Question 1 (Document-Based Question): 55 minutes Suggested Reading period: 15 minutes Suggested writing period: 40 minutes Directions

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Question 1 (Document-Based Question): 55 minutes

Suggested Reading period: 15 minutes

Suggested writing period: 40 minutes

Directions: Question 1 is based on the accompanying documents. The documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise. You are advised to spend 15 minutes reading and planning and 45 minutes writing your answer.
Write your responses on the lined pages that follow the question.
In your response you should do the following:

  • State a relevant thesis that directly addresses all parts of the question.

  • Support the thesis or a relevant argument with evidence from all, or all but one, of the documents.

  • Incorporate analysis of all, or all but one, of the documents into your argument.

  • Focus your analysis of each document on at least one of the following: intended audience, purpose, historical context, and/or point of view.

  • Support your argument with analysis of historical examples outside the documents

  • Connect historical phenomena relevant to your argument to broader events or processes.

  • Synthesize the elements above into a persuasive essay that extends your argument, connects it to a different historical context, or accounts for contradictory evidence on the topic.

1. Compare and Contrast the extent of nativism in America and the views against immigrants by American citizens in the 1840’s-1850’s to the 1910’s-1920’s

Document 1

Source: City of Unbrotherly Love: Violence in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia

(The Historical Society of Philadelphia), published after 1975

“Our whole community was excited to an ungovernable pitch, by a most bloody and terrible riot, which occurred in the district of Kensington. We have never heard of a transaction in our city in which so much savage feeling and brutal ferocity were displayed.” So declared one of the pronativist pamphlets circulated after the riots of 1844, in which anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic forces engaged in violence against Irish residents and burned two Catholic churches in the neighborhoods of Southwark and Kensington.1 Describing an “indiscriminate fight” involving the throwing of brickbats and stones, the writer declared, “We have never heard of a transaction in our city in which so much savage feeling and brutal ferocity were displayed.”

Document 2

Source: Know-nothing Party Platform (1856) American Platform of Principles adopted at Philadelphia, Thursday, February 21, 1856

“3. Americans must rule America, and to this end native-born citizens should be selected for all State, Federal, and municipal offices of government employment, in preference to all others. Nevertheless,

7. The recognition of the right of native-born and naturalized citizens of the United States, permanently residing in any Territory thereof, to frame their constitution and laws, and to regulate their domestic and social affairs in their own mode, subject only to the provisions of the Federal Constitution, with the privilege of admission into the Union whenever they have the requisite population for one Representative in Congress: Provided, always, that none but those who are citizens of the United States, under the Constitution and laws thereof, and who have a fixed residence in any such territory, ought to participate in the formation of the Constitution, or in the enactment of laws for said Territory or State.”

Document 3

Source: Foreign Miners Act of 1853 license, 1853, U.S. Government


… County … 1853

This Certifies that

Has this… day of… paid the

Sheriff of … County FOUR

DOLLARS, which entitles

him to labor in the mines of

this states for One Month from


Document 4

Source: Columbus Dispatch, reprinted in Billy Ireland, Billy Ireland, March 4, 1919.


Red Flag


The mad notions of Europe


Un-American Ideals”,450&fmt=png&layer=1&src=cartoonimages/watermarks/cgra/watermark.gif&rotate=-60&opac=40&sizen=1,1

Document 5

Source: Advertisement in New York Times, 1851

“GROCERY CART AND HARNESS FOR SALE – In good order, and one chestnut horse, 8 years

old excellent saddle horse; can be ridden by a lady. Also, young man wanted, from 16-18 years of

age, able to w…No Irish need apply. CLUFF & TUNIS, No. 270 Washington st. Corner of

Myrtle-av., Brooklyn”


Document 6

Source: Hiram Wesley Evans “The Klan’s Fight for Americanism”, Speech,

The North American Review, March 1926

“…And we deny that either bigotry or prejudice enters into our intolerance or our narrowness. We are intolerant of everything that strikes at the foundations of our race, our country, or our freedom of worship. We are narrowly opposed to the use of anything alien race, loyalty to any foreign power or to any religion whatever as a means to win political power. We are prejudiced against any attempt to use the privileges and opportunities which aliens hold only through our generosity as levers to force us to change our civilization, to wrest from us control of our own country, to exploit us for the benefit of any foreign power religious or secular and especially to use America as a tool or cat’s paw for the advantage of any side in the hatreds and quarrels of the Old World. This is our intolerance; based on the sound instincts which have saved us many times from the follies of the intellectuals. We admit it. More and worse, we are proud of it…”

Document 7

Source: Statistic of number of immigrants entering the United States between 1820-1950

DBQ Notes

Prompt: Compare and Contrast American’s views toward immigration and the extent of Nativism against immigrants into the United States in the 1840’s-1850’s to the 1910’s-1920’s


Thesis: Possible thesis statements could include the following.

