In 1854 there was a rise in a political party called the Know Nothings and they were against the immigration of Catholics into the United States. They re belief was they didn t want foreigners to hold political positions, influencing their communities they lived in, and affecting their lifestyle. This type of belief is called nativism. Nativism is a belief that favors native populace as opposed to immigrants. Through out history this has been a constant dilemma in the United States, a country built on immigration. What causes this drive called nativism?
There are many reasons behind the beliefs of those in favor of nativism. The immediate causes are fear, ignorance, conservatism, and racism. The truth is that things that are different at first intimidate people. They want stay as far away as possible from things out of the ordinary. People are ignorant and this happens very often. Many are too quick to judge and formulate an opinion of something before they even try to attempt to understand it. Conservatism is plays a role behind this belief as well because they are against change. The last thing they want is for the society in which they live in to be altered by outside forces that cannot be controlled. Racism unfortunately plays a large role in nativism. Some people believe that their race is superior to others and they do not want to associate with others. They believe that if they mixed with other races then they are degrading themselves and their race.
The most significant of the four causes that lead up to nativism are ignorance and racisim. Ignorance has and will always be a problem that will keep people apart. Ignorance is defined as lack of knowledge or intelligence. People are will just simply just draw a conclusion on a person, or group of people without any logical reasoning. An example of ignorance having to do with nativism was in 1854 and the Know Nothing political party. They were a group of Protestants against the immigration of Catholic immigrants. They rose very quickly in power and even made a run for presidency but with all their power they could not get into office. As strong a their party was they could not get the support of the people, because their suppression against the Catholics made no sense. Racism will be a continuously be a problem that deals with nativisim and has through out history. In the 1880 s on the western coast of the United States there was suppression against the rise of Chinese immigrants. The government in 1882 passed the Chinese Exclusion Act that was used to heavily limit the amount of immigration. Another example of racism is the reign of the ku klux klan. They were against anyone that was not apart of their Anglo-Saxon race and would make violent attacks against those that were of other ethnic group.
The ultimate cause of nativism in the United States is greed. Greed for the dominance, control, and maintain of power. Even though the United States was built on immigration the greed for social, political, economical overcomes that realization. In history people have fought against immigration because they are fearful of losing power of what they believe is there. Man is not happy without some type of power and control over something and when that power is achieved two things take place. One, they become greedy and blind of humanity just because of they craving of power. And two, they are willing to do what ever it take to keep that power than to share it with others. A present example is the illegal immigrants entering the country at the California and Mexican boarder. Instead of people trying to realize that Mexicans are fleeing the country because it is suffering they instead view it as more tax money. This is why immigrants pose a threat to nativist, because they can possibly take away their jobs, live in their neighborhoods, and possibly hold a political position.
Nativism is caused by fear, ignorance, conservatism, racism, but ultimately greed. It has been a long lasting problem that will hopefully be overcame by humanity. Organizations are formed to that work with people of all nationalities such as the United Nations. And in even with the problem of US nativism the United State still is the leader in letting immigrants