated more than 500 million to philanthrophy

Henry Ford

  • Grew up in Michingan, 1863
  • At the age of 16, left home for Detroit to work as a machinist
  • Returned home to work on the family farm after three years
  • In 1891, he returned with his wife to Detroit
  • Was hired an an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company(EIC)
  • Promoted chief engineer 2 years later
  • Spent many hours to build a gasoline-powered horseless carriage, or automobile
  • In 1896, completed the ‘’Quadricycle’’ – metal frame with 4 bicycle wheels powered by a gasoline engine
  • In 1902, established his Ford Motor Company
  • A month after, the first Ford car was assmebled in Detroit (model T)
  • Assmebly process was slow and cars were built by hand
  • Ford introduced new mass-production methods, including large production plants, use of interchangeable parts and the world’s first moving assembly line for cars

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was a joint effort between the French and Americans(symbol of friendship)

Work on the culpture began in 1875, by the French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. 

‘’Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World’’ – a woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet in her left, upon which was engraved July 4,1776

Construction of the Statue of Liberty

Bartholdi hammered large copper sheets to create the statue’s ‘’skin’’, modelled the sculpture’s face after the face of his mother. Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel assembled the statue’s steel framework.

The construcion started in France, but fundraising efforts continued in the US. In 1885, Bartholdi completed the statue, it was disassembled and shipped to New York in more then 200 crates. Over the next months, workers reassembled the statue and mounted it on the pedestal, which was build in Bedloe’s Island.

Causes of immigration from Europe in the 19th Century

  • Mass industrialization drew many job-seeking immigrants into the US
  • Bad conditions in home countires ( revolutions, famine)
  • 600 000 Italians migrated to America, over 2 million Jews fleed religious persecution

 Different Waves of immigration

Irish Immigrant Wave

  • Immigration form Western Europe that lasts until the Civil War
  • 1820-1860, one third of the US immigrants were from Ireland
  • 5 million German immigrants migrated to Midwest to buy farms and gather into cities
  • Many immigrants arrived in bad conditions from their long journey
  • In response, the US passed the Steerage Act of 1819 requiring better conditions on ships arriving in the country

Second Wave 1880-1920

  • more than 20 million immigrants arrive from Southern, Eastern and Central Europe
  • 4 million Italians, 2 million Jews
  • many settle inmajor cities to work in factories
  • 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act passes, which bars Chinese immigrants from entering the US
  • From the 1850, a steady flow of Chinese workers immigrated to America
  • Worked in gold mines, factories and built railroads
  • The 1882 act was the first act to place restrictions on certain immigrant groups
  • 1891, the Immigration act barred the immigration of criminals and the sick and diseased

Jewish immigration

Jews left Germany becasue of persecution, restrictive laws, economic hardship, and the failure of movements advocating reform and revolution there. They looked to America as a place for economic and social opportunity.

Easter European Jews immigrated to the US due to overpopulation, oppressive legislation and poverty. They looked for financial and social advancement. Between 1880 and 1924, over 2 million Jews came to America.

The immigrants settled in poorer neighborhoods of major cities (New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago). Living conditions were cramped, immigrants worked in garment industries, cigar manufacturies and construction sites. 

Ellis Island

After the Civil War, control of immigration was turned to the federal government, and the first federal immigration station was built. The Ellis Island Immigration Station officially opens on January 1, 1892. Nearly 450,000 immigrants passed thorugh Ellis Island the first year.

The immigrants were tagged, had to go through long physical and legal examinations and an interview. People who were ill or  failed to answer the questions correctly were sent back to their home contry.

29 questions were asked form each immigrant, including: Where were you born? Are you married? What is your occupation? Have you ever been convicted of a crime? How much money do you have? What is your destination?

In 1897, a fire broke out in one of the towers and the roof collapsed. The station was relocated to manhattan’s Battery Park and the new facility was opened in December. 


The Registry Room, adorned with U.S. flags

Reed-Johnson Immigration Act of 1924

The Act limited the number of immigrants allowed to enter the US. Yhe number of immigrants was restricted to 2% of the number of residents from that same country lining in the US. The law completely excluded immigrants from Asia. 

The clear aim of this law was to restrict the entry of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, while welcoming relatively large numbers of newcomers from Britain, Ireland, and Northern Europe.

Melting Pot and Salad Bowl

Melting pot

  • Fusion of different nationalities, ethnicities and cultures into a new race of man
  • with time, generations of immigrants have melted together (abandoned their cultures to assimilate into American society)
  • No cultural diversity, differences aren’t often respected

Salad Bowl

  • People from different countries live in harmony, just like the components of a salad harmonize each other, but they don’t mix or combine
  • Each culture keeps its own qualities, providing a sense of belonging
  • On the other hand, cultures don’t mix at all and some people spend their entire lives living in multicultural cities without learning the country’s language


Present situation

The overall immigrant population continues to grow, but at a slower rate than before the 2007-09 recession. Recent immigrants are more likely to be from Asia than from Mexico, and are also more likely to have a college degree. The size of the unauthorized population appears to be on the decline. Deportations from within the United States are rising. And the United States in 2018 resettled the smallest number of refugees since formal creation of the refugee resettlement program in 1980. More than 44.5 million immigrants resided in the United States in 2017 and one in seven U.S. residents is foreign born

Urbanization

  • Industrialisation stimulated urbanization, causing cities to grow both in population and physical size
  • Industrial factories were built near bigger cities, whch meant that cities grew much faster
  • New York expanded from Half a million to 3.5 million in 50 years
  • Philadelphia increased from 100 000 inhabitants to 1.2 million in the same period
  • The US grew from around 10 million in 1870 to more than 30 million in 1900
  • As population grew, buldings had to grow up instead of out. 
  • After the mid-1880s it became easier to build taller buildings because steel companies mass produced steel
  • First subway systems
Manhattan, New York in 1990

Living conditions

Most poor  people, as well as immigrants lived in overcrowded slums or tenements. 5-9 people lived in a single room which was as big as an apartment. Diseases spread, lack of medicine and medical care, death rates raised. Cholera, yellow-fever, and tubercolosis were the main killers. Almost 25% of babies born in late-19th century cities died before reaching the age of one. Although sewage systems were improving, the cities smelled and sewage was dropped in the river and the trash was dumped in the streets. Poverty and crime were common (gangs roamed the streets). People fell to gambling, prostitution, and alcoholism.

Labor unions

Grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. They fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. Tried to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to injured workers.

First successful improvement: 1868 a coalition of workers called the National Labor Union succeedes in convincing Congress to establish an 8-hour work day for federal employees

Progressive Movement

An effort to cure many of the ills of American society that had developed during the great spurt of industrial growth in the last quarter of the 19th century. The struggle for women’s rights and the temperance movement (encouraged moderation in ghe consumption og intoxicatig liquors) were the initial issues.

Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency was a driving force for the movement. He strived to reconcile labor and business through Progressive legislation. Under Roosevelt’s leadership, the attorney general brought 44 suits against business monopolies. These suits were largely successful: Standard Oil was dispersed into 30 smaller companies that eventually competed with one another. Roosevelt’s successful campaign against corporate monopolies earned him the nickname “Trust Buster.

An American Empire

The Philippines became the first U.S. colony after Spain ceded the islands for $20 million in 1898. The Spanish-American War lasted only six weeks and resulted in a decisive victory for the United States. Future US president Theodore Roosevelt rose to national prominence due to his role in the conflict. As a result of the war, the United States acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines as territories. Among the two most prominent reasons for the war were the ongoing Cuban and Filipino struggle against Spanish rule, and the explosion of the battleship U.S.S. Maine, killing 268 men.

Dollar Diplomacy

The term “Dollar Diplomacy” refers to the use of diplomacy to promote the United States commercial interest and economic power abroad by guaranteeing loans made to strategically important foreign countries. 

The goal:

  • To create stability and order abroa
  • To improve financial opportunities for US banking corporations
  • To encourage banks to invest their dollars into foreign areas of strategic concern to the US
  • To further the economic power of the United States and promote trade in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa and East Asia
  • To prevent foreign powers from gaining, or increasing, their financial foothold in key markets

The Effects:

  • Failed to counteract economic and political instability
  • Failed to start the wave of revolution in places like Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Nicaraguafailed to realize profits for American business
  • The United States had to send troops to protect American investments. 
  • Other attempts at dollar diplomacy in Mexico and China also failed to avert revolutions in these countries
  • Was strongly opposed by the growing tide of anti-imperialism
  • The next U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson, attempted to reverse most of Taft’s foreign policy

Monroe Doctrine

  • By James Monroe, December 2, 1823
  • Declared that the Old World and New World had different systems and must remain distinct spheres

Basic ponts:

  • The US would not interfere in the internal affairs of or the wats between European powers
  • The US would not interfere with existing colonies in the Western Hemisphere
  • The Western Hemisphere was closed to future colonization
  • Any attempt by a European power to control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as a hostile act against the United States.

The US in WW I

Although the U.S. tried to remain neutral when WWI broke out, it finally joined on April 6, 1917 after declaring war on Germany. The reason for America to become involved in WWI was Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare, which had already sunk several American merchant ships. The U.S. was initially contributed to the war by supplying raw material, supplies and money. American soldiers first arrived to the Western Front by the summer of 1918 and by the end of the war, over 4,000,000 U.S. military personnel had been mobilized. 110,000 Americans died during WW1, of which 43,000 lost their lives in the influenza pandemic.

How the U.S. contributed to WW1

  • Supplying raw materials, arms and other supplies. 
  • The U.S. actually saved Britain and some other Allied powers from bankruptcy by joining the war. Previously, Britain and its allies used to buy supplies from the U.S. amounting to over 75 billion dollar per week.
  • Providing soldiers and military personnel to fight on the side of allies.
  • Reinforcing the Allies’ strength of the naval blockade of Germany

Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles was the primary treaty produced by the Paris Peace Conference at the end of WWI. It was signed on June 28, 1919, by the Allied and associated powers and by Germany in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles and went into effect on January 10, 1920. The treaty gave some German territories to neighbouring countries and placed other German territories under international supervision. In addition, Germany was stripped of its overseas colonies, its military capabilities were severely restricted, and it was required to pay war reparations to the Allied countries. The treaty also created the League of Nations.

League of Nations

The League of Nations was an international diplomatic group developed after World War I as a way to solve disputes between countries before they erupted into open warfare. A precursor to the United Nations, the League achieved some victories but had a mixed record of success, sometimes putting self-interest before becoming involved with conflict resolution, while also contending with governments that did not recognize its authority. The League effectively ceased operations during World War II.

What was the League of Nations?

  • The League of Nations has its origins in the Fourteen points speech of President Woodrow Wilson, part of a presentation given in January 1918 outlining of his ideas for peace after WWI. 
  • Wilson envisioned an organization that was charged with resolving conflicts before they exploded into bloodshed and warfare.
  • By December of the same year, Wilson left for Paris to transform his 14 Points into what would become the Treaty of Versailles. 
  • Seven months later, he returned to the United States with a treaty that included the idea for what became the League of Nations.

Discussion

In the first scenes of the movie, we could see the statue of liberty in the distance. What was its purpose in the context of this movie?      

Between 1886 and 1924, almost 14 million immigrants entered the United States through New York. The Statue of Liberty was a reassuring sign that they had arrived in the land of their dreams. To these anxious newcomers, the Statue’s uplifted torch did not suggest “enlightenment,” as her creators intended, but rather, “welcome.” Over time, Liberty emerged as the “Mother of Exiles,” a symbol of hope to generations of immigrants.

As we saw in the movie, Ewa arrived with her sister Magda on the Ellis Island immigrant Station. Why were they there? (where did they come from?) what happened to their other family members? Which wave of immigration did they arrive with?

They migrated from Poland to New York to escape the Great war and look for a better life. Their home was destroyed and parents were killed by soldiers, but their aunt and uncle lived in New York and the sisters were supposed to go and live with them. They arrived with the third wave of immigration?

Why was Ewa worried about her sister’s condition? What happened to her sister?

Ewa was worried that her sister wouldn’t pass the strict medical examinations. When the inspector listened her lungs, he said that she might have tuberculosis and has to be examined further. She would be kept in the Ellis Island hospital for 6 months and if she didn’t improve at that time she would be deported back to Poland.

When Ewa was interviewed, she failed to ask one question. What question? What was the outcome?

The officer asked her if she had committed a crime or not. Ewa said no, but she was told her answer is incorrect. It was written on the papers  that on the voyage to America, Eva prostituted herself (the truth, revealed later, is that she was raped). After failing to answer the question, she was sent so be deported back to Poland. (her family’s address was also said to be inexistent).

Why did officers in the Ellis Island call Ewa a girl with low morals?

They thought that she had prostituted herself to the men on the boat. But as it comes out from the movie, this statement is not true at all, she has high morals (as being a Catholic).

How did Bruno have the pull on Ellis Island? (gets to bring immigrants in)

Bruno claims that he has ties with an Immigrant Assistance Organization/Travel’s Aid Company. In reality, money and relationships.

As we all see from the movie, clearly Magda was very important to Ewa. Ewa was determined to help her sister every war she could. What measures was Ewa willing to take purely just to get money and the help her sister needed?

She tried to steal money, starts performing in Bruno’s theatre, prostitution, tolerating Bruno, not leaving from him, helps to cover up a murder.

In the bathhouse, Ewa was offered a banana. She started eating it with the peel on. Explain that.

Many of the immigrants didn’t have the money to afford luxurious ships to travel to America. They had to survive on lukewarm soup, black bread, potatoes, and fish. Exotic foods like bananas were new things to them.

How did Bruno convince Ewa into prostitution?

He invites her to perform in his burlesque show. She can be one of the girls who doesn’t appear nude, he says, but he informs her that, if she really wants to earn the money to bribe the Ellis Island officials to let her sister go, she will have to do certain “things” she won’t want to do.

Why and on what terms did Ewa agree with that?

It was the only way for her to earn money to save her sister. She begins to prostitute herself for Bruno, but only if he gives her half the money.

Does Ewa fit in with the other burlesque girls? Why did Ewa feel misplaced and didn’t connect with the other burlesque girls and characters?

