Why did American nativist groups oppose free, unrestricted immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? I think there are many reasons why American nativists did not want immigrants to come to America. They feared that they would take most of the jobs; they feared that there would be a lot of racial discrimination; they feared that they would loose their religion, but I think the biggest thing Americans feared was to change.
I think they feared change in many ways; in their religion, in their society, in their government, and many other things. They feared that if enough immigrants came then their religion would disappear because, I don't think any foreigners were protestant, the main religion in the United States at the time. If enough immigrants came then they would automatically change the "American" society to adapt to their own, what ever it was.
If they got control of the society then it would not be too hard to change the government, when they got control of the government then they would change the "American" government to adapt to their government. They also feared that they would loose their jobs because the immigrants were willing to work for a smaller wage then the Americans. They were probably willing to work for a smaller wage because to them the American dollar was worth a lot more then whatever type of currency they had back in their countries. For example, if you are a store owner and you get two applicants for the same job, you will get the same amount of work out of both of them, but one of them is asking for a smaller wage, you tell me, which one would you hire. Oh yeah, you were almost guaranteed that the immigrant would never join a union or go on a strike. I think that if you are not willing to undergo change then you will never get ahead in life. If you were an American then you should of used the immigrants to your advantage.
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