Jed Smart

March 8, 1999

Racial and



Summary of Pages 65-74, A Nation of Immigrants: An Overview of the

Economic and Political Conditions of Selected Racial and Ethnic Groups.

The North American economic development has seen several stages of

development. The first stage of economic development was a

plantation-slave economy mixed with mercantilism, the second stage of

development was a competitive industrial economy, and the stage third

stage of economic development is multinational capitalism.

Economic institution and related governmental actions have formed the

tides of migration and the resulting patterns of immigrant adjustment.

The original groups of inhabitants in North America were Native

Americans. These Native people lost much of their land and many of their

lives to the vicious European invasions.

Many groups of immigrants came to America, yet each group had left

their native country for various reasons and under various

circumstances. Some immigrant groups entered America as slaves, others

came to work at low paying labor jobs, and some came as entrepreneurs.

These various groups were discriminated against at varying level,

depending on the resources the group brought with them. Those immigrants

who made the journey to America on their own freewill with economic

resources found that it was much easier to find good jobs than those

immigrants with less than such freewill and resources. Small business

opportunities unfortunately were not available for most immigrants.

The waves of immigrant migration to the North America are highlighted

in phases. With phase one came English colonists from the 1600?s to the

1800?s. The English created colonies and forced land from the native

people. The English also established a form of capitalism. During this

same time Africans were seized from their native lands and were shipped

to America involuntarily in the form of property, to be used as slave

labor. Also, phase one brought an era in which Irish Catholics

immigrated to America, driven from their native land from the 1830?s to

the 1860?s, due to famine, oppression, and poor living conditions. These

Irish immigrants were able to obtain low wage jobs. Phase two began with

the immigration of Chinese people from the 1850?s to the 1870?s; these

people came due to recruitment efforts by the United States and in hope

of obtaining better living conditions. The Chinese became employed

mostly in construction, and menial service jobs. The Italians arrived

between the 1880?s and the 1910?s. The Italian people were recruited for

construction and other related low wage labor jobs. The Japanese

immigrants came to live in Western America after migrating from their

land to Hawaii from the 1880?s to the 1900?s. The Japanese people had

also been recruited as laborers.

The third phase of immigration to the United States began with the

Mexican people from the 1910?s to the 1990?s, due to labor shortages

from Europe and Asia. The Puerto Rican people started arriving in the

1940?s and continue to arrive into the 1990?s. These people accessed

labor jobs in farms and jobs in blue-collar occupations. Recent Asian

and Caribbean groups started arriving in the 1960?s to the 1990?s,

mostly as political refuges, and also for political reasons.

Commercial capitalism and the slave society were the effect of the East

Coast colonial expansion of English land. The early economy was derived

of a combination of enterprises under English rule and independent

entrepreneurs. Included in this system was Slave plantations. The goal

of English colonial settlement was to secure raw goods and markets for

English products. In England merchants invested in the colonial

industries. Other people from Europe began to immigrate into the

colonies with the hope of becoming small farmers. In the colonies there

were two types of major production, small farms, and plantations and


From the 1600?s to the mid 1800?s African people were used for slave

labor in colonial plantations. Around the time of 1860 there were as

many as 3.9 million slaves in the united States due to a strong demand

for their labor.

The Southerners in the United States had held nearly all political and

economic power in the government until the end of the civil war, which

granted the Northern Industrialists the majority of governmental power

in the United States.

In the Northern Industrial society and in small farms immigrants from

Ireland, Germany and Scandinavia were among those in the labor force.

These Europeans had been recruited from their countries, and they had

also left for other reasons such as famine, political and economic

problems and the hope of a better life. The immigration of Europeans

laid the foundation of patterns of racial conflict.

The African people that were now free from slavery began working as low

wage laborers for entrepreneurs. In some cases African Americans were

used as strikebreakers, which raised racial pressure even more.

Eventually African workers