Ewa felt like an outcast among the other burlesque girls, because she was most likely traumatized  after leaving her sister and felt alone in that terrible situation. She couldn’t participate in a competition because she didn’t have any money. She also refused to drink with the others. Said she misses her family. The other girls were also jealous that Bruno seemed to like Ewa so much and ultimately fell in love with her.

Rosie mentioned liquor quite many times, what was the situation with alcohol in the states in the 20s? (hint: al capone)

The period between 1920 and 1933 in the states is often referred to as “the prohibition era”. Alcoholism, family violence (wife abuse), petty crime and saloon-based political corruption prompted prohibitionists, to end the alcoholic beverage trade to cure the ill society. The Eighteenth Amendment established the prohibition of “intoxicating liquors”. This prompted the rise of speakeasies (illegal bars selling beer and liquor after paying off local police and government officials). Bandit’s Roost was (probably) a speakeasy.

Ewa escapes Bruno’s place and arrives at her aunt’s and uncle’s. How did they act towards her?

Her aunt and uncle accepted her into their home at first, but the next morning her uncle (who was a respected businessman) learned about the rumors on the ship and reported Ewa to the police. He was a man of honour. A good name was important to him. Ewa’s aunt was much more caring, gave Ewa money to help Magda.

The inspector in the Ellis Island told Ewa, that her aunt’s and uncle’s address isn’t valid and doesn’t exist. To Ewa’s uncle they said, that Ewa and Magda never came with the boat. Why did they lie?

The inspector didn’t lie. Ewa’s uncle had been to Ellis Island, but after he heard what had happened on the boat to US (“Ewa had prostituted”), he left. He thinks himself as a business and an honourable man, who doesn’t want to get his name shamed.

Explain the love triangle situation in the movie.

Bruno is madly in love with Ewa. Emil seems to fancy Ewa too, not as desperately as Bruno does. Ewa doesn’t seem to like no one, she is determined to get to her loving sister, and to her, nothing else matters.

Why did Bruno feel jealous of Emil and why was he scared of him?

When they were younger, Emil ran away with bruno’s girlfriend and it hurt him a lot. He was scared that Orlando might come and steal Ewa from him. But Bruno also had a gun in his drawer for protection and he wasn’t afraid to use it.

Why did Emil fail to protect and save Ewa. How did he die?

Orlando comes back from his tour, says that he could help Ewa reach her sister. They take Bruno’s gun, Emil appears during a conversation between Bruno and Ewa. Orlando forces Bruno to say that Ewa is free to go, threatening him with a gun to his head, but Bruno stabs Orlando at the same time Orlano releases the fake shot because of fear and kills him.

When Ewa went to confess in the church that she stole the money, she talked about her journey to new york. Explain it (the conditions)

“there is no food and no room. it is very dirty and we are all together, like animals.”

What was the importance of Mother of God in the movie? Why did Ewa pray to her?

The heroine prays to Mary in two scenes. In the second scene, however, she also overtly prays to God in the name of the Holy Trinity. At the end, it appears that God has indeed answered her prayers.

What was Bruno’s ethnicity/religion?

Ashkenazi jew, central european (cop called him “kike” which is a slur for a jew, he said he spoke yiddish which is the historical language of Ashkenazi jews). Weiss is a German, Austrian, Swiss German, German Jewish, Austrian Jewish, and Swiss Jewish surname meaning ‘white’ or ‘knows’. Bruno tells Ewa in the beginning of the film, that he speaks Yiddish (a language used mainly by Jews).

What do you think of Ewa’s character development?

Shy and helpless > can stand up for herself, can hold a conversation. hiding behind the fireplace > threatening her coworker w/ scissors. blindly trusting bruno > being sceptical about orlando helping her with her sister. parallelism: the other women giving her opium in the beginning (for her nerves or whatever) > she giving bruno opium (for pain) after he gets beat up.

Why does Ewa thank bruno at the end? Why does bruno not accept her thanks?

Thanks to Bruno, Ewa wasn’t deported back, she ultimately got back together with her sister. Every other bad thing didn’t matter in that second, Ewa was thinking that Bruno’s love for her saved her sister. Bruno felt like he had betrayed Ewa. Because of him, Ewa starts prostitution to earn money. He gave her no other choice.

How is the ending of the movie related to the morale of the story?

the ending of THE IMMIGRANT shows clearly that Christian faith in God leads to salvation and freedom, but a sinful life leads to an impoverished life of psychological imprisonment,(like a Hell).

What was the relationship between Ewa and Bruno in the beginning. Describe the change. What were Bruno’s intentions with Ewa in the beginning of the film? How did change throughout the film? Why? What changed in Bruno?

In the beginning, Ewa was seen just as a next pretty girl, who could perform in Bruno’s theatre. Ewa trusts Bruno blindly, to help her and hopes that he would help to get her sister out too. Soon Bruno starts falling for Ewa (for some odd reason), Ewa despises him. Because he had led her to prostitution and performing. Bruno starts going crazy, paranoid about Emil, ultimately kills him, saves money for her, gets beat up but still wants to help. In the end Ewa sees that Bruno cares for her and tries to forgive and give him a second chance.

Ewa says this: “I hate you (Bruno), and I hate myself?” What does she mean by it?

Pretty straightforward. Bruno led Ewa to prostitution. Ewa would have never done that if it wasn’t for money. Her morals were too high. She hated herself because she had commited too many sins in terms of her Catholic religion.



Immigrant (by Maian)

Notions

Discovery of gold and gold mining

3 GOLD MAJOR FIRST GOLD RUSHES. North-Carolina, Georgia, California
1st rush in 1799 Gold discovered in North-Carolina. The finder didn’t know its value and used it as a doorstop. In 1802 it was recognized and word spread. First miners were FARMERS. Carolina mines evolved into mine-shafts. By 1835 there was a manifold of it so president Jackson created U.S mint to process it.
2nd rush (Georgia) in 1835 created tensions with aboriginals and resulted in the removal of Cherokee tribes from the area. Also, a mint founded.
3rd rush In 1848, a gold mine in Coloma, California by J.W.Marshall. At first, tried to keep it a secret, didn’t succeed. Immigrants started flowing into California. ‘Forty-niners’ rushed to Calif. thanks to which it was made a state. Amateur and pro-miners. Private companies were created to process the gold=Entrepreneurship ‘flourished’.

The construction of railroads (Union Pacific Railroad Co, Central Pacific Railroad Co)

In 1862, a Pacific Railroad Act made 2 companies start building railroads that would connect the land from West to East. In 1869 the 2 sides met in Utah.
At first, people traveled from one coast to another usually by ship which took 6 months. Unless they were willing to go to the hazardous journey by foot, but people’s wish to travel increased with finding gold. Asa Whitney recommended building railroads. Engineer Theodor Judah made it happen after 20 years gaining the approval from Lincoln. The terms included that each company got 48k dollars for each mile which forced a competition early on. The construction companies included many megalomanian businessmen who also made illegal deals for profit. Native Americans feeling threatened of white Americans’ ‘iron horse’ attacked and kept disrupting the work. Poor settlements were founded behind the railroads forming the ‘Wild West’. Railroad constructers were different immigrants. The Union Pacific railroad company managed to cover 4 times as much distance as the Central Pacific one. 2 sides met in Promontory Summit.

Industrialisation (raw materials, effect on development of economy, main industries)

A process where an agricultural economy transforms into a manufacturing one. In the USA it began in the early 1800s. After the Civil War, machines replaced much of the manual work. Industrialisation grew the economy rapidly thanks to more goods being produced more quickly by machines. America had an abundance of natural resources; especially water helped to keep the machines working. Timber, iron, coal. Communication (telephones, railways, telegraph) helped businesses to succeed. New products such as photograph, telephone, typewriter. Many jobs in the manufactures to maximize efficiency in productivity. ‘Gilded era’-Mark Twain in 1920s-30; the culture of the new wealthy people building mansions and following Europe in its art design etc.

Formation of trusts

Trusts are formed when several businesses come together to standardize their rules and prices in order to increase profit. Great for businesses but bad for consumers. Trusts emerged when there rose a competition between different firms offering a similar product. Without trusts, companies would have to compete with each other which is not beneficial for either of them. Trusts helped to agree on rules so that no company would have to lower their prices. Famous trusts: Rockefeller’s Oil Trust, the Sugar Trust, etc. Because of the negative effect on the consumer (prices not lowering), acts were made by congress that would prohibit trusts.
(Stock-holders in a company who’d give their respective trustees the power to vote for decisions within the company. )

The role of Andrew Carnegie

American industrialist and philanthrophist
Worked in a Pittsburgh cotton factory (earning 1.20/week)
Worked in Pennsylvania Railroad as the assistant to Thomas Scott, one of the railroad’s top officials
Became a superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1859
Invested in iron and oil companies while working for the railroad
By 1889, he owned Carnegie Steel Corporation (largest steel company in the world)
In 1901, he sold his business and dedicated his time to philanthrophy
Established the Carnegie-Mellon University in 1904

The role of John D. Rockefeller

The founder of The Standard Oil Company (SOC) in 1870
Became one of the world’s wealthiest men, a major philanthropist
Born in New York, entered the oil business by investing in a Cleveland refinery
SOC controlled 90% of US refineries
Was accused of colluding with railroads to eliminate his competitors
In 1911, US Supreme Court ordered SOC to be dissolved, in violation of anti-trust laws
During his life, he donated more than 500 million to philantrophy
The role of Henry Ford
Grew up in Michigan, 1863
At the age of 16, left home for Detroit to work as a machinist
Returned home to work on the family farm after three years
In 1891, he went with his wife to Detroit
Was hired an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company(EIC)
Promoted chief engineer 2 years later
Spent many hours to build a gasoline-powered horseless carriage or automobile
In 1896, completed the ‘’Quadricycle’’ – metal frame with 4 bicycle wheels powered by a gasoline engine
In 1902, established his Ford Motor Company
A month after, the first Ford car was assembled in Detroit (model T)
Assembly process was slow and cars were built by hand
Ford introduced new mass-production methods, including large production plants, use of interchangeable parts and the world’s first moving assembly line for cars

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York, in the United States. The copper statue standing at 93 meters, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The Statue of Liberty is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet as she walks forward. The statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States and a national park tourism destination. It is a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad. Fundraising for the statue proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened by lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer, of the New York World, started a drive for donations to finish the project and attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. Between 1886 and 1924, almost 14 million immigrants entered the United States through New York. The Statue of Liberty was a reassuring sign that they had arrived in the land of their dreams. To these anxious newcomers, the Statue’s uplifted torch did not suggest “enlightenment,” as her creators intended, but rather, “welcome.” Over time, Liberty emerged as the “Mother of Exiles,” a symbol of hope to generations of immigrants.

Causes of immigration from Europe in the 19th century

Fleeing crop failure, land and job shortages, rising taxes, and famine, many came to the U. S. because it was perceived as the land of economic opportunity. Others came seeking personal freedom or relief from political and religious persecution. More than 70 percent of all immigrants, however, entered through New York City, which came to be known as the “Golden Door.” Throughout the late 1800s, most immigrants arriving in New York entered at the Castle Garden depot near the tip of Manhattan.
A major wave of immigration occurred from around 1815 to 1865. Majority of the immigrants came from Northern and Western Europe.
Approximately one-third came from IRELAND, which experienced a massive famine in the mid-19th century. In the 1840s, almost half of America’s immigrants were from Ireland alone. Typically impoverished, these Irish immigrants settled near their point of arrival in cities along the East Coast. Between 1820 and 1930, some 4.5 million Irish migrated to the United States.
Also in the 19th century, the United States received some 5 million GERMAN immigrants. Many of them journeyed to the present-day Midwest to buy farms or congregated in such cities as Milwaukee, St. Louis and Cincinnati. In the national census of 2000, more Americans claimed German ancestry than any other group.
During the mid-1800s, a significant number of ASIAN immigrants settled in the United States. Lured by news of the California gold rush, some 25,000 Chinese had migrated there by the early 1850s.
Between 1880 and 1920, a time of rapid industrialization and urbanization, America received more than 20 million immigrants. Beginning in the 1890s, the majority of arrivals were from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.
In that decade alone, some 600,000 ITALIANS migrated to America, and by 1920 more than 4 million had entered the United States.
JEWS from Eastern Europe fleeing religious persecution also arrived in large numbers; over 2 million entered the United States between 1880 and 1920.

Different waves of immigration

First Wave 1790 – 1820
Groups of immigrants came for a variety of religious, political, and economic reasons. Northern and Western Europeans (English, Irish, Germans, Dutch, French, Spanish, etc). Starvation, disease, and shipwreck killed 1 in 10 of those immigrants who set sail for America before they even set foot on land. (relatively little immigration, significant emigration to Canada)

Second Wave 1820 – 1860
Immigrants came for new opportunities because in Europe, peasants displaced from agriculture and artisans were made jobless from the industrial revolution. Some immigrants received “American Letters” which were encouraging friends and relatives to join them in America. German (escaping economic problems and seeking political freedom), British, Irish 40% (poverty and famine encouraged emigration). The Roman Catholic church was the single largest religious body in the United States by 1850.

Third Wave 1880 – 1914
Immigrants came over to America for more job opportunities and freedom of religion. Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian countries (migrated to the western states). In the 1910 census, foreign-born residents made up 15 percent of the U.S. population and 24 percent of the U.S. labor force.

Fourth Wave 1965 – Present
A new law that altered the selection of immigrants from the country they were from, to giving priority to people who already had family in the United States or had skills that were needed in the labor market. Europeans, Asians, Hispanics (Mexico). In the 1980s and early 1990s, Asians made up about one-third of the immigrants entering America. Hispanics made up about one-half of the number of immigrants in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Jewish immigration

Sephardic wave
The first group of Sephardic settlers arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654 from Brazil. For several decades afterward, adventurous Sephardic and Ashkenazic merchants established homes in American colonial ports, including Newport, R.I., New Amsterdam (later New York), Philadelphia, Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga. This was a departure from the Old World, where synagogues in places like Amsterdam, London, and Recife, taxed commercial transactions, regulated Jewish publications, and punished members for lapses in individual or commercial morality.

