Introduction had expanded, the need for land had also

Introduction Throughout history, the United States has been the melting pot of immigration. Many people of different races, religions, and reasons came to the United States; either willingly or forced. Either way, immigration to the United States is what our country had been built on. Immigration had begun in the early 1400s and its activity has only increased, but for a multitude of reasons. In this essay, I will talk about the history of immigration to the United States and how it has affected the United States today. History of Immigration As many of us may know, the first indigenous people to come to America were people who had crossed a land bridge that connected Asia to North America, although, it wasn’t until the late 15th century that Europeans had discovered the “New World”. Many people that had immigrated to the United States had come here for religious freedom and economic opportunities during the early 1600s. Although, “It was expensive for Europeans to cross over to the American Colonies. To obtain passage, many poorer British and Germans worked for a fixed number of years for an employer who purchased an indenture (a sort of contract) from a sea captain who brought young people over. It was beneficial to both the employer who needed labor (to work on the land essentially) and the employee, who did not receive a wage but was provided with food, accommodation, clothing, and training” (***). As immigration had expanded, the need for land had also expanded. The land in present-day United States was cheap, therefore people would buy large quantities of land to farm or even start a community. “Landowners experienced a constant shortage of labor, despite the use of indentured servants who would gain their liberty after 5 to 7 years. The cheap land meant white immigrants, no longer tied down, would then become landowners themselves. Therefore, there was a constant need for labor which manifested itself in the form of slavery. The Transatlantic Slave Trade brought many West Africans to the colonies, and the well-established triangular trade route assured a constant flow of slaves from Africa” (***). Not only slaves had come to the United States unwillingly, but “From 1717 to the end of the American Revolution in 1783, the British transported over 50,000 prison convicts to the American colonies as part of the Transportation Act. This accounted for about 9% of immigrants during this period” (***). By 1790, tables had begun to turn. Soon after President George Washington was put into office, he had tried the first attempt of controlling immigration with The Naturalization Act of 1790, congress had amended the act and the minimum residence requirement was to live in the United States for five years to become a United States Citizen.

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