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Mexican Immigrants in the United States History Essay Example

The Alien and Sedition Acts were adopted in 1798 and consisted of four bills proposed by the Federalists. The signing of Acts was determined by the Department of Foreign Affairs of the United States. In particular, at the end of the 18th century, the USA was involved in undeclared war with France. The aim of the Alien and Sedition Acts was to reinforce national security and arrest people, who represented a threat to the United States. However, the Alien and Sedition Acts significantly reduced the influence of the representatives of opposition to the Federalist Party, including Democratic Party. Thus, the Acts were aimed at the eliminating of the influence of French and Irish immigrants in the United States. For example, the Naturalization act deprived the French and Irish immigrants of a right to vote.

Irish Maids

The term Irish Maids is used to describe the main occupation of the Irish women, who come to the United States. The majority of Irish women had to work as servants or maids. The increase of applications for such jobs as maids was determined by the poor knowledge of English language and lack of skills. The women usually cleaned houses, took care of children and cooked. Many of them worked in a state of debt bondage. Thus, Irish maids were often treated as slaves. The majority of Irish maids worked in the cities of the East Coast, such as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. The Irish women mainly immigrated to the United States between 1840s and 1930s.

Mutualistas were the community-based groups established by the Mexican immigrants in order to help the Mexican ethnic groups that resided on the territory of the United States. The groups were organized mainly in the 19th century. The purposes of the communities included the necessity to provide a connection of the immigrants with the home country, and guarantee their rights in the alien state. The associations also addressed the educational and health problems, promoted cultural diversity, ensured legal protection for the Mexicans and gender equality. In some cases, mutualistas were supported by the Mexican government. Despite the aim of the unification of the different social groups of the Mexicans, the mutualistas were often characterized by the social division. In addition, representatives of the associations were politically active residents. For example, they took part in the American Civil Rights Movement, as well as student and feminist movements. Thus, the significance of the mutualistas is explained by the attempts to create the basis for the protection of the Mexicans within the American society.

The Irish and Democratic Party

The Irish immigrants actively participated in the political life of the United States. In particular, the Irish took part in the signing of the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Besides this, among the US Presidents there were descendants of the Irish immigrants. At the same time, the majority of the Irish were members of the Democratic Party. The increased attention of the Irish towards the Democratic Party was determined by the main principles of the Party. For instance, the Irish could not meet the rural ambience of the Federalists. At the same time, the representatives of the Democratic Party and the Irish immigrants shared common interests, such as integration of the Irish into the American society. At the same time, the Federalist Party was unpopular because of the introduction of the anti-immigrant laws, including Alien and Sedition Acts.

Virgin of Guadalupe is associated with the religious life of the Mexican immigrants in the United States. According to the position of the Mexicans, in 1531 the Virgin Mary asked a peasant to build a church in her honor. It symbolized the unity and identity of the Mexican population. In regard to the Mexican immigration to the United States, the Virgin of Guadalupe represents a symbolic demonstration of the successful integration of the immigrants into new society. The image of the Virgin moved to the United States and became a way of the unification of the Mexicans, who lived in the different countries.

Mendez Case was a case of the federal court held in 1947 dealing with the issue of the racial segregation in California school. In particular, Mexican children were forced to attend separate schools and could not be admitted to the schools with the American children. The Mexicans considered such practice discriminating. In order to address the inequality, Gonzalo Mendez began a lawsuit to get the children admitted to the school. The school suggested the solution of the exception of Mendez kinds, but no other children of the Mexican descent. The family of Mendez refused the offer of the school. Finally, the court decision underlined the violation of the human rights and defined the segregation at schools as unconstitutional.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed after the end of the Mexican-American War of in 1848. According to the provisions of the peaceful treaty, both countries had to pay off the claims of the citizens of the United States and Mexico. Besides this, the boundaries of the United States were set along the Rio Grande and the United States gained new territories. The Mexicans, who lived on the territories of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado, received an opportunity to choose citizenship. In particular, they could go back to Mexico, or stay in the United States. As a result, more than 90 percent of the Mexicans decided to become American citizens.