German wave
German Jews began to come to America in significant numbers in the 1840s. Jews left Germany because of persecution, restrictive laws, economic hardship, and the failure of movements — widely supported by German Jews — advocating revolution and reform there. Some 250,000 German-speaking Jews came to America by the outbreak of World War I. This sizable immigrant community expanded American Jewish geography by establishing themselves in smaller cities and towns in the Midwest, West, and the South. If German Jews had one city of their own invention, it was Cincinnati.

Eastern European wave
Eastern European Jews began to immigrate to the United States in large numbers after 1880. Pushed out of Europe by overpopulation, oppressive legislation and poverty, they were pulled toward America by the prospect of financial and social advancement. Between 1880 and the onset of restrictive immigration quotas in 1924, over 2 million Jews from Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Romania came to America. The immigrants found work in factories, especially in the garment industry, but also in cigar manufacturing, food production, and construction. Large-scale Jewish immigration to the United States ended in 1924.

Ellis Island

On January 1, 1892 – her 15th birthday – Annie Moore from County Cork, Ireland, became the first person admitted to the new immigration station on Ellis Island. On that opening day, she received a greeting from officials and a $10.00 gold piece. Annie traveled to New York with her two younger brothers on steerage aboard the S.S. Nevada, which left Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, on December 20, 1891 and arrived in New York on the evening of December 31. After being processed, the children were reunited with their parents, who were already living in New York.

Ellis Island is a former immigration inspection station in New York Harbor, within the states of New York and New Jersey. It was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States as the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. After an arduous sea voyage, immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were tagged with information from their ship’s registry; they then waited on long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States. From 1900 to 1914 – the peak years of Ellis Island’s operation – some 5,000 to 10,000 people passed through the immigration station every day.

Reed-Johnson Immigration Act of 1924

The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census. It completely excluded immigrants from Asia. Signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge.

The 1924 Immigration Act also included a provision excluding from entry any alien who by virtue of race or nationality was ineligible for citizenship. Existing nationality laws dating from 1790 and 1870 excluded people of Asian lineage from naturalizing. As a result, the 1924 Act meant that even Asians not previously prevented from immigrating – the Japanese in particular – would no longer be admitted to the United States. Many in Japan were very offended by the new law, which was a violation of the Gentlemen’s Agreement. The Japanese government protested, but the law remained, resulting in an increase in existing tensions between the two nations. Despite the increased tensions, it appeared that the U.S. Congress had decided that preserving the racial composition of the country was more important than promoting good ties with Japan.

1917 >>> They created a plan that lowered the existing quota from three to two percent of the foreign-born population. They also pushed back the year on which quota calculations were based from 1910 to 1890.

The notion of Melting Pot vs Salad Bowl

The USA is traditionally called a melting pot because with time, generations of immigrants have melted together: they have abandoned their cultures to become totally assimilated into American society. Historically, it is often used to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the United States.

But in the UK, where cultural diversity is considered a positive thing, immigrants have always been encouraged to maintain their traditions and their native language. This model of racial integration can be described as a salad bowl, with people of different cultures living in harmony, like the lettuce, tomatoes and carrots in a salad. New York City can be considered as being a “salad bowl”

Both models of multicultural societies have contradictory aspects:
in a melting pot there is no cultural diversity and sometimes differences are not respected;
in a salad bowl cultures do not mix at all.

“Yes, there are many different types of people living here, but we are not all mixed together as one big happy community. Our country is so incredibly divided. Even in towns where there are many different groups of people, they are still split apart. You always see that the run down inner city part of the community is where they put all of the minority groups like blacks and Hispanics, while the clean, rich communities are where the white people reside. This is not us “living together” this is us still separate, and not equal.”

Present situation

Immigrants comprise about 14 percent of the U.S. population: more than forty-three million out of a total of about 323 million people. Together, immigrants and their U.S.-born children make up about 27 percent of U.S. inhabitants. Illegal immigration. The undocumented population is about eleven million and has leveled off since the 2008 economic crisis, which led some to return to their home countries and discouraged others from coming to the United States. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 71 percent of Americans considered immigration a “good thing” for the United States.

Forty-six percent of immigrants in 2017 reported their race as single-race White, 27 percent as Asian, 9 percent as Black, and 16 percent as some other race. About 2 percent reported having two or more races. In 2017, approximately 78 percent (239.3 million) of the 306 million people ages 5 and older in the United States reported speaking only English at home.

Group 3: The US at the beginning of the 20th century
Urbanisation (living conditions, labour unions)
The US was a predominantly rural in the 18th century. In 1790 approximately 95% of people lived outside a city. At that time only 3 cities had more than 15.000 residents. However, urbanisation exploded during the Industrial Revolution. The nation changed from an agricultural to an urbanized and industrialized one. Before the Revolution, rich people tended to live in the center of the city. However, rapid urbanization opened the possibilities of larger roads and mass public transport, which allowed towns to expand their borders. Because factory workers did not need to live in a close range to their workplace, suburbs were built. The North became heavily urbanized and industrialized, while the South remained rural. Only in 1920 did the number of citizens living in urban areas become bigger than in rural areas. Because of the growing number of factory workers, more people demanded tolerable working conditions. This marked the rampant start of labour unions. Eventually, labour unions played a key role in abolishing child labour and increasing wages, reducing working hours and improving sanitation in factories across USA.

Progressive Movement: Theodore Roosevelt

The Progressive Movement, also known as Progressive Era, was a period from 1830s to 1920s. The later political movement supported equal conditions for everybody and it developed because of the socio-economic problems as a consequence to industrialization. Many progressives lived in cities and were well educated. Many problems, such as immigration, corruption, better education and the right to vote were tackled. The peak of the activism was when Theodore Roosevelt came to power as president. He was the governor of New York and he was aware of city problems, which only the government could resolve. He noticed the public’s outcry over rising prices in industries controlled by a monopoly. He began to eliminate monopoly, such as in the railroad, tobacco, beef and oil industries. His reforms’ purpose was to allow a free market and to end corruption and monopolism. To add, he claimed a lot of land in the west to harvest resources and develop an infrastructure for citizens. The Progressive Era ended after World War I, when the horrors of people were exposed and many began to associate president Wilson’s sayings with the war. He was the creator of National Pubs in the US.

An American Empire (the Philippines, Cuba)

It was a Spanish-American war. The first battle was held in the Philippines. Americans knew nothing about Philippines culture or history so American military diplomacy was being carried out in the arrogant cover of almost total ignorance. In 1896, a riot against the Spanish had started in the Philippines. The rebels had adopted a constitution modeled after the American constitution. They had elected a government, including a president: Emilio Aguinaldo. Spain agreed on a truce but then tricked the Philippines so America sent their troops to help the rebels out. Rebels didn’t accept the help put the troops never left. Spain knew they were losing so they surrendered, but only to the US. Americans stayed there and from their point of view, Filipinos were a conquered people. They had no right, US troops searched their houses without any warrants. Americans called them “indians” and the soldier referred to them as “niggers”. American soldiers also landed in Cuba. In less than two weeks of fighting, the Spanish were again defeated. Other American soldiers occupied Puerto Rico, another Spanish-owned island close to Cuba. In July the Spanish government saw it was beaten. It asked the Americans for peace.
When peace was signed, Spain gave most of its overseas empire to the United States – Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and a small Pacific island called Guam. Spain sold the Philippines to America for 20 million dollars. But not everything is bad, the Americans built schools and hospitals, constructed roads, provided pure water supplies and put an end to killer diseases like malaria and yellow fever in the lands they now ruled. They continued to rule most of them until the middle years of the century. The Philippines became an independent country in 1946. In 1953 Puerto Rico became self-governing, but continued to be closely tied to the United States. In 1959 Hawaii was admitted as the fiftieth state of the Union. Cuba was treated differently. When Congress declared war on Spain in 1898 it said that it was only doing so to help the Cuban people to win independence. When the war ended, Cuba was soon declared an independent country. Nevertheless, US used Cuba as a military base.

Dollar Diplomacy

Dollar Diplomacy, foreign policy created by U.S. President William Howard Taft and his secretary of state, Philander C. Knox, to ensure the financial stability of a region while protecting and extending U.S. commercial and financial interests there. It grew out of President Theodore Roosevelt’s peaceful intervention in the Dominican Republic, where U.S. loans had been exchanged for the right to choose the Dominican head of customs (the country’s major revenue source).Under the name of Dollar Diplomacy, the Taft administration engineered such a policy in Nicaragua. It upheld the overthrow of José Santos Zelaya and set up Adolfo Díaz in his place; it set up an authority of traditions; and it ensured loans to the Nicaraguan government. The hatred of the Nicaraguan individuals, however, in the long run resulted in U.S. military intervention too. Taft and Knox also attempted to promulgate Dollar Diplomacy in China, where it was even less successful, both in terms of U.S. ability to supply loans and in terms of world reaction. The dismal failure of Dollar Diplomacy—from its simplistic assessment of social unrest to its formulaic application—caused the Taft administration to finally abandon the policy in 1912. Dollar diplomacy has come to refer in a disparaging way to the heedless manipulation of foreign affairs for strictly monetary ends.

Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued on December 2, 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved, or were at the point of gaining, independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires. To simplify the Monroe Doctrine was a principle of US policy, originated by President James Monroe, that any intervention by external powers in the politics of the Americas is a potentially hostile act against the US.

The US in WWI

The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, more than two and a half years after World War I started. Before entering the war, the U.S. had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers.The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material, and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General of the Armies John Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived at the rate of 10,000 men a day on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. During the war the U.S. mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including around 45,000 who died due to the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces.After a relatively slow start in mobilizing the economy and labor force, by spring 1918, the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world, although there was substantial public opposition to U.S. entry into the war. Although World War I began in 1914, the United States did not join the war until 1917. The impact of the United States joining the war was significant. The additional firepower, resources, and soldiers of the U.S. helped to tip the balance of the war in favor of the Allies.

Versailles Treaty of 1919

The Treaty of Versailles was perhaps one of the most important treaties in all of mankind, ending the Great War, or better known as World War I. Initially, it originated from President Woodrow Wilson, with his Fourteen Points Speech to the Congress on January 8, 1918. The Treaty was signed on June 28, 1919. Under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, Germany was held responsible for all war crimes and damages, therefore they had to pay 132 billion marks (roughly 396 billion euros in today’s economy) in reparations. This was also the cause of the hyperinflation in Germany.
Most of the border territories were either given back to the original country or given as entirely new land for neighbouring countries who aided the Triple Entente (Denmark, Belgium, Poland and Lithuania). The treaty demanded that Germany would lower their armies forces, all while prohibiting the use of certain class weapons and later on, be completely disarmed. However, due to the rise of Hitler in 1932, the treaty’s terms were completely avoided.

League of Nations

The League of Nations was to be formed under the first part of the Treaty of Versailles, later officially founded at the Paris Peace Conference on January 10, 1920. There were 42 original founding members and 15 other countries who joined later on. Its primary goal was to maintain world peace, by negotiation before things got worse. Their most successful achievement was the creation of the Geneva Protocol (prohibited use of biological and chemical weapons), while their other endeavours were not able to be enacted. A lot of problems were not able to be solved because of countries not believing that they were a threat to the attackers, meaning that the League had to mostly watch from the sidelines.
Even though it was Woodrow Wilson’s plan to form an intergovernmental organization to stop wars from ever happening, the US refused to join them. This, and the Soviet Union joining the League and later declaring war on Finland severely lowered their reputation.
During World War II, the League of Nations’ members were supposed to stay neutral, but France and Germany did not agree to this. That shows how low the organization had fallen, and in the early to mid-40’s, it basically ceased to exist. Only 26 of them remained as part of the League until its disbandment in 1946.

Questions with expected answers

In the first scenes of the movie, we could see the statue of liberty in the distance. What was its purpose in the context of this movie?

Between 1886 and 1924, almost 14 million immigrants entered the United States through New York. The Statue of Liberty was a reassuring sign that they had arrived in the land of their dreams. To these anxious newcomers, the Statue’s uplifted torch did not suggest “enlightenment,” as her creators intended, but rather, “welcome.” Over time, Liberty emerged as the “Mother of Exiles,” a symbol of hope to generations of immigrants.

As we saw in the movie, Ewa arrived with her sister Magda on the Ellis Island Immigrant Station. Why were they there? (where did they come from?) what happened to their other family members? Which wave of immigration did they arrive with?

They migrated from Poland to New York to escape the Great war and look for a better life. Their home was destroyed and parents were killed by soldiers, but their aunt and uncle lived in New York and the sisters were supposed to go and live with them. They arrived with the third wave of immigration.

Why was Ewa worried about her sister’s condition? What happened to her sister?

Ewa was worried that her sister wouldn’t pass the strict medical examinations. When the inspector listened her lungs, he said that she might have tuberculosis and has to be examined further. She would be kept in the Ellis Island hospital for 6 months and if she didn’t improve at that time she would be deported back to Poland.

When Ewa was interviewed, she failed to ask one question. What question? What was the outcome?

The officer asked her if she had committed a crime or not. Ewa said no, but she was told her answer is incorrect. It was written on the papers that on the voyage to America, Eva prostituted herself (the truth, revealed later, is that she was raped). After failing to answer the question, she was sent to be deported back to Poland. (her family’s address was also said to be inexistent).

Why did officers in the Ellis Island call Ewa a girl with low morals?

They thought that she had prostituted herself to the men on the boat. But as it comes out from the movie, this statement is not true at all, she has high morals (as being a Catholic).

How did Bruno have the pull on Ellis Island? (gets to bring immigrants in)

Bruno claims that he has ties with an Immigrant Assistance Organization/Travel’s Aid Company. In reality, money and relationships.

As we all see from the movie, clearly Magda was very important to Ewa. Ewa was determined to help her sister every war she could. What measures was Ewa willing to take purely just to get money and the help her sister needed?

She tried to steal money, starts performing in Bruno’s theatre, prostitution, tolerating Bruno, not leaving from him, helps to cover up a murder.

In the bathhouse, Ewa was offered a banana. She started eating it with the peel on. Explain that.

