Immigration and Ethnicity—A Historiographical Survey

Authored by: Stephanie Hinnershitz

The Routledge History of the Twentieth-Century United States

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138892071
eBook ISBN: 9781315709345
Adobe ISBN:


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For decades, an image from 1907 of mainly Jewish immigrants awaiting entry to the United States at Ellis Island came to symbolize the arrival of millions of Italians, Poles, Slavs, Jews from various nations and others yearning to breathe free in America. Plastered on textbooks, memorialized on posters and utilized in numerous presentations on immigration history, Alfred Steiglitz’s photo The Steerage of “huddled masses” seeking refuge from economic, social and political unrest was representative of the wave of immigrants who arrived in the United States between the 1880s and World War I. As millions of school children across the country learned, immigrants like those depicted in the black-and-white photo escaped hardship and found new hope in America. 1

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