  • A large feeling of Nativism felt during these two eras, but targeted toward different racial groups (1840’s-1850’s directed toward Germans and Irish and out West the Chinese, and the 1910’s-1920’s against Germans, Communist leaning-foreigners, radicals, anarchists, fascists, Italians, and anyone who seemed “Unamerican”)

  • A larger group of people targeted in the 1910’s-1920’s opposed to the 1840’s-1850’s

  • A prevailing sentiment of racism and nativism in both eras

  • A large influx of immigration because of the need of laborers and conflict abroad

  • Link to economic, political, and social pressures and the types of people who felt these Nativist sentiments

Analysis of Documents

As explained in the scoring notes, to earn full credit for analyzing documents, responses must include at least one of the following for all or all but one of the documents: intended audience, purpose, historical context, author’s point of view. Although examples of these elements are listed below, these examples of analysis must explicitly be used in support of a stated thesis or a relevant argument.

Document 1

Source: City of Unbrotherly Love: Violence in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia, an article published by The Historical Society of Philadelphia, published after 1975

·         Intended Audience: Readers of the article, American public in the contemporary era

·         Purpose : To inform on the hatred and poor treatment Catholics and Irish experienced during the mid-1800s

·         Historical Context: Due to the Potato Famine in Ireland, there was an influx of Catholic Irish Immigrants. They were welcomed by factory owners because of the growth of industry during this time, but clashed with Protestants in America because of their religious differences. Such religious conflicts are seen by the Philadelphia Nativist Riots.

·         Authors POV: The author introduces an account of anti-Irish sentiment by introducing an event described by both the Nativists and Irish's point of view. The author describes the riots and fights with a sense of surprise, shock, and disgust. It portrays the reality of hatred felt during the mid-1800s. Author does not place the blame of the riots towards any specific group or race, thus making the author unbiased.

Document 2

Source: Know-nothing Party Platform (1856) American Platform of Principles adopted at Philadelphia, Thursday, February 21, 1856

·         Intended Audience: American public considering joining the new offshoot of the Whig party in election of 1856

·         Purpose: Explain party platform as well as state their ideals for what is best for America.

·         Historical Context: The Know Nothing party was a nationalist party that was in favor of preserving the idea that “America is for Americans” and should only be run by Americans. Strong nationalism was felt among American citizens especially after The United States had begun to acquire more land and more immigrants began to immigrate to the U.S. In the election of 1856 the Know-Nothings received 23% of the popular vote speaking toward their popularity.

·         Authors POV: This was written by white Americans with a strong sense of nationalism and resented immigrants because there were so many immigrants coming to cities in search of jobs. The author most likely is Anti-Catholic and finds that Irish in politics will be influenced by the Catholic Church and the pope, for Temperance, and a large supporter of Nativism.

Document 3

Source: The United States Government, a picture of the Foreign Miners Act of 1853 license, 1853.

·         Intended Audience: Foreign miners seeking work within the United States

·         Purpose: To inform the county in which the foreign miners are working that the miners are certified to work in their area for a certain amount of time and are protected from deportation.

·         Historical Context: The Chinese were one of the first groups of foreigners to migrate out west and many worked in mines. This migration of Chinese to the west caused California to pass the Foreign Miner's Tax in 1852. This tax aimed for the Chinese made them pay a high price to work, driving them out and reflect the growing competition and opposition to Chinese from Whites migrating out West in search of Manifest Destiny and looking for fortune in events such as the Gold Rush of 1849. The Chinese usually ran successful small businesses that increased white racism and hatred.