Many of the immigrants didn’t have the money to afford luxurious ships to travel to America. They had to survive on lukewarm soup, black bread, potatoes, and fish. Exotic foods like bananas were new things to them.

How did Bruno convince Ewa into prostitution?

He invites her to perform in his burlesque show. She can be one of the girls who doesn’t appear nude, he says, but he informs her that, if she really wants to earn the money to bribe the Ellis Island officials to let her sister go, she will have to do certain “things” she won’t want to do.

Why and on what terms did Ewa agree with that?

It was the only way for her to earn money to save her sister. She begins to prostitute herself for Bruno, but only if he gives her half the money.

Does Ewa fit in with the other burlesque girls? Why did Ewa feel misplaced and didn’t connect with the other burlesque girls and characters?

Ewa felt like an outcast among the other burlesque girls because she was most likely traumatized after leaving her sister and felt alone in that terrible situation. She couldn’t participate in a competition because she didn’t have any money. She also refused to drink with the others. Said she misses her family. The other girls were also jealous that Bruno seemed to like Ewa so much and ultimately fell in love with her.

Rosie mentioned liquor quite many times, what was the situation with alcohol in the states in the 20s? (hint: al Capone)

The period between 1920 and 1933 in the states is often referred to as “the prohibition era”. Alcoholism, family violence (wife abuse), petty crime and saloon-based political corruption prompted prohibitionists, to end the alcoholic beverage trade to cure the ill society. The Eighteenth Amendment established the prohibition of “intoxicating liquors”. This prompted the rise of speakeasies (illegal bars selling beer and liquor after paying off local police and government officials). Bandit’s Roost was (probably) a speakeasy.

Ewa escapes Bruno’s place and arrives at her aunt’s and uncle’s. How did they act towards her?

Her aunt and uncle accepted her into their home at first, but the next morning her uncle (who was a respected businessman) learned about the rumors on the ship and reported Ewa to the police. He was a man of honor. A good name was important to him. Ewa’s aunt was much more caring, gave Ewa money to help Magda.

The inspector in the Ellis Island told Ewa, that her aunt’s and uncle’s address isn’t valid and doesn’t exist. To Ewa’s uncle they said, that Ewa and Magda never came with the boat. Why did they lie?

The inspector didn’t lie. Ewa’s uncle had been to Ellis Island, but after he heard what had happened on the boat to US (“Ewa had prostituted”), he left. He thinks himself as a business and an honourable man, who doesn’t want to get his name shamed.

Explain the love triangle situation in the movie.

Bruno is madly in love with Ewa. Emil seems to fancy Ewa too, not as desperately as Bruno does. Ewa doesn’t seem to like no one, she is determined to get to her loving sister, and to her, nothing else matters.

Who do you think Ewa would have preferred?

I personally think Ewa wouldn’t have picked either of them but if she had to I would’ve preferred if she picked Emil. But she was very co-dependent to Bruno, maybe she wouldn’t been able to leave him.

Why did Bruno feel jealous of Emil and why was he scared of him?

When they were younger, Emil ran away with Bruno’s girlfriend and it hurt him a lot. He was scared that Orlando might come and steal Ewa from him. But Bruno also had a gun in his drawer for protection and he wasn’t afraid to use it.

Why did Emil fail to protect and save Ewa? How did he die?
Orlando comes back from his tour, says that he could help Ewa reach her sister.

They take Bruno’s gun, Emil appears during a conversation between Bruno and Ewa. Orlando forces Bruno to say that Ewa is free to go, threatening him with a gun to his head, but Bruno stabs Orlando at the same time Orlando releases the fake shot because of fear and kills him.

When Ewa went to confess in the church that she stole the money, she talked about her journey to new york. Explain it (the conditions)

“there is no food and no room. it is very dirty and we are all together, like animals.”

What was the importance of the Mother of God in the movie? Why did Ewa pray to her?

The heroine prays to Mary in two scenes. In the second scene, however, she also overtly prays to God in the name of the Holy Trinity. In the end, it appears that God has indeed answered her prayers.

What was Bruno’s ethnicity/religion?

Ashkenazi Jew, central European (cop called him “kike” which is a slur for a jew, he said he spoke Yiddish which is the historical language of Ashkenazi Jews). Weiss is a German, Austrian, Swiss German, German Jewish, Austrian Jewish, and Swiss Jewish surname meaning ‘white’ or ‘knows’. Bruno tells Ewa in the beginning of the film, that he speaks Yiddish (a language used mainly by Jews).

What do you think of Ewa’s character development?

Shy and helpless > can stand up for herself, can hold a conversation. hiding behind the fireplace > threatening her coworker w/ scissors. blindly trusting Bruno > being skeptical about Orlando helping her with her sister. parallelism: the other women giving her opium in the beginning (for her nerves or whatever) > she giving Bruno opium (for pain) after he gets beat up.

Why does Ewa thank Bruno at the end? Why does Bruno not accept her thanks?

Thanks to Bruno, Ewa wasn’t deported back, she ultimately got back together with her sister. Every other bad thing didn’t matter in that second, Ewa was thinking that Bruno’s love for her saved her sister. Bruno felt like he had betrayed Ewa. Because of him, Ewa starts prostitution to earn money. He gave her no other choice.

How is the ending of the movie related to the morale of the story?

The ending of THE IMMIGRANT shows clearly that Christian faith in God leads to salvation and freedom, but a sinful life leads to an impoverished life of psychological imprisonment,(like a Hell).

What do you think happened to Bruno after the sisters sailed back to New York?

He went to the police station to confess his crimes.

What was the relationship between Ewa and Bruno in the beginning? Describe the change. What were Bruno’s intentions with Ewa in the beginning of the film? How did change throughout the film? Why? What changed in Bruno?

In the beginning, Ewa was seen just as a next pretty girl, who could perform in Bruno’s theatre. Ewa trusts Bruno blindly, to help her and hopes that he would help to get her sister out too. Soon Bruno starts falling for Ewa (for some odd reason), Ewa despises him. Because he had led her to prostitution and performing. Bruno starts going crazy, paranoid about Emil, ultimately kills him, saves money for her, gets beat up but still wants to help. In the end Ewa sees that Bruno cares for her and tries to forgive and give him a second chance.
Ewa says this: “I hate you (Bruno), and I hate myself?” What does she mean by it?
Pretty straightforward. Bruno led Ewa to prostitution. Ewa would have never done that if it wasn’t for money. Her morals were too high. She hated herself because she had committed too many sins in terms of her Catholic religion.

Visual

Ellis Island Oral Histories

For the immigration topic, I managed to find this extremely interesting video about three emigrates immigrating to Ellis Island. The two first talkers mention the Statue of Liberty, which had welcomed them in open hands, the sight they had loved. This connects well with our notion that the Statue of Liberty welcomes immigrants and serves them with hope. We also get an idea about the waiting room in Ellis Island, mentioned by the third speaker. The oral recordings are very emotional and made me think about the immigration topic more thoroughly. The people who emigrated had a very tough life back in Europe. They were determined to do anything for a better life.

Review

The fourth film “The Immigrant” isn’t based on a true story and due to that it was a bit troublesome for me to find a good standing point on the historical accuracy. I had to do more research and rake through more reviews than usually.

The idea of going to America from Europe definitely conjures up the idea of the American dream where one can go from a foreign country often troubled by war and poverty as going to America is a place to start over and succeed there. (1)

I undoubtedly enjoyed the way which the first scenes of the film are interpreted into the American dream meaning in this review. I didn’t see it myself, but when searching the definition of American dream, I found (2): The American Dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The review made me see the first scenes of the film vice versa. Ewa and her sister coming to America didn’t only show some emigrating people, some war refugees, it showed the whole American dream.
Previously, I mentioned that the film isn’t based on a true story, but still I could find some historical backround. Citing from a review (3): It isn’t necessary to know that Gray based the movie on family stories—centered on the motley crew that frequented Hurwitz’s, the bar that his great-grandfather ran in that era, and on his great-aunt’s tales of the neighborhood pimp—to get a sense of the movie’s unifying flux of past and present. It sets a very good example from all that material what was lacking from the reviews for me. We can look the review that way- if even the small details were collected from family stories, it’s rather unlikely that the big details (ex. the Ellis Island scenes in the beginning) were missed or interpreted.
I tried to include only good and appropriate materials to me analysis, which ultimately cut it a bit shorter than my other reviews have been. I relished the camerawork of this movie, whilist I felt like the storyline could have developed a bit quicker or more drastically.

References:

  1. ‘The Immigrant (2013 film),’ Surrender to the Void, available at: http://thevoid99.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-immigrant-2013-film.html, accessed: 25.05.19
  2. Adam Barone, ‘American dream,’ Investopedia, available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/american-dream.asp, accessed: 25.05.19
  3. Richard Brody, ‘James Gray’s Overwhelming New Movie,’ the New Yorker, available at: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/james-grays-overwhelming-new-movie, accessed: 25.05.19

The Immigrant(Kaia)

Visual

fr.wikipedia.org
The Statue of Liberty waiting to be shipped from France

For the visual, I have chosen a picture of the Statue of Liberty when it was waiting to be shipped to America from France. I chose this picture because the statue is very often associated with immigration as it was the first thing they saw when they arrived in America by ship and in a way welcomed them and gave them hope for a better life. During that time immigration was a big issue in America, many laws were made against it while trying to preserve their nationality. Since these laws often excluded certain nationalities I also believe they might have shaped racist views among the citizens. And you can definitely say it shaped the US and it’s culture tremendously.

This statue also shows the relationship and friendship the two countries had built. And these friendships also determined the allies in the two World Wars.

Notions

Discovery of gold and gold mining

Gold was first discovered in 1782 in Virginia but it wasn’t until the 1st rush in North Carolina in 1799 that gold mining had become continuous. First miners were actually farmers. In 1835 president Jackson created the US mint to manifest it. The 2nd rush took place in Georgia in 1835 and resulted in the removal of Cherokee tribes from the area. The 3rd rush was in 1848 in Coloma, California.

The construction of railroads (Union Pacific Railroad Co, Central Pacific Railroad Co)

In 1862, a Pacific Railroad Act made 2 companies start building railroads that would connect the land from West to East. In 1869 the 2 sides met in Utah.

At first, people travelled from one coast to another usually by ship which took 6 months. Unless they were willing to go to the hazardous journey by foot, but people’s wish to travel increased with finding gold. Asa Whitney recommended building railroads. Engineer Theodor Judah made it happen after 20 years gaining the approval from Lincoln. The terms included that each company got 48k dollars for each mile which forced a competition early on. The construction companies included many megalomaniac businessmen who also made illegal deals for profit. Native Americans feeling threatened of white Americans’  ‘iron horse’ attacked and kept disrupting the work. Poor settlements were founded behind the railroads forming the ‘Wild West’. Railroad constructers were different immigrants. The Union Pacific railroad company managed to cover 4 times as much distance as the Central Pacific one. 2 sides met in Promontory Summit.

Industrialisation (raw materials, effect on development of economy, main industries)

The process where an agricultural economy transforms into a manufacturing one. In the USA it began in the early 1800s. After the Civil War, machines replaced much of the manual work. Industrialisation grew the economy rapidly thanks to more goods being produced more quickly by machines. America had an abundance of natural resources; especially water helped to keep the machines working. Timber, iron, coal. Communication (telephones, railways, telegraph) helped businesses to succeed. New products such as photographs, telephone, typewriter. Many jobs in the manufactures to maximize efficiency in productivity. ‘Gilded era’-Mark Twain in 1920s-30; the culture of the newly wealthy people building mansions and following Europe in its art design etc.

Formation of trusts

Trusts are formed when several businesses come together to standardize their rules and prices in order to increase profit. Great for businesses but bad for consumers. Trusts emerged when there rose a competition between different firms offering a similar product. Without trusts, companies would have to compete with each other which is not beneficial for either of them. Trusts helped to agree on rules so that no company would have to lower their prices. Famous trusts: Rockefeller’s Oil Trust, the Sugar Trust etc. Because of the negative effect on the consumer (prices not lowering), acts were made by congress that would prohibit trusts.

The role of Andrew Carnegie

He was an American industrialist and philanthropist. He worked in a Pittsburgh cotton factory where he earned 1.2 dollars a week. An also in Pennsylvania Railroad as the assistant of Thomas Scott, one of the railroad’s top officials. In 1859 he became the superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad. While working on the railroads he invested in iron and oil companies. By 1889, he owned Carnegie Steel Corporation (the largest steel company in the world). In 1901 he sold his business and dedicated his time to philanthropy and in1904 established the Carnegie-Mellon University.

The role of John D. Rockefeller

He was the founder of The Standard Oil Company (SOC) in 1870 which controlled 90% of US refineries. He became one of the wealthiest men in the world and was a major philanthropist. In 1911 US Supreme Court ordered SOC to be dissolved, in violation of anti-trust laws. During his life, he donated more than 500 million to philanthropy.

The role of Henry Ford

Henry Ford grew up in Michigan, at the age of 16 left home for Detroit to work as a machinist. Three years later he returned home to work on the family farm. In 1891 he went to Detroit again with his wife. There he was hired an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company(EIC) and 2 years later promoted chief engineer. In 1896 he completed the ‘’Quadricycle’’ – a metal frame with 4 bicycle wheels powered by a gasoline engine. In 1902 finally established his Ford Motor Company and a month later the first Ford car was assembled.

Statue of Liberty

(officially named Liberty Enlightening the World)

The statue was given to the US by France in 1886 to represent the friendship between the two countries established during the American Revolution. The statue commemorates the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence as it has the date of the signing on the tablet she is holding. Sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who also received a US patent for the structure. It welcomes visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans travelling by ship. The National Monument also includes Ellis Island. In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Causes of immigration from Europe in the 19th century

The US was perceived as the land of economic opportunity so many fleed from crop failure, land and job shortages, rising taxes, and famine. Others came seeking personal freedom or relief from political and religious persecution.