1933 San Joaquin Valley Strike is considered to be one of the biggest and most important agricultural protests in the history of the United States. The strikes began in April, 1933, and lasted till autumn. The culmination of the strikes took place in San Joaquin Valley. The amount of the participants was estimated to reach more than 18,000 workers of agricultural sphere. They protested against the reduction of payments and the difficulties related to the beginning of the Great Depression. The San Joaquin Valley Strike represented the beginning of the activism of the Mexican workers, who migrated to the United States. The strike proved that the Mexicans succeeded in the organization of the communities, aimed at protecting the rights of the immigrants.

The ethnic group of Irish represents a significant share of the American population. Nowadays, about 33 million Americans have Irish ancestry, which constitutes around 10 percent of the total population. In the city of Boston, the share of Irish is the largest (Kolko). The first immigrants moved to Boston in the 17th century. They mainly worked as servants, merchants, tradesmen, or sailors.

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The position of Irish population in the United States was worsened by the prohibition of Catholicism. In order to prevent oppression, Irish immigrants had to hide their ethnicity. A significant number of the early Irish settlers were represented by Presbyterians, who first arrived in America during 1710s. Majority of them were sent out of the English colony and established such American cities as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Belfast, and Maine. According to Kataki, there have been three waves of the Irish migration to the United States. The first flow of the Irish population to the United States took place between 1815 and 1845. The period is also known as the first wave of European immigration, during which around 1 million Irish people arrived in America. As a result of the Irish Potato Famine, the number of Irish immigrants greatly increased. The famine established the occurrence of the second wave of migration that lasted till 1854. In the middle of the 19th century, the amount of Irish population in Boston increased to 35, 000. The last wave of Irish immigration took place from 1855 till 1920 (Takaki).

During the subsequent years, the Irish settlements continued to grow. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Irish population began to play an important role in the political life of Boston. Among the most influential figures were the Kennedys and John Fitzgerald. In order to get employed, the Irish had to work as servitudes. As a result, 70 percent of the servants in Boston were represented by Irish immigrants. In addition, more than half of the Irish servants were female. Thus, there was a superstition among the Americans that the Irish were a servant ethnicity. The majority of the immigrants settled in the Southern parts of Boston. At the same time, the Irish population met opposition in the political life of the United States. In particular, with the adoption of Alien and Sedition Acts, the Irish immigrants were deprived of a right to vote. The act was aimed at eliminating the importance of the Democratic Party within the American society.

The first years of the adaptation of the Irish were difficult. In particular, they were not skilled enough and could not get well-paid jobs. In addition, they had to address the problem of stereotyping. Besides being called newcomers, the Irish were criticized for their religion and way of life. During the Civil War, the Irish have become the force that could outnumber the representatives of the South. At the same time, the opinion about the Irish population did not changed. At the end the 19th century, the Irish still lived in the poor parts of Boston.
In addition, some of the Irish representatives were known for becoming mediators between the political forces. Besides this, the Irish descents played an important role in the US political life. For instance, eight Irish people signed the US Declaration of Independence and among the 36 delegates who created the US Constitution were immigrants from Ireland. In addition, among the US Presidents there were descendants of the Irish immigrants.

By the middle of the 19th century, the immigrants were also integrated into other professions. By the middle of the 19th century, the Irish were employed as the officers at the police departments or fire departments. In the religious life of the United States, the Irish immigrants have also progressively adapted. The Catholic diasporas contributed to the establishment of the labor unions, political parties, mainly the Democratic Party, and educational institutions. Nowadays, the Irish population of the United States is associated with both the Democratic and Republican parties. In addition, the Irish Catholics were engaged in the running of the city committees. In many cases, the Irish descendants became the mayors of the major cities of the United States, including Boston.

The Irish also took an integral part in the economic and social development of the United States. For instance, the Irish contributed to the building of the transportation infrastructure. At the same time, the majority of the Irish were not skilled enough. The majority of women, who immigrated to United States from 1840 to 1930, worked as servants and maids. The Irish women were often called “Irish maids”. They usually took care of children, cleaned the house, and cooked. However, the Irish women were often treated as slaves and experienced debt bondage.

