Geschiedenis en cultuur van de Angelsaksische Landen



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The push factors (what makes people leave their home country):

- Political unrest (forced out a few thousand European intellectuals/political activists from their homelands)

- Religious persecution (mostly of German Jews)

- Mainly: demographic and economic factors

- The Potato Famine (1840s): about 1 million potato or famine Irish to the US
The pull factors (what makes people come to a new country):

- The building of transportation networks and urban jobs, there were people needed in factories

- The land was sold by railroads or given away by the government
The push and pull factors are more or less the same for the third wave, except that the demographic instability in Europe had moved south and east and, since no more cheap land was available in the States, immigrants were attracted solely by the availability of industrial jobs in the big cities.

The third wave was from 1890 to 1924, the immigrants who came with this wave were from southern and eastern Europe: Italians, Jews, Poles, and Hungarians.

They stayed in the industrial cities of the Northeast and the Midwest (N.Y. and Chicago) which were called ‘ghettos of opportunity’. In 1890 the Frontier closed --> no more land was given away by the railroad companies so people went to the cities.

In 1892 the government opened Ellis Island (N.Y.), an immigration entrance facility where was decided whether immigrants could enter or not.




  1. Describe the shift in immigration patterns resulting from the Immigration Act of 1965.

1960s (Golden 60s): no reason to leave EU which was booming: no push factors – there were now push factors in Asia, Latin America. In 1965, the quota system based upon country of origin that had limited immigration was revised, as Congress allowed a more equitable distribution of immigration visas by hemispheres, totaling 290,000 a year and stressing the reunification of families instead of job qualifications. There was an influx of immigrants from Latin America and Asia (also from Eastern Europe). Also, if you had some sort of intellectual skill, you were invited to the country. (scientists etc.) For example lots of Indians immigrated to the U.S. (India has a good education system). There was a brain drain (other countries were ‘bereft’ of their smart people).

But there was also a lot of illegal immigration (10 million). From Mexico came the “wet bags”: so-called because they had to cross the Rio Grande, (“make their bags wet”) which was very dangerous: many people died. The immigrants were mostly working class people.
American taste: drawn from the bottom up, democratic (working class taste)
European taste: upper class taste, formed by the bourgeoisie, aristocrats
9.Sketch the changing attitudes towards the immigrants from the 1680s to the present.


  • First wave (1680-1776): though most immigrants from the first wave enjoyed tolerance, the German Palatine immigrants aroused opposition because they kept to themselves, spoke German and showed no interest in colonial politics.




  • The second wave (1820-1890): were accepted because there was need for labourers in factories. Though in 1892 the government opened Ellis Island (N.Y.), an immigration entrance facility where was decided whether immigrants could enter or not.




  • Angloconformity: adapting with the Anglican ways and identity.




  • Ellis Island closed in 1954. In the 1920s the National Origins Quota Act was put into law: 2% of people of the same origin could enter the US each year --> they wanted people from developed parts of Western Europe. This Act meant a drastic drop of immigration.

  • The third wave (1890-1924): melting pot: a new identity would follow from the melting of ethnic identities

  • The fourth wave (1965-present):

1965: a law that gives all nationalities an equal chance for immigrant visas.

1986: the Immigration Reform and Control Act: 1) punishing employers who hire

illegal immigrant 2) prevent employment discrimination through rules that outlaw

firing/refusing people because they look foreign 3) amnesty for illegals who

stayed in the US for 4 years.

1996: welfare reform laws, strengthening of the border control,…



  • Cultural pluralism: salad bowl, alphabet soup, mosaic..: all the ethnic identities are mixed but they do not merge (no full assimilation).

  • Transnationalism: people are not bound to one country although they adapt to the American ways.

10. Explain the following terms and indicate the historical context in which they came to be used :




  • Middle Passage: The 2nd part of the Triangle Trade (first shipping trade goods from Europe to Africa, then slaves from Africa to America and finally trade goods from America to Europe). This was the journey of slave trading ships from the west coast of Africa, where they were obtained, across the Atlantic. With extremely tightly packed loads of human cargo that stank and carried out both infectious disease and death, the ships would travel east to west across the Atlantic on a miserable voyage to the British North-American colonies.




  • Emancipation Proclamation: was established in 1863 (in the middle of the Civil War), it abolished slavery officially. It wasn’t till after the Civil War (1865) that it came to its right.