Different waves of immigration

One of the main waves was in around 1815 to 1865. The majority of these newcomers hailed from Northern and Western Europe. Approximately one-third came from Ireland, which experienced a massive famine in the mid-19th century. In the 1840s, almost half of America’s immigrants were from Ireland alone. In the 19th century, around 5 million Germans emigrated to the US as well. Following the Civil War, the United States experienced a depression in the 1870s that contributed to a slowdown in immigration.

Next wave was between 1880-1920. It was a time of rapid industrialization and urbanization, so about 20 mln immigrants came to the US. The majority of arrivals were from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. Jews from Eastern Europe fleeing religious persecution also arrived in large numbers; over 2 million entered the United States between 1880 and 1920.

Jewish immigration

From 1820 to 1924 there was a quite steady flow of Jews emigrating to America. In the first half of the nineteenth century, most of the immigrant Jews came from Central Europe. Especially Germany, they left there mainly due to persecution, restrictive laws and economic hardship. They looked to America as a place of economic and social opportunity. Between 1881 and 1924, the migration shifted from Central Europe eastward. They left due to overpopulation, oppressive legislation and poverty. The immigrants tended to settle in the poorer neighbourhoods of major cities. The immigrants found work in factories, especially in the garment industry, but also in cigar manufacturing, food production, and construction. This period of immigration came to an end with the passage of restrictive laws in 1921 and 1924.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island is a museum and former immigration inspection station in New York Harbor, within the states of New York and New Jersey. From 1892 to 1954, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island. Before being used as an inspection station, Ellis Island used to be the site of Fort Gibson and later used for storing ammunition. Between 1892 and 1934 it was largely expanded. In 1897 a fire on Ellis Island burned the immigration station completely to the ground. On December 17, 1900, the new Main Building was opened and 2,251 immigrants were received that day and all new building on the island were made fireproof.  The entire island was made part of Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965 and the original main building has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990. The Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, on the south side of the island, is closed to the general public except for occasional tours. The only public access to Ellis Island is via boat. There is a bridge from the island to New Jersey but it is closed to the public.

Reed-Johnson Immigration Act of 1924

The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two per cent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States. After July 1, 1927, the two per cent rule was to be replaced by an overall cap of 150,000 immigrants annually. It completely excluded immigrants from Asia. The clear aim of this law was to restrict the entry of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe while welcoming relatively large numbers of newcomers from Britain, Ireland, and Northern Europe. Congress revised the Act in 1952.

The notion of Melting Pot vs Salad Bowl

Traditionally the US was called a Melting Pot because, with time, generations of immigrants have melted together: they have abandoned their cultures to become totally assimilated into American society.

But in the UK, where cultural diversity is considered a positive thing, immigrants have always been encouraged to maintain their traditions and their native language. This model of racial integration can be described as a salad bowl, with people of different cultures living in harmony, like the components of a salad.

Both models of multicultural societies have contradictory aspects:

– in a melting pot, there is no cultural diversity and sometimes differences are not respected;

– in a salad bowl, cultures do not mix at all. F.e New York can be considered a salad bowl.

Present situation

Immigrants comprise about 14 per cent of the U.S. population: more than 43 million out of a total of about 323 million people. Together, immigrants and their U.S.-born children make up about 27 per cent of U.S. inhabitants. Illegal immigration. The undocumented population is about eleven million and has levelled off since the 2008 economic crisis, which led some to return to their home countries and discouraged others from coming to the United States. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 71 per cent of Americans considered immigration a “good thing” for the United States.

46 per cent of immigrants in 2017 reported their race as single-race White, 27 per cent as Asian, 9 per cent as Black, and 16 per cent as some other race. About 2 per cent reported having two or more races. In 2017, approximately 78 per cent (239.3 million) of the 306 million people ages 5 and older in the United States reported speaking only English at home.

Urbanisation (living conditions, labour unions)

The US was predominantly rural in the 18th century. In 1790 approximately 95% of people lived outside a city. At that time only 3 cities had more than 15.000 residents. However, urbanisation exploded during the Industrial Revolution. The nation changed from an agricultural to an urbanized and industrialized one. Before the Revolution, rich people tended to live in the centre of the city. However, rapid urbanization opened the possibilities of larger roads and mass public transport, which allowed towns to expand their borders. Because factory workers did not need to live in a close range to their workplace, suburbs were built. The North became heavily urbanized and industrialized, while the South remained rural. Only in 1920 did the number of citizens living in urban areas become bigger than in rural areas. Because of the growing number of factory workers, more people demanded tolerable working conditions. This marked the rampant start of labour unions. Eventually, labour unions played a key role in abolishing child labour and increasing wages, reducing working hours and improving sanitation in factories across the USA.

Progressive Movement: Theodore Roosevelt

The Progressive Movement, also known as the Progressive Era, was a period from the 1830s to 1920s. The later political movement supported equal conditions for everybody and it developed because of the socio-economic problems as a consequence of industrialization. Many progressives lived in cities and were well educated. Many problems, such as immigration, corruption, better education and the right to vote were tackled. The peak of the activism was when Theodore Roosevelt came to power as president. He was the governor of New York and he was aware of city problems, which only the government could resolve. He noticed the public’s outcry over rising prices in industries controlled by a monopoly. He began to eliminate monopolies, such as in the railroad, tobacco, beef and oil industries. His reforms’ purpose was to allow a free market and to end corruption and monopolism. To add, he claimed a lot of land in the west to harvest resources and develop an infrastructure for citizens. The Progressive Era ended after World War I when the horrors of people were exposed and many began to associate president Wilson’s sayings with the war. He was the creator of National Pubs in the US.

An American Empire (the Philippines, Cuba)

It was a Spanish-American war. The first battle was held in the Philippines. Americans knew nothing about Philippines culture or history so American military diplomacy was being carried out in the arrogant cover of almost total ignorance. In 1896, a riot against the Spanish had started in the Philippines. The rebels had adopted a constitution modelled after the American constitution. They had elected a government, including a president: Emilio Aguinaldo. Spain agreed on a truce but then tricked the Philippines so America sent their troops to help the rebels out. Rebels didn’t accept the help put the troops never left. Spain knew they were losing so they surrendered, but only to the US. Americans stayed there and from their point of view, Filipinos were a conquered people. They had no right, US troops searched their houses without any warrants. Americans called them “Indians” and the soldier referred to them as “niggers”. American soldiers also landed in Cuba. In less than two weeks of fighting, the Spanish were again defeated. Other American soldiers occupied Puerto Rico, another Spanish-owned island close to Cuba. In July the Spanish government saw it was beaten. It asked the Americans for peace.

When peace was signed, Spain gave most of its overseas empire to the United States – Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and a small Pacific island called Guam. Spain sold the Philippines to America for 20 million dollars. But not everything is bad, the Americans built schools and hospitals, constructed roads, provided pure water supplies and put an end to killer diseases like malaria and yellow fever in the lands they now ruled. They continued to rule most of them until the middle years of the century. The Philippines became an independent country in 1946. In 1953 Puerto Rico became self-governing but continued to be closely tied to the United States. In 1959 Hawaii was admitted as the fiftieth state of the Union. Cuba was treated differently. When Congress declared war on Spain in 1898 it said that it was only doing so to help the Cuban people to win independence. When the war ended Cuba was soon declared an independent country. Nevertheless, the US used Cuba as a military base.

Dollar Diplomacy

Dollar Diplomacy, a foreign policy created by U.S. President William Howard Taft and his secretary of state, Philander C. Knox, to ensure the financial stability of a region while protecting and extending U.S. commercial and financial interests there. It grew out of President Theodore Roosevelt’s peaceful intervention in the Dominican Republic, where U.S. loans had been exchanged for the right to choose the Dominican head of customs (the country’s major revenue source). Under the name of Dollar Diplomacy, the Taft administration engineered such a policy in Nicaragua. It upheld the overthrow of José Santos Zelaya and set up Adolfo Díaz in his place; it set up an authority of traditions; it ensured loans to the Nicaraguan government. The hatred of the Nicaraguan individuals, however, in the long run, resulted in U.S. military intervention too. Taft and Knox also attempted to promulgate Dollar Diplomacy in China, where it was even less successful, both in terms of U.S. ability to supply loans and in terms of world reaction. The dismal failure of Dollar Diplomacy—from its simplistic assessment of social unrest to its formulaic application—caused the Taft administration to finally abandon the policy in 1912. Dollar diplomacy has come to refer in a disparaging way to the heedless manipulation of foreign affairs for strictly monetary ends.

Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued on December 2, 1823, at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved or been at the point of gaining, independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires. To simplify the Monroe Doctrine was a principle of US policy, originated by President James Monroe, that any intervention by external powers in the politics of the Americas is a potentially hostile act against the US.

The US in WWI

The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, more than two and a half years after World War I started. Before entering the war, the U.S. had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers. The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material, and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General of the Armies John Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived at the rate of 10,000 men a day on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. During the war, the U.S. mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including around 45,000 who died due to the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces. After a relatively slow start in mobilizing the economy and labour force, by spring 1918, the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world, although there was substantial public opposition to U.S. entry into the war. Although World War I began in 1914, the United States did not join the war until 1917. The impact of the United States joining the war was significant. The additional firepower, resources, and soldiers of the U.S. helped to tip the balance of the war in favour of the Allies.

Versailles Treaty of 1919

The Treaty of Versailles was perhaps one of the most important treaties in all of mankind, ending the Great War, or better known as World War I. Initially, it originated from President Woodrow Wilson, with his Fourteen Points Speech to the Congress on January 8, 1918. The Treaty was signed on June 28, 1919. Under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, Germany was held responsible for all war crimes and damages, therefore they had to pay 132 billion marks (roughly 396 billion euros in today’s economy) in reparations. This was also the cause of the hyperinflation in Germany.

Most of the border territories were either given back to the original country or given as an entirely new land to neighbouring countries who aided the Triple Entente (Denmark, Belgium, Poland and Lithuania). The treaty demanded that Germany would lower their armies forces, all while prohibiting the use of certain class weapons and later on, be completely disarmed. However, due to the rise of Hitler in 1932, the treaty’s terms were completely avoided.

League of Nations

The League of Nations was to be formed under the first part of the Treaty of Versailles, later officially founded at the Paris Peace Conference on January 10, 1920. There were 42 original founding members and 15 other countries who joined later on. Its primary goal was to maintain world peace, by negotiation before things got worse. Their most successful achievement was the creation of the Geneva Protocol (prohibited use of biological and chemical weapons), while their other endeavours were not able to be enacted. A lot of problems were not able to be solved because of countries not believing that they were a threat to the attackers, meaning that the League had to mostly watch from the sidelines.

Even though it was Woodrow Wilson’s plan to form an intergovernmental organization to stop wars from ever happening, the US refused to join them. This and the Soviet Union joining the League and later declaring war on Finland severely lowered their reputation.

During World War II, the League of Nations’ members were supposed to stay neutral, but France and Germany did not agree to this. That shows how low the organization had fallen, and in the early to mid-’40s, it basically ceased to exist. Only 26 of them remained as part of the League until its disbandment in 1946.

Historical accuracy and review

It goes without saying that this was not a history movie. It didn’t focus on being historically accurate but instead was more of a tragic love story revolving around a polish immigrant.
The movie did have some accurate details. For example, Ellis Island was used as a checkpoint for immigrants during the European immigration wave at the time. And the opening scene of the Statue of Liberty was also quite true to what it felt and looked like to arrive in New York back then. Women becoming prostitutes or ‘dancers’ was definitely quite common for the ones who had no money or family in the states. And some were also, of course, sent back if they had no chance of surviving there on their own.
I agree with a sentence from this person’s review stating:

“The story lacks specificity and clarity.”

(https://www.metacritic.com/user/amboy?page=2)

It would’ve made the movie a lot better, had they given some more context. They should’ve explained more, why they were escaping Poland, how come she speaks fluent English and how and why did Bruno’s family start this business, what was his situation. It would’ve made the movie a lot clearer and given it more depth since it seemed to focus more on feelings rather than history.
Another person wrote,

“Mr Gray is more interested in mood and feeling than in the mechanics of plot, and some of the turns in the story stumble and creak.”

(https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/16/movies/the-immigrant-with-joaquin-phoenix-and-marion-cotillard.html?rref=collection%2Fcollection%2Fmovie-guide&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest-stories&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection)

which I also must agree with. Especially when it came to the character Emil. He seemed, to me, a bit odd in the movie and was used to hurry up the plot. I found some of his moves illogical and hasty. He didn’t feel like a person with feelings in the movie rather than a tool to evolve the plot quicker.
I did really like the actors. They played the characters extremely well and I never got the feeling that a scene was forced or unnatural by the actor. I also really liked the dialogues in polish, they could’ve really easily left that out but it added a lot to the movie.
To summarise, the movie was very well filmed and the actors were amazing. Although, I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more historical details and less melodrama.

The Immigrant (Viivika)

The immigrant notions

Group 1: The 19th Century

Discovery of gold and gold mining

3 first major gold rushes: North-Carolina, Georgia, California 1st rush in 1799 Gold discovered in North-Carolina. The finder didn’t know its value and used it as a doorstop. In 1802 it was recognized and word spread. First miners were FARMERS. Carolina mines evolved into mine-shafts. By 1835 there was a manifold of it so president Jackson created U.S mint to proces it. 2nd rush (Georgia) in 1835 created tensions with aboriginals and resulted in the removal of Cherokee tribes from the area. Also a mint founded. 3rd rush In 1848, a gold mine in Coloma, California by J.W.Marshall. At first, tried to keep it a secret, didn’t succeed. Immigrants started flowing into California. ‘Forty-niners’ rushed to Calif. thanks to which it was made a state. Amateur and pro-miners. Private companies were created to process the gold=Entrepreneurship ‘flourished’.


The construction of railroads

In 1862, a Pacific Railroad Act made 2 companies start building railroads that would connect the land from West to East. In 1869 the 2 sides met in Utah. At first, people traveled from one coast to other usually by ship which took 6 months. Unless they were willing to go to the hazardous journey by foot, but people’s wish to travel increased with finding gold. Asa Whitney recommended building railroads. Engineer Theodor Judah made it happen after 20 years gaining the approval from Lincoln. The terms included that each company got 48k dollars for each mile which forced a competition early on. The construction companies included many megalomanian businessmen who also made illegal deals for profit. Native Americans feeling threatened of white Americans’  ‘iron horse’ attacked and kept disrupting the work. Poor settlements were founded behind the railroads forming the ‘Wild West’. Railorad constructers were different immigrants. The Union Pacific railroad company managed to cover 4 times as much distance as the Central Pacific one. 2 sides met in Promontory Summit.