·         Authors POV: To create a license targeted specifically for foreigners. The fact that the US Governments made this license reflects that it is not supportive immigrant labor in America, since the license states that the miner is to only work in the state for only one month and targets people who are not Americans. However, the author recognizes the importance of the foreign working force with the establishment of this license.

Document 4

Source: Columbus Dispatch, reprinted in Billy Ireland, Billy Ireland, March 4, 1919.

·         Intended Audience: the “100% Americans” (e.g. Anglo Protestant  Native-Born Americans) who oppose foreigners and the radical ideals they bring with them, nativists.

·         Purpose: To convince natives and the “100% Americans” to oppose foreigners in legislature and in society. Targets and vilifies European immigrants.

·         Historical Context: America foreign policy at the time was isolationism due to the devastation of World War 1 and its destruction (Anarchist, Radicals, Assassination of Franz Ferdinand, German Kaiser Wilhelm, Russian Bolshevism and Revolution of 1917, “Axis of Evil). The Author represents Americans reaction to the conflict in Europe and its possible side effects of the radical union of the I.W.W., the “Red Flag” of Communism and the Bolshevist Revolution, its “Anarchy”, “Un-American Ideals”, and “the mad notions of Europe”. America was considered “the world’s melting pot” with the largest influx of immigrants ever in history to the US.

·         Authors POV: Anti-foreigners and immigrants, an isolationist and most likely oppose to entering World War 1 and for legislature (e.g. National Origins Act of 1921 & 1924) restricting immigration. The author most likely opposes the “World’s Melting Pot” idea of the United States and hopes to rid the “scum” (foreigners) from America.

Document 5

Source: An advertisement in the New York Times, 1851.

·         Intended Audience: The readers of the New York Times, young men laborers also looking for a labor horse.

·         Purpose: To advertise a horse and a young man needed for labor, but specifically a man who is not of Irish descent.

·         Historical Context: Irish and German immigrants experienced hostility because of religious and political differences. Most immigrants in cities supported the Democrats because they supported rights for commoners, while many Protestant upper-class whites favored Republicans. Furthermore, the competition for low paying jobs also contributed to the hatred, which resulted in riots in North-Eastern Industrial Cities.

·         Authors POV: Looking for business unless of Irish descent. Is against people of Irish or German descent because Anti-Catholic and Nativist. A business owner looking for labor of American-natives. Most likely Republican leaning. Probably for Temperance.

Document 6

Source: Hiram Wesley Evans “The Klan’s Fight for Americanism”, Speech, The North American Review, March 1926

·         Intended Audience: Northerners opposed foreigners due to the increase of foreigners in wartime jobs for WW1 and immigrants escaping conflict in Europe. Also people who are in favor of the nationalistic ideology of the KKK

·         Purpose: To spread the KKK’s ideals and influence people in the North to support or even join the KKK. To persuade the audience.

·         Historical Context: The KKK experienced a rebirth during the 1910’s-1920’s and began to influence the North as well as the South, where it had much influence during the Reconstruction. The KKK usually gains the most support when minorities push for more rights (e.g Reconstruction, WW1 rights and increase jobs for minorities, Civil Rights movement). During this era blacks as well as catholic foreigners, Jews, communist and anyone not “100% American” were targeted.

·         Authors POV: Previously, the Klan was more secretive and shunned by the public. A public speech given shows more public support, thus this author is publicly supported. North American Review shows new support in North.

Document 7

Source: United States Government, a statistic of the number of immigrants entering the United States, 1820-1950

·         Intended Audience: American public looking to find information based on statistical fact on immigration to the US

·         Purpose: to show the trend of immigration and the change in the numbers of immigrants over time between 1820-1950 in the United States using statistics

·         Historical Context: An increase of immigration the years between 1840s-1850s due to increase need for industrial laborers due to The Industrial Revolution and mechanization and conflicts in Europe such as the Revolutions of 1848 and the Potato Famine in Ireland. Then from this a reaction by American society to cut off immigration resulting in a sharp decline in immigrants to the United States due to Nativism in religion, politics, and in jobs. Also the largest increase in immigration between the 1900’s-1910’s due to conflict and economic turmoil in Europe and a sharp decrease due to Isolationist sentiments after the horrors of World War 1 and the increase fear of communism reflected in the Red Scare. A sharp decrease of immigrants to the US during the 1910’s-1920’s continuing until the 1940’s because of a reaction toward the largest ever recorded amount of immigrants in the U.S. with the passage of the Immigration Restriction Act of 1921 and Immigration Act of 1924.

