Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Elwood D. Watson

Committee Members

Emmett M. Essin III, Stephen G Fritz


Since its founding, the economic opportunities and quality of life present in the United States of America have drawn millions of people across the oceans to seek out a better existence for themselves. America's Founding Fathers believed that the country needed as large a population as possible to become a strong nation. The capitalistic economy of the new nation caused immigration to become critically important in the expansion of its manufacturing infrastructure. Once the growth of the nation's population began to exceed that of the economy's needs, the federal government attempted to limit further immigration. The government focused on restricting how many people of certain ethnicities could enter the country each year, ignoring the problems facing those immigrants who were already in the United States. Even worse, the policy, through various quota restrictions and fees, encouraged people from Canada and Mexico to enter the country illegally. This paper is intended to analyze the flaws of the major immigration acts passed between 1882 and 1952.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.