Industrialisation

Process where an agricultural economy transforms into a manufacturing one. In USA, it began in the early 1800s. After the Civil War, machines replaced much of the manual work. Industrialisation grew economy rapidly thanks to more goods being produced more quickly by machines. America had an abundance of natural resources; especially water helped to keep the machines working. Timber, iron, coal. Communication (telephones, railways, telegraph) helped businesses to succeed. Investors/banks = more capital to loan=bigger businesses. New products such as photograph, telephone, typewriter. Many jobs in the manufactures to maximize efficiency in productivity. ‘Gilded era’-Mark Twain in 1920s-30; the culture of the new wealthy people building mansions and following Europe in its art design etc.


Formation of trusts

Trusts are formed when several businesses come together to standardize their rules and prices in order to increase profit. Great for businesses but bad for consumers. Trusts emerged when there rose a competition between different firms offering a similar product. Without trusts, companies would have to compete with each other which is not beneficial for neither of them. Trusts helped to agree on rules so that no company would have to lower their prices. Famous trusts: Rockefeller’s Oil Trust, the Sugar Trust etc. Because of the negative effect on consumer (prices not lowering), acts were made by congress that would prohibit trusts.
(Stock-holders in a company who’d give their respective trustees the power to vote for decisions within the company.)


The role of Andrew Carnegie

  • American industrialist and philanthrophist
  • Worked in a Pittsburgh cotton factory (earning 1.20/week)
  • Worked in Pennsylvania Railroad as the assistant to Thomas Scott, one of the railroad’s top officials
  • Became a superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1859
  • Invested in iron and oil companies while working for the railroad
  • By 1889, he owned Carnegie Steel Corporation (largest steel company in the world)
  • In 1901, he sold his business and dedicated his time to philanthrophy
  • Established the Carnegie-Mellon University in 1904

The role of John D. Rockefeller

  • Founder of The Standard Oil Company (SOC) in 1870
  • Became one of the world’s wealthiest men, major philanthropist
  • Born in New York, entered the oil business by investing in a Cleveland refinery
  • SOC controlled 90% of US refineries
  • Was accused of colluding with railroads to eliminate his competitors
  • In 1911, US Supreme Court ordered SOC to be dissolved, in violation of anti-trust laws
  • During his life, he donated more than 500 million to philantrophy

The role of Henry Ford

  • In 1891, he went with his wife to Detroit
  • Was hired an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company(EIC)
  • Promoted chief engineer 2 years later
  • Spent many hours to build a gasoline-powered horseless carriage, or automobile
  • In 1896, completed the ‘’Quadricycle’’ – metal frame with 4 bicycle wheels powered by a gasoline engine
  • In 1902, established his Ford Motor Company
  • A month after, the first Ford car was assembled in Detroit (model T)
  • Assembly process was slow and cars were built by hand
  • Ford introduced new mass-production methods, including large production plants, use of interchangeable parts and the world’s first moving assembly line for cars

Group 2: Immigration To The US

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York, in the United States. The copper statue standing at 93 meters, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The Statue of Liberty is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet as she walks forward. The statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, and a national park tourism destination. It is a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad. Fundraising for the statue proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened by lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer, of the New York World, started a drive for donations to finish the project and attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. Between 1886 and 1924, almost 14 million immigrants entered the United States through New York. The Statue of Liberty was a reassuring sign that they had arrived in the land of their dreams. To these anxious newcomers, the Statue’s uplifted torch did not suggest “enlightenment,” as her creators intended, but rather, “welcome.” Over time, Liberty emerged as the “Mother of Exiles,” a symbol of hope to generations of immigrants.


Causes of immigration from Europe in the 19th century

Fleeing crop failure, land and job shortages, rising taxes, and famine, many came to the U. S. because it was perceived as the land of economic opportunity. Others came seeking personal freedom or relief from political and religious persecution. More than 70 percent of all immigrants, however, entered through New York City, which came to be known as the “Golden Door.” Throughout the late 1800s, most immigrants arriving in New York entered at the Castle Garden depot near the tip of Manhattan.
A major wave of immigration occurred from around 1815 to 1865. Majority of the immigrants came from Northern and Western Europe.
Approximately one-third came from IRELAND, which experienced a massive famine in the mid-19th century. In the 1840s, almost half of America’s immigrants were from Ireland alone. Typically impoverished, these Irish immigrants settled near their point of arrival in cities along the East Coast. Between 1820 and 1930, some 4.5 million Irish migrated to the United States.
Also in the 19th century, the United States received some 5 million GERMAN immigrants. Many of them journeyed to the present-day Midwest to buy farms or congregated in such cities as Milwaukee, St. Louis and Cincinnati. In the national census of 2000, more Americans claimed German ancestry than any other group.
During the mid-1800s, a significant number of ASIAN immigrants settled in the United States. Lured by news of the California gold rush, some 25,000 Chinese had migrated there by the early 1850s. Between 1880 and 1920, a time of rapid industrialization and urbanization, America received more than 20 million immigrants. Beginning in the 1890s, the majority of arrivals were from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.
In that decade alone, some 600,000 ITALIANS migrated to America, and by 1920 more than 4 million had entered the United States.
JEWS from Eastern Europe fleeing religious persecution also arrived in large numbers; over 2 million entered the United States between 1880 and 1920.


Different waves of immigration

First Wave 1790 – 1820
Groups of immigrants came for a variety of religious, political, and economic reasons. Northern and Western Europeans (English, Irish, Germans, Dutch, French, Spanish etc). Starvation, disease, and shipwreck killed 1 in 10 of those immigrants who set sail for America before they even set foot on land. (relatively little immigration, significant emigration to Canada)

Second Wave 1820 – 1860
Immigrants came for new opportunities because in Europe, peasants displaced from agriculture and artisans were made jobless from the industrial revolution. Some immigrants received “American Letters” which were encouraging friends and relatives to join them in America. German (escaping economic problems and seeking political freedom), British, Irish 40% (poverty and famine encouraged emigration). The Roman Catholic church was the single largest religious body in the United States by 1850.

Third Wave 1880 – 1914
Immigrants came over to America for more job opportunities and freedom of religion. Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian countries (migrated to the western states). In the 1910 census, foreign-born residents made up 15 percent of the U.S. population and 24 percent of the U.S. labor force.

Fourth Wave 1965 – Present
A new law that altered the selection of immigrants from the country they were from, to giving priority to people who already had family in the United States or had skills that were needed in the labor market. Europeans, Asians, Hispanics (Mexico). In the 1980s and early 1990s, Asians made up about one-third of the immigrants entering America. Hispanics made up about one-half of the number of immigrants in the 1980s and early 1990s.


Jewish immigration

Sephardic wave The first group of Sephardic settlers arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654 from Brazil. For several decades afterward, adventurous Sephardic and Ashkenazic merchants established homes in American colonial ports, including Newport, R.I., New Amsterdam (later New York), Philadelphia, Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga. This was a departure from the Old World, where synagogues in places like Amsterdam, London, and Recife, taxed commercial transactions, regulated Jewish publications, and punished members for lapses in individual or commercial morality.

German wave German Jews began to come to America in significant numbers in the 1840s. Jews left Germany because of persecution, restrictive laws, economic hardship, and the failure of movements — widely supported by German Jews — advocating revolution and reform there. Some 250,000 German-speaking Jews came to America by the outbreak of World War I. This sizable immigrant community expanded American Jewish geography by establishing themselves in smaller cities and towns in the Midwest, West, and the South. If German Jews had one city of their own invention, it was Cincinnati.

Eastern European wave Eastern European Jews began to immigrate to the United States in large numbers after 1880. Pushed out of Europe by overpopulation, oppressive legislation and poverty, they were pulled toward America by the prospect of financial and social advancement. Between 1880 and the onset of restrictive immigration quotas in 1924, over 2 million Jews from Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Romania came to America. The immigrants found work in factories, especially in the garment industry, but also in cigar manufacturing, food production, and construction. Large-scale Jewish immigration to the United States ended in 1924.


Ellis Island

On January 1, 1892 – her 15th birthday – Annie Moore from County Cork, Ireland, became the first person admitted to the new immigration station on Ellis Island. On that opening day, she received a greeting from officials and a $10.00 gold piece. Annie traveled to New York with her two younger brothers on steerage aboard the S.S. Nevada, which left Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, on December 20, 1891 and arrived in New York on the evening of December 31. After being processed, the children were reunited with their parents, who were already living in New York. Ellis Island is a former immigration inspection station in New York Harbor, within the states of New York and New Jersey. It was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States as the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. After an arduous sea voyage, immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were tagged with information from their ship’s registry; they then waited on long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States. From 1900 to 1914 – the peak years of Ellis Island’s operation – some 5,000 to 10,000 people passed through the immigration station every day.


Reed-Johnson Immigration Act of 1924

The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census. It completely excluded immigrants from Asia. Signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge.The 1924 Immigration Act also included a provision excluding from entry any alien who by virtue of race or nationality was ineligible for citizenship. Existing nationality laws dating from 1790 and 1870 excluded people of Asian lineage from naturalizing. As a result, the 1924 Act meant that even Asians not previously prevented from immigrating – the Japanese in particular – would no longer be admitted to the United States. Many in Japan were very offended by the new law, which was a violation of the Gentlemen’s Agreement. The Japanese government protested, but the law remained, resulting in an increase in existing tensions between the two nations. Despite the increased tensions, it appeared that the U.S. Congress had decided that preserving the racial composition of the country was more important than promoting good ties with Japan. In 1917 they created a plan that lowered the existing quota from three to two percent of the foreign-born population. They also pushed back the year on which quota calculations were based from 1910 to 1890.


Melting Pot vs Salad Bowl

The USA is traditionally called a melting pot because with time, generations of immigrants have melted together: they have abandoned their cultures to become totally assimilated into American society. Historically, it is often used to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the United States. But in the UK, where cultural diversity is considered a positive thing, immigrants have always been encouraged to maintain their traditions and their native language. This model of racial integration can be described as a salad bowl, with people of different cultures living in harmony, like the lettuce, tomatoes and carrots in a salad. New York City can be considered as being a “salad bowl” Both models of multicultural societies have contradictory aspects:
– In a melting pot there is no cultural diversity and sometimes differences are not respected;
– In a salad bowl cultures do not mix at all.


Present situation

Immigrants comprise about 14 percent of the U.S. population: more than forty-three million out of a total of about 323 million people. Together, immigrants and their U.S.-born children make up about 27 percent of U.S. inhabitants. Illegal immigration. The undocumented population is about eleven million and has leveled off since the 2008 economic crisis, which led some to return to their home countries and discouraged others from coming to the United States. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 71 percent of Americans considered immigration a “good thing” for the United States. Forty-six percent of immigrants in 2017 reported their race as single-race White, 27 percent as Asian, 9 percent as Black, and 16 percent as some other race. About 2 percent reported having two or more races. In 2017, approximately 78 percent (239.3 million) of the 306 million people ages 5 and older in the United States reported speaking only English at home.


Group 3: The US At The Beginning Of The 20th Century

Urbanisation

The US was a predominantly rural in the 18th century. In 1790 approximately 95% of people lived outside a city. At that time, only 3 cities had more than 15.000 residents. However, urbanisation exploded during the Industrial Revolution. The nation changed from an agricultural to an urbanized and industrialized one. Before the Revolution, rich people tended to live in the center of the city. However, rapid urbanization opened the possibilities of larger roads and mass public transport, which allowed towns to expand their borders. Because factory workers did not need to live in a close range to their workplace, suburbs were built. The North became heavily urbanized and industrialized, while the South remained rural. Only in 1920 did the number of citizens living in urban areas become bigger than in rural areas. Because of the growing number of factory workers, more people demanded tolerable working conditions. This marked the rampant start of labour unions. Eventually, labour unions played a key role in abolishing child labour and increasing wages, reducing working hours and improving sanitation in factories across USA.


Progressive Movement: Theodore Roosevelt

The Progressive Movement, also known as Progressive Era, was a period from 1830s to 1920s. The later political movement supported equal conditions for everybody and it developed because of the socio-economic problems as a consequence to industrialization. Many progressives lived in cities and were well educated. Many problems, such as immigration, corruption, better education and the right to vote were tackled. The peak of the activism was when Theodore Roosevelt came to power as president. He was the governor of New York and he was aware of city problems, which only the government could resolve. He noticed the public’s outcry over rising prices in industries controlled by a monopoly. He began to eliminate monopoly, such as in the railroad, tobacco, beef and oil industries. His reforms’ purpose was to allow a free market and to end corruption and monopolism. To add, he claimed very much land in the west to harvest resources and develop an infrastructure for citizens. The Progressive Era ended after World War I, when the horrors of people were exposed and many began to associate president Wilson’s sayings with the war. He was the creator of National Pubs in the US.


An American Empire (the Philippines, Cuba)

It was a Spanish-American war. The first battle was held in the Philippines. Americans knew nothing about Philippines culture or history so American military diplomacy was being carried out in the arrogant cover of almost total ignorance. In 1896, a riot against the Spanish had started in the Philippines. The rebels had adopted a constitution modeled after the American constitution. They had elected a government, including a president: Emilio Aguinaldo. Spain agreed on a truce but then tricked the Philippines so America sent their troops to help the rebels out. Rebels didn’t accept the help put the troops never left. Spain knew they were losing so the surrendered, but only to the US. Americans stayed there and from their point of view, Filipinos were a conquered people. They had no right, US troops searched their houses without any warrants. Americans called them “indians” and the soldier refereed to them as “niggers”. American soldiers also landed in Cuba. In less than two weeks of fighting, the Spanish were again defeated. Other American soldiers occupied Puerto Rico, another Spanish-owned island close to Cuba. In July the Spanish government saw it was beaten. It asked the Americans for peace. When peace was signed, Spain gave most of its overseas empire to the United States – Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and a small Pacific island called Guam. Spain sold the Philippines to America for 20 million dollars(under the Doctrine of Discovery, all christian countries have an obligation to rule over non-christian countries; Philippines church was Catholic). But not everything is bad, the Americans built schools and hospitals, constructed roads, provided pure water supplies and put an end to killer diseases like malaria and yellow fever in the lands they now ruled. They continued to rule most of them until the middle years of the century. The Philippines became an independent country in 1946. In 1953 Puerto Rico became self-governing, but continued to be closely tied to the United States. In 1959 Hawaii was admitted as the fiftieth state of the Union. Cuba was treated differently. When Congress declared war on Spain in 1898 it said that it was only doing so to help the Cuban people to win independence. When the war ended, Cuba was soon declared an independent country. Nevertheless, US used Cuba as a military base and marcheds into there whenever they wanted.


