Glencoe World Geography

Chapter 6: The Cultural Geography of the United States and Canada

"History of Immigration to the United States"

In this chapter you learned that both the United States and Canada proudly call themselves "a nation of immigrants." From the first peoples to settle on the North American continent to the refugees seeking asylum in its countries today, immigration created and continues to shape the United States and Canada. In this activity you will learn more about the history of immigration in the United States.

Destination Title: Immigration in American Memory

Start at the Library of Congress feature presentation on Immigration.
  • Watch the opening slide show. Then click through and read the introductory pages of the presentation.
  • Click on the watch face icon on the left of the screen. Browse the time line of important dates and events.
  • Now choose three immigrant groups from the square links on the left side of the screen. Explore the presentations about these groups, making sure to click on the globe icon on the left to examine each group’s immigration patterns.

Using the information you gathered from this site, answer the following questions.

Which three dates on the time line do you think were most significant in the history of immigration in the United States? Explain your choices.
What reasons motivated each of your chosen groups to come to the United States?
Where did each group initially settle? Do you see any patterns? Explain.
Describe how each group was treated by people already living in the United States.
The Statue of Liberty was a symbol for immigrants of the opportunities and freedoms of their new land. Imagine that it is the year 2099, and the process of weathering has caused the Statue of Liberty to become damaged beyond repair. The government has initiated a nationwide contest for the design of a new monument to be built on the site of the Statue of Liberty. The monument must symbolize the values, freedoms, and ideals of the United States. Draft a design for the monument on a piece of paper or build a small-scale model of your monument, and then present it to the class.
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