Nativists Opposition to the German and Irish Immigrants
The reason for the Nativists opposition to the German and Irish immigrants was because they agreed to work in dangerous factories for low wages (Baker 1). The Americans who worked for low wages faced intimidation and substitution from the immigrants, who accepted to work on almost zero wages. Another reason that sent them worrying was that the immigrants would ouster them from their jobs and bring in Catholic influence. Several immigrants originated from cultures that were significantly different from the American culture. Besides, religious practices were yet another reason for resistance (Curiehs.org 1).
Roman Catholics especially the Irish Americans were highly opposed because of their loyalty to their pope and rejection of the American ways of life. The German immigrants were in opposition because their social structure that was set in a pro-self-rule style (Curiehs.org 1). They did not also hold up to hindrance. However, some of the reasons for the opposition were also politically motivated. Most of the immigrants living in the cities turned into democrats since the party was mainly focused on the needs of the common people.
The Nativists had concrete reasons for imposing restrictions on immigration, for example, between 1830s and 1840s, they were very angry with the competition in the job sector that mainly came from the immigrants. Besides, the nativists also claimed an increase in crime rates, public drunkenness, pollution caused by ignorant immigrant voters, and the boldness by Catholic clergymen that posed great threat to the institutions and values of the Protestants (Ushistory.Org 1).
The Know Nothings party laid blames on the immigrants for political, social and economic wrongs. The immigrants also had a keen interest on specific political activities by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, especially its effort in securing the public support tax for Catholic parochial schools, and a vast rise in the immigrant vote since 1848 (Viking.coe.uh.edu 1). The Nativists were not pleased with the idea of foreign born individuals holding public offices. The Know Nothings party was anti-Catholic and was committed to buying more time before immigrants acquired the nod to become voters.
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Baker, Sean. Nativism: American Anti-Catholic Sentiment, 1830-1845. Are.as.wvu.edu, 2014. Web. 16 Feb 2014. <http://are.as.wvu.edu/baker.htm>.
Curiehs.org. The American Economy: 1790-1860. 2014. Web. 16 Feb 2014. <http://www.curiehs.org/ourpages/Web_based_instruction/us_history/topicnotes/5-2.htm>.
Holt, Michael. Getting the Message Out! Political Culture: Nativism. Dig.lib.niu.edu, 2014. Web. 16 Feb 2014. <http://dig.lib.niu.edu/message/ps-nativism.html>.
Ushistory.Org. Irish and German Immigration [ushistory.org]. 2014. Web. 16 Feb 2014. <http://www.ushistory.org/us/25f.asp>.
Viking.coe.uh.edu . Irish and German Immigration. 2014. Web. 16 Feb 2014. <http://viking.coe.uh.edu/~gpwagner/cuin7316/Irish%20and%20German%20Immigration.html>.