Dollar diplomacy

Dollar Diplomacy, foreign policy created by U.S. President William Howard Taft (served 1909–1913) and his secretary of state, Philander C. Knox, to ensure the financial stability of a region while protecting and extending U.S. commercial and financial interests there. It grew out of President Theodore Roosevelt’s peaceful intervention in the Dominican Republic, where U.S. loans had been exchanged for the right to choose the Dominican head of customs (the country’s major revenue source).Under the name of Dollar Diplomacy, the Taft administration engineered such a policy in Nicaragua. It upheld the overthrow of José Santos Zelaya and set up Adolfo Díaz in his place; it set up an authority of traditions; and it ensured loans to the Nicaraguan government. The hatred of the Nicaraguan individuals, however, in the long run resulted in U.S. military intervention too. Taft and Knox also attempted to promulgate Dollar Diplomacy in China, where it was even less successful, both in terms of U.S. ability to supply loans and in terms of world reaction. The dismal failure of Dollar Diplomacy—from its simplistic assessment of social unrest to its formulaic application—caused the Taft administration to finally abandon the policy in 1912. Dollar diplomacy has come to refer in a disparaging way to the heedless manipulation of foreign affairs for strictly monetary ends.


Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued on December 2, 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved, or were at the point of gaining, independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires. To simplify the Monroe Doctrine was a principle of US policy, originated by President James Monroe, that any intervention by external powers in the politics of the Americas is a potentially hostile act against the US.


The US in WWI

The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, more than two and a half years after World War I started. A ceasefire and Armistice was declared on November 11, 1918. Before entering the war, the U.S. had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers.The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material, and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General of the Armies John Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived at the rate of 10,000 men a day on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. During the war the U.S. mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including around 45,000 who died due to the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak (30,000 before they even reached France).[1][2] The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces.After a relatively slow start in mobilizing the economy and labor force, by spring 1918, the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world, although there was substantial public opposition to U.S. entry into the war. To simplify Although World War I began in 1914, the United States did not join the war until 1917. The impact of the United States joining the war was significant. The additional firepower, resources, and soldiers of the U.S. helped to tip the balance of the war in favor of the Allies.


Versailles Treaty of 1919

The Treaty of Versailles was perhaps one of the most important treaties in all of mankind, ending the Great War, or better known as World War I. Initially, it originated from President Woodrow Wilson, with his Fourteen Points Speech to the Congress on January 8, 1918. The Treaty was signed on June 28, 1919. Under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, Germany was held responsible for all war crimes and damages, therefore they had to pay 132 billion marks (roughly 396 billion euros in today’s economy) in reparations. This was also the cause of the hyperinflation in Germany.
Most of the border territories were either given back to the original country (Alsace-Lorraine back to France) or given as entirely new land for neighbouring countries who aided the Triple Entente (Denmark, Belgium, Poland and Lithuania). The treaty demanded that Germany would lower their armies forces, all while prohibiting the use of certain class weapons and later on, be completely disarmed. However, due to the rise of Hitler in 1932, the treaty’s terms were completely avoided.


League of Nations

The League of Nations was to be formed under the first part of the Treaty of Versailles, later officially founded at the Paris Peace Conference on January 10, 1920. There were 42 original founding members and 15 other countries who joined later on. Its primary goal was to maintain world peace, by negotiation before things got worse. Their most successful achievement was the creation of the Geneva Protocol (prohibited use of biological and chemical weapons), while their other endeavours were not able to be enacted. It had no official army which was ever formed, so it only relied on the Allies’ powers. A lot of problems were not able to be solved because of countries not believing that they were a threat to the attackers, meaning that the League had to mostly watch from the sidelines.
Even though it was Woodrow Wilson’s plan to form an intergovernmental organization to stop wars from ever happening, the US refused to join them. This, and the Soviet Union joining the League and later declaring war on Finland severely lowered their reputation.
During World War II, the League of Nations’ members were supposed to stay as neutral, but France and Germany did not agree to this. That shows how low the organization has fallen, and in the early to mid-40’s, it basically ceased to exist. Only 26 of them remained as part of the League until its disbandment in 1946.


Visual portrayal

My chosen visual for this blog entry is a picture of the Statue of Liberty. I chose this because I did not know how closely related this statue is to the topic of immigration. Honestly, before I did not know much about the statue at all, but because it was involved in a notion, I found out why it was and still is important to immigrants who enter the United States of America. I thought it was just a symbol of independence for the United States, but I like the importance it holds to immigrants much more.


Critical response

The movie “The Immigrant” takes place in 1921 New York, when sisters Ewa and Magda arrive from Poland to the United States looking for a better life there. But Magda is not allowed access to the country because she has tuberculosis. To avoid getting deported Ewa takes up an offer from Bruno, who prostitutes women, and starts working for him to earn money to release Magda from Ellis Island. Over the time Ewa spent there, Bruno developed feelings for her. Later in the movie the audience first meets Emil, who goes by the stage name Orlando and is Bruno’s cousin. He also starts working at the Bandits’ Roost theater, where Ewa and Bruno work, and over time he also develops feelings for Ewa. Throughout the rest of the movie the audience follows the happenings of the three characters, of them trying to survive and live their life.
In the words of Dan Callahan: “ “The Immigrant” has many moments of exceptional power and rare delicacy.” (https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-immigrant-2014) I find this sentence surely fitting, because I found that some scenes clearly stood out from the others, for the emotions and situations of the characters. Even though the plotline of someone close to the main character being held captive or separated from them has been used many times before, I found myself thinking, if I had been in the same situation as Ewa, I would also have done almost everything to try to reunite with my family member, so I definitely understand her motivation to do things out of her comfort zone. Overall there definitely were scenes that stood out, but the rest of the movie I did not find that interesting or captivating.
Tom Shone from The Guardian says: “It’s a mystery why James Gray’s The Immigrant isn’t a great movie… The Immigrant feels: like a slightly faded classic that you can’t remember whether you’ve seen or not.” (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/may/16/the-immigrant-review-marion-cotillard-james-gray) I can surely understand why he feels this way about the movie. In my opinion the movie does not have an element that would make it any more memorable than any other film made about this era. For me, the whole movie just develops without having any ups and downs or much suspense that would make me really invested and on the edge of my seat to find out what happens to the characters next.
In conclusion: from the reviews and information I read, it seems to me that this movie was historically correct enough, just the movie itself is not the best. To me, the movie seems lackluster, because as I said before, it does not have a memorable quality to it and can easily be forgotten. For the purpose of learning about immigration into the United States, this movie is definitely not the best choice, because the movie’s main purpose is not to showcase what life was like for the immigrants, but rather about the life of one specific immigrant who got mislead and ended up on the wrong path.

References:

  1. https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-immigrant-2014
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/may/16/the-immigrant-review-marion-cotillard-james-gray

“Glory” part 2

I enjoyed watching the movie “Glory”. I think it gave a unique, and often not talked about, point of view of the American Civil War focusing on a colored unit, the 54th. While watching the movie I found it to be very interesting and historically accurate and the critics seem to agree with me.

One of the movie reviews I red goes as follows: “A stirring and long overdue tribute to the black soldiers who fought for the Union cause in the Civil War.” I think this review is very relevant, as the contributions that colored soldiers had in the American Civil War are often over overlooked, as America discriminated against people of color up until relatively recently. The author of the review is clearly thrilled to see these people get the recognition they deserve.

Lots of critics also mention how this is one of the most historically accurate movies about the American Civil War and represents it very well. As one critic said: “one of the great war films and perhaps the greatest film ever made about the American Civil War” and his is not alone. Another quote goes as follows: “Glory is, without question, one of the best movies ever made about the American Civil War” and I am under the same impression, “Glory” is truly one of the best and most historically accurate films ever made about the American Civil war.

All in all, “Glory” is one of the best war movies I have seen in a while and I very much enjoyed it. It is very hard to find a negative review about this movie, as most critics are under the same impression. “Glory” is truly one of the best war movies ever made and pays its respects to the colored soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the American Civil War.

Sources

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1008415_glory

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1008415-glory/reviews/

“Glory” (Ott)

Notions

Different developments in the North and South

In the 1850s the main differences in developments were about economy and labour. Southern states were widely using slaves and their economy depended largely on agriculture. One of their biggest export products was cotton. Northern states had gone through industrialization and were practising free labour. Northern states had also more mineral resources. Many of the Northen residents lived in urban areas. New Conservative President Abraham Lincoln wanted to abolish slavery but because slavery was rampant in the south and their economy was dependant on it, they refused to let go. This led to many states departing from the Union.

Abolitionist movement

The abolitionist movement was a social movement to put an end to racial discrimination, segregation and slavery. There were people with different views. Some wished for the gradual emancipation of slaves. Some wished to just restrict slavery to certain areas and thus prevent it from spreading. They were called “Free-Soil” activists. This movement was largely fueled by religion. People fought for religious purposes. These purposes appeared with the Second Awakening that caused the religious fervour. The movement was one of the reasons for the Civil War. Some of the female abolitionists went on to be prominent figures in the women’s rights movement. One of the most active abolitionists was called William Garrison. He founded the American Anti-Slavery Society and published an abolitionist newspaper The Liberator which he founded with Isaac Kipp in Massachusetts in 1831. The newspaper was published until slavery was abolished.

Missouri compromise

Missouri compromise of 1820 was a follow-up to Missouri’s request in 1819 that requested Missouri to be declared a slave state. This was the boiling point of the tensions between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions. Until this event, there were 22 states, 11 free and 11 slave states. A perfect balance that was now being threatened by this request. So, the request was accepted but with a minor condition – Maine was to be admitted as a free state, so the balance would last on. Senator Henry Clay received the name “Great Pacificator” for his work for the compromise. Many heated discussions whether to allow or not. Maine was previously part of Massachusetts.

Fugitive Slave Act

Was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as a part of the Compromise of 1850 between the northern and southern states. It was one of the most controversial acts of the compromise as it required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, have to be returned to the owners/masters. Also, the citizens of free states had to cooperate. The act was called “Bloodhound Law” by the abolitionists because of the dogs used to track down the runaway slaves.

There was also a previous law in 1758 called the Fugitive Slave Act. It allowed the owners to search and catch their slaves themselves and bring them before the court. Anyone who obstructed such capture was forced to pay a fine of 500 dollars. The act had also a massive downside: some previously free African-Americans were illegally enslaved.

Underground Railroad

A network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States in the first half of the 19th century. The network was used by the African-American slaves for escaping to free states and Canada. They were helped by the abolitionists who felt sympathetic to their cause. One of the most active leaders of the Underground Railroad was called Levy Coffin. He was a Quaker. It is estimated that a wapping number of 3000 slaves passed through his care. It has been suggested that by 1850, 100 000 slaves had escaped using the Underground Railroad. Various other routes led to Mexico, Spanish Florida, Nova Scotia and overseas. One of the most popular destinations was British North America (nowadays Canada) where slavery was prohibited. One of George Washington’s own slaves escaped through the Railroad in 1786. George Washington blamed a “society of Quakers, formed for such purposes.”

Dred Scott case

One of the most controversial events preceding the Civil War. Dred Scott was a slave who lived with his master in a free state before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Dred Scott claimed that the time spent in a free state entitles him to emancipation. The Supreme Court decided in 1857 that the blacks cannot petition the court for their freedom for they have no U.S. citizenship. A black person, a slave or not, cannot claim a U.S. citizenship. This verdict outraged the abolitionists and further intensified tensions. Dred Scott and several members of his family were granted freedom by his master only 3 months after the court’s verdict.

Formation of Confederacy

The Confederate States: Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, (later North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia).

The Confederate States of America was a collection of 11 (originally 7) states that departed from the union in 1860 as a result of President Abraham Lincoln getting elected. Abraham Lincoln was a strong proponent of abolishing slavery. The Confederate States existed for 4 years from 1861 to 1865 and were led by Jefferson Davis. The Confederate States were never recognized as a sovereign state, especially not by the United States. The northern and southern states had been torn apart because of several differences in politics and economy with slavery at its centre. The victory of Abraham Lincoln was labelled as an act of war by some southern states. They thought that the army would seize the slaves and force white women to marry black men. So, they started organizing assemblies and as a result, they separated from the United States, forming the Confederate States of America. In the Confederate States, the President served only one term which lasted for 6 years.

Causes of the Civil War (1861-1865)

The Civil War was basically the result of decades-long tensions that had reached the boiling point quite some time ago. The conflict was almost inevitable. There were also fundamental economic differences including labour force, main economic sources, etc. Abraham Lincoln carefully proclaimed that the war was waged over the preservation of the Union. Their main purpose was to preserve the US in its previous form. Lincoln knew that the aim to abolish slavery would’ve been unsuitable for many states. Many said that this war was to decide whether slavery will be abolished or not and so this war was also labelled as a war over slavery.

Developments and outcome of the war.

Developments: During the Civil War, there were many developments as desperate times demanded desperate measures. New weapons (naval mines), new technology (telegraphs), new (rail)roads, etc. For the first time, ambulances and hot air balloons were used. The industry was developed and further modernized.

Outcome: The Civil War ended with the Confederate forces surrendering unconditionally. The Civil War was the costliest and deadliest war on the American soil ever, with some 620 000 of 2.4 million soldiers killed. Millions were wounded and the south was left in ruins.