Contrary to the Irish immigration to the United States, the Mexican migration to America began later. After the end of the Mexican-American war, Mexicans were given a right to stay in the United States or move to Mexico. Those Mexicans, who decoded to get the US citizenship, were provided with civil rights and protection of property rights. The large scale arrival of the Mexican population to the USA dates back to the beginning of 20th century. The main reasons for the migration of the Mexicans included the increase of the labor demand in the United States and the political situation in Mexico. As a result, during the 20th century, the US immigration policy experienced significant reforms in order to control the flows of Mexican immigrants. During the 1980s, Mexicans have become the largest ethnic group within the United States. While in the 1980s the Mexican population of the USA constituted about 2 million people, in 2013 it grew to more than 11 million people (Department of Homeland Security). In addition, the Mexican born descendants also represent the biggest group of all origins. At the same time, the Mexican were traditionally less educated, received lower income, and experienced poor health care.

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The migration process of the Mexicans can be divided into four main periods. The first flow of the immigrants took place at the beginning of the 20th century. The main reasons of the migration included the increasing demand of the agricultural workers. As a result, the majority of Mexicans were recruited by the private labor contractors. The same reason contributed to the beginning of the second wave of the Mexican immigration that lasted from 1942 till 1964. After the termination of the Bracero program in 1965, the third wave of migration began. It consisted of mainly illegal migrants with the high percentage of the seasonal agricultural workers. In 1986, the forth wave of migration started. It was influenced by the adoption of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which contributed to the reinforcement of security of the US borders. According to the legislation, approximately 3 million of unauthorized Mexicans were legalized. The Americans who hired unauthorized workers experienced penalties. In order to get an opportunity to be employed, Mexicans stayed in the United States on the permanent basis. Thus, at the end of the 20th century, more than 7 million Mexican immigrants arrived to America. However, the process of immigration from Mexico gradually decreased. It is explained by the enhancement of the security measures at the US-Mexican border and improvement of the political and economic situation in Mexico (Borjas).

The majority of the Mexican immigrants settled in Los Angeles in California and Harris County in Texas. Approximately 26 percent of the Mexican immigrants stayed in the metropolitan regions of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston (Department of Homeland Security). At the same time, the Mexican population of the United States experiences a number of difficulties. Firstly, they are less proficient in English. Secondly, Mexicans usually have lower educational skills than the rest of the ethnic groups living in the United States. As a result, the majority of Mexican immigrants represent the labor force. Thirdly, the Mexican settlements are often characterized by lower incomes and increased level of poverty. At the same time, Mexicans experience the process of naturalization (Department of Homeland Security).

In order to address the issue of the integration of the Mexicans into the American society, the immigrants began to establish ethnic associations, known as mutualistas. Among the main purposes of the organizations were establishment of the connection of the immigrants with Mexico and insurance of the main human rights. In addition, representatives of mutualistas became part of the political life of the United States. For example, mutualistas contributed to the development of the American Civil Rights Movement and participated in a number of student and feminist protests.

As the majority of the immigrants were Catholic, they had connected cultural peculiarities with the Catholic religion beliefs. Traditionally, the Catholicism in Mexico was based on the political power and had a significant influence on the social life. Thus, church had an impact on the everyday life of the Mexican immigrants. Religion became a mechanism of ensuring cultural continuity. As the majority of the priests were Irish or Italian Americans, Mexicans in Texas decided to fulfill cultural needs of their ethnic group. As a result, they adhered to the religious peculiarities of the Mexicans, such as the Virgin of Guadalupe.

At the same time, the Mexican population was suppressed by the US citizens. In particular, immigrants did not have the main civil rights. The discrimination was the most noticeable in the educational sphere, as Mexican children could not attend the same schools, as the American children. In order to address the issue, the immigrants held a number of lawsuits, including the Mendez Case. The attempts to improve the position of the Mexican immigrants took place during the 1903 Oxnard Strike and 1933 San Joaquin Valley Strike.

Thus, both groups of immigrants experienced difficulties of the integration into the US society. The Irish and Mexicans were mainly considered low-skilled workers. They also experienced different kinds of discrimination, such as depriving of the religious rights or an opportunity to attend schools. However, representatives of both immigrant groups have been constantly improving their position in the United States. In particular, Mexicans succeeded in preserving the cultural identity, while the Irish were integrated into the political life of America.

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