·         Authors POV: unbiased, a statistical representation

Analysis of outside examples to support thesis/argument: possible examples of information not found in the documents that could be used to support the stated thesis or a relevant argument could include the following.

  • Revolutions of 1848

  • Economic Depression in Europe, mid-19th Century

  • Industrial Revolution in United States, 19th Century

  • Potato Famine, 1849

  • Chinatowns

  • Communist Regime, and Bolshevik Revolution of 1917

  • National Origins Act of 1921 and 1924

  • No Irish Need Apply signs, 19th Century

  • The addition of American territory in the 19th Century attracting immigrants

  • Radicalization of Europe

  • World War 1 and Americas revert to isolationism

  • Gentlemen's Agreement

  • Immigration Restriction League

Contextualization: Students can earn a point for contextualization by accurately and explicitly connecting historical phenomena relevant to the argument to broader historical events and/or processes. These historical phenomena may include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Rise of racism/discrimination rooted from racial differences

  • Political policies favoring white Americans were created in fear of immigrants influence and fear of sharing status with immigrants

  • Rise of isolationist feelings

  • Rise of hate groups specifically the KKK in the United States against immigrants

  • Fear of foreign influences such as Communist and totalitarian ideas affecting American society and citizens -  The Red Scare, Cold War

  • Continuation and enforcement of the “white supremacy” image within society

Synthesis: Essays can earn the point for synthesis by crafting a persuasive and coherent essay. This can be accomplished providing a conclusion that extends or modifies the analysis in the essay, by using disparate and sometimes contradictory evidence from primary and/or secondary sources to craft a coherent argument, or by connecting to another historical period or context. Examples could include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Link first Red Scare of early 20th Century after World War I to the Second Red Scare after World War II

  • Large influx of immigration in late 20th Century to the 21th Century

  • Compare KKK animosity towards foreign immigrants in the 1840s -50s to the clans animosity towards the African Americans who took part in the great migration during the early 1900s

  • September 11, 2001 terrorist attack caused the Rights to have an anti-immigrant stance.  In fear of Islamists and Arabs.  

  • Link the restriction of immigration from Mexico into the U.S. through Arizona in 2011 in fear that jobs and opportunities for Americans would be taken to the Immigration Act of 1924

  • Link the passage of the passage of California’s Proposition 187 in 1994, which denied schooling and medical care to all illegal immigrants, but specifically aimed towards illegal Mexicans and Latin Americans.

available, and thus riots such as the Philadelphia Riot which were frequent on attacks on immigrants that were “savage” and “brutal”, reflecting the excessiveness of nativism and violence against immigrants especially because they were Catholic unlike the majority of Americans that were Protestant (Doc. 1) . This momentum in influence along with their religious affiliations and use of alcohol caused the rise of nativist parties such as the “Know-Nothing” party that felt “Americans must rule America” and supported protestantism and temperance (Doc. 2). The “Know-Nothing” Party acquired almost 25% of the American popular vote in the election of 1856 which emulates their wide popularity especially due to their exclusion of immigrants. The “Know-Nothing” Party platform recognizes, with events such as the acquisition of territory by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in the Mexican-American War and the exponential settling of the Louisiana Territory with movements such as Manifest Destiny that pushed Americans to the unknown West in search of monetary success,  that they should address the new governments set up in new territories and how immigrants should not be incorporated into these new governments. The large group of Americans that settled out West and interacted with new types of immigrants brought their nativist inclinations out with them. For example, the California Gold Rush of 1849 attracted both American natives and immigrants, such as the Chinese, in search of success. With Chinese competition, among other foreigners, native-born citizens used legislature such as the Foreign Miners Act of 1853 that required all foreigners to acquire a license to work as a miner to target non-Americans (Doc. 3). Chinese especially had fared well out in the West with their specialist small business, but were ultimately exiled due to their competition and success and thus retreated in their own communities called Chinatowns. The feeling of nativism and racism was omnipresent in American Society. During the 1840s-1850s the United States experienced one its largest influx of immigrants and the American public reacted to that with violence, ostracization, and legislature to combat immigration (Doc. 7).