Emancipation Proclamation

This was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Before it, Abraham Lincoln threatened to free the slaves in those states that did not end their rebellion against the Union. As none of the Confederate States restored them to the Union, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863. This outraged the Confederate States. The Emancipation Proclamation freed 3.1 OR 3.5 million (different data) of the total 4 million slaves, so it had a massive effect. The proclamation also made it possible for the African-Americans to join the Union army. The order changed their legal status from slave to free, though the designated area was only the South. Emancipation Proclamation was basically a war measure that encouraged slaves in the Confederate States to run and join the Union’s side. The slaves in the Union were freed by state action or three years later by the 13th amendment.

Visual

This is the elongated version of a mash-up Confederate flag. This flag is put together of the Second Confederate Navy Jack and the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. The flag can also be seen as a banner on the second national Confederate flag which is named “The Stainless Banner”. Nowadays this flag is referred to as the Confederate flag and also as the symbol of Southern United States. It does have a controversy. It’s also known as the rebel flag, Dixie flag and Southern cross. The mash-up version has become a divisive symbol in the United States. The flag has been used by far right-wing political activists, for example, in Neo-Nazi parades. It is especially displayed in Germany due to the original Nazi flag being outlawed. The flag is considered in the USA as an extreme symbol of hatred and racism. This is one of the examples what kind of a trace the Confederate States have left. This is one of the examples where we see the Confederate States nowadays.

Essay

Glory: a lasting tribute

Glory is a 1989 American film starring such actors like Matthew Broderick and Morgan Freeman. The film was directed by Edward Zwick, lasts for 2 hours and 2 minutes and depicts the American Civil War through the eyes of Colonel Robert Shaw. Glory was nominated for five Academy Awards and won three of them, in addition to 3 Oscars and several other awards. The film was also successful financially making 26.8 million dollars on an 18 million budget. But how about the historical integrity and what about the public opinion?

The public opinion seems to be mostly unanimous to the awards. Reviewers praise the film thoroughly. Some of the most praised details include the soundtrack of the film and the acting of Denzel Washington while playing Private Trip. He also received an Oscar for this. One reviewer says that “Glory is a lasting tribute to both the power of courage and heroism and fantastic filmmaking” and gives a short final verdict: “Highly recommended.” (Liebman, 2013)

The historical integrity seems to be in balance with the fiction in the film. The most important events in the film did take place. A man called Colonel Robert Shaw did exist and led an all-black regiment called 54th Massachusetts. The film succeeds in its purpose which was “about the contribution which black men made in the American Civil War, an aspect of the war which is often overlooked.” (Webb) One reviewer praises the combination of fact and fiction in this film: “But fact and fiction put together, in this case at least, makes “Glory” a thoroughly pleasant experience, a lightweight, liberal-heart-swollen high.” (Howe, 1990)

My own opinion sadly differs largely from the common one. In my opinion, the film was quite boring. The scenes seemed to be way too lengthy. I was hoping for a high pace but sadly this film gets even a lower score from me than “Patriot”. I can get it why the fight-scenes had to be so long but that still partly ruined the film for me. One of the scenes picturing Colonel Robert Shaw before the biggest fight riding a horse by the seaside seemed so awfully lengthened that I almost fell asleep during it. A review completely agrees with me saying that Matthew Broderick was “catastrophically miscast as Shaw” and the director “holds the camera on him for interminable close-ups in the vain hope that a thought will be readable on that bland countenance”. (Travers, 1995)

To sum up, “Glory” is not a faultless film which should be proclaimed as perfect but it achieves without a doubt its purpose of honouring the contribution of black soldiers in the Civil War, a topic which had remained quite untouched in Hollywood until then. The film has received many awards and massively positive feedback from the public. The actors are outstanding and the soundtrack is one of the kind. Despite all of these ups, there are still, in my opinion, too many downs which sadly ruin the film personally for me.

  1. Liebman, M. 2013. ‘Glory Blu-ray Review’, Blu-ray.com. Available at: https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Glory-Blu-ray/69725/#Review (Accessed: 21.05.2019)
  2. Webb, A. ‘Freeman Fights for Washington’s Glory’, The Movie Scene. Available at: https://www.themoviescene.co.uk/reviews/glory/glory.html (Accessed: 21.05.2019)
  3. Howe, D. 1990. ‘Glory’, The Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/gloryrhowe_a0b24a.htm??noredirect=on (Accessed: 21.05.2019)
  4. Travers, P. 1995. ‘Glory’, Rolling Stone. Available at: https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-reviews/glory-99832/ (Accessed: 21.05.2019)

Glory

A sign warning slaves in Boston

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugitive_Slave_Act_of_1850

Rationale:

I chose this copy of a warning sign for runaway slaves for my representation of this era. I believe that at the time slavery was the most heated debate-over topic. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made it crucial for white people to return runaway slaves to their owners, otherwise their punishments were harsh. At first sight the act makes it seem like the people of America didn’t have any humanity left in themselves anymore. However, this placard shows us that the republicans were actually ready to put themselves in danger of going to jail and paying a huge fine in order to help the slaves. The sign warning slaves is closely related to this era because it helps to show just how strong of a will there was to give every individual in the country their rights. This powerful sense of purpose kept the republicans going and is also the root cause of the Civil War. A war that resulted in ending slavery and moving towards a more modern worldview we take for granted nowadays.

Critical response to the film “Glory”

Despite “Glory” being an old film, it manages to fully capture the viewer’s attention. It make them feel like actually standing alongside the other soldiers fighting in the Civil War. This has been achieved largely thanks to the historical accuracy of the movie and great acting. Notwithstanding, there are some actors and some parts which make critics question the film director’s decisions.

To begin with, some argue this movie should have been reflected from an African-American’s perspective.
 “I didn’t understand why it had to be told so often from the point of view of the 54th’s white commanding officer. Why did we see the black troops through his eyes – instead of seeing him through theirs? ” (1) I utterly disagree with this statement. I think that the fact that the film was featured through a white colonel’s eyes, was the whole point of the movie. The purpose was to show how seeing the brave actions of African-Americans can disprove any prejudice about them. At the beginning of the film, colonel Shaw’s perception of colored men was clearly depicted in his letters to his mother. Even though he was from an abolitionists’ family, he still was not quite sure in an African American’s capability. He was not sure whether they were able to fight as well or learn as quickly as white men could. Throughout the movie he was constantly proven wrong. He even admitted it in his later letters to his mother. If the film would have been through an African-American’s eyes, it would have failed to convey how a white man’s understanding of colored people improved when he got to know them.

In addition, other critics think that Matthew Broderick was a failure in his role as Shaw. “Working against his cutie-pie image, Broderick freezes his face into a somber mask while director-coscreenwriter Edward Zwick holds the camera on him for interminable close-ups in the vain hope that a thought will be readable on that bland countenance. ” (2) Once again, I cannot agree with this critic’s thought. I think that Broderick was an impeccable fit for the role because in reality, Robert Gould Shaw was as well considered to be a caring man. For some people, his face might have portrayed one’s tender heart and thus the impersonator needed to have the ‘cutie-pie’ look. Something that Matthew was apparently able to convey adequately. I think that Broderick did a great job at keeping Shaw’s personality in mind all the time. This skill was especially crucial during the scenes where Shaw was forced to make cruel decisions that were contradictory to his personality. For instance, the scene when Shaw let Trip be whipped while being there to watch it. The abomination towards that act was distinct in Broderick’s expression. That detestation towards whipping was to reflect Shaw’s delicate charisma.

It was a vital part of the role to manage to show that Shaw was a gentle man, but when needed, also able to make himself heard. Matthew’s chance to prove that was during the scene with the quartermaster. He went in there with a determined look, spoke in a loud voice, and made the quartermaster understand Shaw’s superiority. It was an important scene to make Shaw’s character, as a colonel, believable. In my opinion, Matthew Broderick succeeded in it.

To sum up, when expressing an opinion about something you dislike, it is best to critically analyse what might have been there that you were wanted to be shown. By more carefully thinking about the plot, the clearer the authour’s perspectives are. If after all, you still see it as a flaw, only then it is time to express your concern about the issue.

Sources:
1) https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/glory-1989

2) https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-reviews/glory-99832/

Illustration of African-Americans in army

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/dirty-little-secret-115579444/

North versus South notions:

(I have added the notes taken in class to the end of each paragraph.)

Different developments in the North and South:

NORTH: Because of soil and climate, the north favoured small farmsteads, not plantations. More natural resources=better industry. More big cities eg New York. More urbanised regions. labourers in agriculture from 70% to 40% over 60 years. No slaves, but immigrant labour from Europe. Immigrants traveled to North as there were more job possibilities. More railroads=Better transportation. Politics in the North=republican(whigs). People in North pursued careers in business, medicine. A bit more children tended schools.

SOUTH: Prolific soil, warm climate= perfect for large plantations(tobacco, cotton). Because of agricultural excellence in the area, few saw the need for industrialisation. 80% labour in farms. By 1860 ⅔ of population owned no slaves, black population almost same as white. No ‘metropols’ only a few near rivers for better transportation. By 1860 southerners economy stalled while North’s flourished. In politics, grown men were from democratical party and supporting careers in military, agriculture.

Abolitionist movement:

A movement to end slavery in America by “all men are created equal”. Slavery is not Christian. Abolitionists grew strident and slave owners grew more against it leading to Civil War. Slavery was entrenched to the New World since beginning of the colonising in Jamestown. Some whites were against the idea and after the DOI 2states stopped importing slaves, and Rhode Island (1777) was the first state to abolish slavery. Consitution made a slave a ⅗ of a person for demographics and representation in parliament sake. Uncle Tom’s Cabin -Stowe in 1852 played a major role in abolition movement; showed slave’s perspective. Abolitionists in North questioned the consitution which drove North and South apart cos South thought the North could now “Choose which laws to obey and which not to.” By 1850s, abolitionism was a big part of politics which in a few decades led to civil war. Abolitionists traveled in North giving speeches. Douglas- A famous Abolitionist writer.

Missouri compromise:

Missouri compromise set policy to admit states to pairs; one slave, one not. Missouri had become part of Louisiana territory in 1812. They wanted to become a state by themselves. Tensions had reached a high point when Missouri requested to be a slave state. This threatened the balance between slave- and nonslave states. To avoid trouble, they managed to come to consensus. MIssouri was named a slave state, but Maine was also named a state without slavery. During the Missouri compromise, an imaginary line across former Lousiana territory to separate slave- from not slave states. In addition, it assured that runaway slaves were to be given back (Fugitive Slave law). This compromise was overruled by D.Scott in 1857. Senator Pinci: ” If the original states could choose to have slaver or not, so should the new.”

Fugitive Slave Act:

This act required the slaves to be given back to the owners even if being in a free state. Federal government now has responsibility of finding, returning escaped slaves. In the congress, some argued for slaves’ rights testify in front of a jury, others didn’t think of them as U.S citizens. If a marshal refused to give the slave back, fine of 1000 dollars. In trial, slave couldn’t present evidence and the slave owner payed the comissioner from their pockets; in favour of white=10dollars, in favour of slave=5dollars. Abolitionists said this is bribery. Now the ‘slave-hunters’ wasn’t the only means of returning slaves.

Underground railroad:

A network of people who helped slaves to escapte to North and Canada. Consisted of black and white people. During the period of 50 years, it helped 100k slaves to escape. Organisation started in the end of 18th century. Allegedly Quakers started the movement. It provided shelters, help finding jobs;recommendation letters, food, clothes. This all was funded by mostly rich individuals (stock holders). Fugitives would travel by resting in stations after every 20miles. There were both white and black men part of the organisation. If conductors in stations were found, they were to be hung.

Dredd Scott case:

Dredd Scott was a black slave whose owner died and  ensuing that he tried to sue owner’s widow to become free, however, he lost that case. Dredd Scott is known for his another law case. He wished to become a Missouri citizen on the grounds that he lived with his owner in a slave-free state for a long time before going to Missouri. Supreme court declined his wish for being black, which outraged many abolitionalists. His case played a massive role in the Civil war as it was used to make campaigns by Lincoln for elections. It tightened the North-South relations to fullest and the case was a constant debating material. Scott was actually freed 3 months before he died. His wife pushed him to court

Formation of confederacy:

In 1861, Alabama 7 states formed the Confederate States of America wishing to separate from North in a peaceful way. Aim was to change the constitution as little as possible. Changed was: 6-year presidental term, international slave trade ban, limitation of central government. Mexican war hero J.Davis was chosen president. The government couldn’t raise money and inflation was apparent. It also couldn’t go to war so easily as states could simply disagree. In 1865, president Davis’ cabinet and him were captured which was the end of the confederacy. Mississipi, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, later North Carolina were part of it.

Causes of the Civil War (1861-1865):

Slavery. Distinct economies. Tensions started drastically increasing with Missouri Compromise. More Northeners started believing in free labour’s advantages/moral. The debates heated up with each decade until politicians were no longer able to restrain disputes. Abraham Lincoln rose to power thanks to his radical antislavery campaign. After that the 7 states formed a confederacy in fear of losing its wealth by abolishing slavery. In 1861 South Carolina rebels opened fire. Lincoln said that they went to war to preserve USA. Some states did not believe the government was efficient. A book “Gone with the winds” is about the era-worth reading.

Developments and outcome of the war:

The bloodiest war on America’s soil. Outcome was emancipation. African-Americans could finally be free. 13th, 14th, 15th amendment were added to constitution. War left confederation in ruins. In South, cotton farms remained but the size of the farms was curtailed. South tried to adapt their economy to North but it was hard as it was built on slavery before. War pushed the North to design an income- tax and tariffs. Invention of telegraphs, ships, first hot air balloons and ambulances!

Emancipation proclamation:

1863. Declaration which declared that all the slaves in opposing states are henceforward freed. They could also join army and in the end there were 200k black soldiers in the Union Army. Negative side is that it excluded the loyal states imposing slavery. This act changed the outlook on the war for many. It helped The Union with moral force for soldiers. Ep was announced in Washington DC. A part of the document still remains.