  • Reconstruction: the period from 1865 to 1877 was called the period of Reconstruction, because 3 Amendments were added to the Constitution: 1) 13th Amendment in 1865 which abolished slavery 2) 14th Amendment also in 1865 which gave citizenship to former slaves and 3) 15th Amendment in 1870 which gave black men the right to vote. They also acquired property.




  • Jim Crow laws: laws which were the result of the segregation in the South in 1877. These laws gradually disenfranchised blacks (their right to vote was taken away, conditions were added to the right to vote, e.g. you had to be able to read,..) and installed a regime of ‘petty apartheid’. Jim Crow was a figure of fun from the minstrel shows in the South, it was a white actor dressed up as a black who ridiculed the black.



  • sharecropping: was also established around 1877 during the segregation in the South. Landowners leased land to the blacks, the blacks would share their crops with the landlord and so they became indebted to the landlords. This is a kind of economic slavery.




  • Civil Rights Movement: the Civil Rights Movement came up in the South in the 1950s and 1960s as a reaction against the Jim Crow laws.

11. Discuss the main dangers that threaten American democracy.



  • Fundraising: candidates can use a specific amount of money to make a campaign, given by the State. But they can’t use more money than the set amount. That’s why the rich candidates sponsor their campaign with money from their own “war-chest”. They’ll get other people to sponsor their campaigns too. The question: if there’s personal liberty/democracy, why can’t everyone give what they want?

  • Media: the media isn’t objective anymore, there isn’t any journalistic neutrality. Fox News is clearly conservative and influences the public.

  • Gerrymandering (redistricting): State government will rearrange the districts. This can always be done in the advantage of one of the parties. Example: a triangle = a state: if you divide this in 2 equal parts it’s fair. But everything is around winning in a district, so they arrange it that for example the 1/3th of the state which is republican becomes 1 district.

  • Undue use of political power or prerogatives: political corruption, using the democratic system to get rid of enemies instead of taking care of the people. e.g. Alberto Gonzales: He was Attorney General until he had to step down in a scandal involving the partisan firing of federal prosecutors.

12. Give a short profile of the main Democratic contenders for the presidential nomination. Take into account recent developments.


  • Hillary Clinton:

+ name recognizing
+ experience and has the Clinton network behind her
+ loads of money
+ support from the bureaucracy
+ successful senator of New York, she didn’t want to become famous but help people
+ Historical first: she’d be the first woman to become (candidate) president
- She isn’t doing well in the ‘Early States’
- Polarizing personality: She can become a candidate, but then what?
- Used to be ultra-liberal, now is going more to the centre
- Isn’t very good at public speeches


  • Barack Obama:

+ Good at public speeches
+ Historical first: he’d be the first black man to become (candidate) president

- Possibility of racism


- Not much experience, has only been a senator since 2004



  • John Edwards:

+ He’s from the South, just like Clinton and Carter
+ Good relations with trade-unions/syndicates
+ Good at public speeches
+ Used to be pro-Iraq war, now has changed his opinion and apologised publically
+ Kennedy-esque looks
+ Good wife
- Wife is dying (will this change him?)
- Not much experience
13. Give a short profile of the main Republican contenders for the presidential nomination. Take into account recent developments.


  • Rudy Giuliani:

+ Mayor of New York
- Liberal Republican, ‘flip-flopping’ now
- Bad private life, his children are against him, he’s in his 3rd marriage


  • Mitt Romney:

+ Governer of Massachussettess (2002 + 2006)
+ Saved the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake 2002
+ Good at public speeches
- ‘flip-flopping’
- He’s a mormon, Americans see this as a sect


  • Mike Huckabee:

+ Experienced politician
+ Warm personality
+ Good at public speeches
+ Was fat, now thin and fit

(+) Plays bass guitar in a band: Capitol Offense (this is an offense on which the death penalty stands)

- Still supports the Iraq war

(+/-) Very religious, gives him a particular following but turns off other groups




  • John McCain:

+ Vietnam veteran

+ Ex-prisoner of war

+ Experienced politician

+ Continuous

- Still supports the Iraq war

- He likes to makes jokes, but they’re not well timed or placed: “McCain's WMD (=Weapon of Mass Destruction) Is a Mouth That Won't Quit”



Very conservative on some points. Maverick (does what he thinks is right, not following the Republican party). Also different view on immigration laws.

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