The 20th Century experienced another surge of new immigrants which gave rise to another era of American nativism (Doc. 7). The United States experienced the largest entrance of immigrants in the 20th Century before 1950 and with events such as World War 1, which erupted in 1914 in Europe, the American public retreated to isolationism, conservatism feeling that reflected in nativism. The citizens of the United States had throughout its history experienced a large amount of immigrants and was considered “the World’s Melting Pot” however during this time with the apparent dismemberment of European society - with events such as assassinations like Duke Franz Ferdinand, World War I, and the Bolshevik Revolution - America decided to isolate themselves and ultimately isolate immigrants that could possibly bring radical ideals and the “mad notions of Europe” (Doc. 4). American citizens truly felt that these immigrants with strange customs and language were the “scum” of the “World’s Melting Pot” which is America. Additionally, during the Mid-19th Century the Industrial Revolution was in its infancy and in World War 1 people were needed to make war supplies. Even establishments such as the Klu Klux Klan who in the beginning targeted African American but then increased their attacks on any people that are not 100% American and were of alien race (Doc. 6). The KKK experienced more support in the North and actually had its highest number of supporters in Indiana. With the entrance of World War I, the rise of the number of immigrants and their movement into wartime jobs, the KKK began to target Catholic Foreigners, Jews, Communists, and anyone not “100% American”. The fact that the a klansmen was giving a public speech shows that the KKK and their ideals had wide, public support, thus showing that people agreed with their Nativist views. Additionally during World War 1, people began to the communist influence with the Bolshevik Revolution which instigated the First Red Scare in the 1920’s. Many Americans began to introspectively find comfort and sought this with the passage of legislation such as the National Origins Act of 1921 and 1924 that decreased immigration to as low as 2%. With the shock and horrors of  the arduous war of attrition, people became disillusioned with foreign influence thus creating drastic Nativism in the 1910’s-1920’s.

    Both eras were marked by an augmentation of immigration that other eras of lesser Nativism had not experienced. Although the first era directed its nativist inclinations to primarily the Chinese, Germans and Irish, and the second era directed its racism to a multitude of different races due to the technological advances of larger communication and better transportation into the United States, they both felt inclined to target Germans and Catholics. German immigration was predominant in the 1840’s-1850’s and Catholic Irish were singled out in jobs by “NINA” (No Irish Need Apply) signs (Document 5). In the 1910’s-1920’s, Catholics were targeted by the KKK and Germans were especially ostracized because they were seen as the primary enemy of World War 1. Both eras found a heightened amount of immigrants because of the industrial jobs that were accessible to them. Additionally, both eras experienced an influx of immigration due to hardships back in Europe, although both periods of immigration ended for separate reasons. The 1840’s-1850’s was a time of political, economical, and social turmoil that differed for the United States’ atmosphere at the time, and the 1910’s-1920’s also experienced that same parallel structure.

    American is a country built on immigration, but time and time contradicts itself with its nativist inclinations although all Americans are essentially immigrants. During the period between 1840’s-1850’s the United States suffered one of its bouts of nativism due to the surge of new immigrants, and their political and social differences from an “average” Anglo-Protestant American and their economic competition with “native” Americans. At this time Germans and Irish  Catholics were severely targeted. During 1910’s-1920’s nativism reached another peak due to the turmoil of Europe, especially with World War 1, the large surge of  immigrants. Americans reacted by being an isolationist country and any “non-Americans” were targeted by such institutions as the KKK. Immigrants have always been a topic of discussion in America and nativist inclinations have always been suggested by some even in the current age. The United States experienced a Second Red Scare and feeling of aversion to anyone not “American” after the Second World War that reflected similarly to these two eras discussed. Similarly to the mid-19th Century and the early 20th Century, there was a tremendous increase of immigrants, mostly Latinos and Asians that pooled from new sections of the globe, to the United States in the late 20th Century to 21th Century which far surpassed both eras combined. Although in more modern times there was much a large amount of immigrants than before, there was more legislature such as the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 and political movements such as the United Farm Workers which fought for immigrants labor conditions that greatly decreased, but did not end, discriminations and feelings of nativism in the United States. Nonetheless nativism has had a strong influence in American society, especially in these two eras that share commonalities and stark differences.

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