Feb 21, 2019 in Book Review

The Book Review "American Immigration" by Maldwyn Allen Jones

The book American Immigration by Maldwyn Allen Jones is a masterpiece of historical books that gives an in-depth scrutiny of the history of American immigration. The book unveils that certainly, the immigration in America was a momentous happening that represented the history of emigration in the rest of the world. Immigrants who arrived in America came from different parts of the world due to various reasons. From Asia to Africa, as well as from Europe, they all settled in America as immigrants adapting to the conditions and new situations in America. Allen Jones gives a summary of the forces that led to the movement of emigrants from different parts of the world decide to move to America as their final destination.

Jones further analyzes the social, economic, and psychological adjustments that these emigrants had to go through in a bid to prepare themselves for the long stay in America. Jones writes that these adjustments were vitally important because of the fact that it was a new environment that comprised of new people, new social activities, and new culture as well as new economic activities that would deem them fit for survival in the new environment. Everything to them was new and they probably had no choice than to adapt and learn new ways that could enable them to survive. Additionally, Jones’ book endeavors to explicate the impact that America had on the new arrivals from various parts of the globe that had continued to step onto the American soil since 1607. Apparently, Allen Jones records that, since the aforementioned year, over sixty million emigrants had arrived and settled in America and they all had gotten used to the shaping life in America. This book indeed gives an explicit analysis of emigrants, their arrival in America, the impact of America on their lives, and how they also impacted on America apropos their social, economic and psychological impacts.

The book also scrutinizes the role that these emigrants played with respect to labor organization, politics, industrialization, the westward movement, and the growth of American nationalism as well as the development of the American foreign policy, besides the analysis of the theory and practice of the then democracy and the overall ways of their lives. The assessment of these vital facets of the life, ideologies, and practices as was exemplified by the emigrants clearly gives a reason that nudged Allen Jones to write this book. Certainly, Mr. Jones’ book provides the readers with a clear image of the immigration chronicles, making one feel as if they were actually part and parcel of this historic event. Jones’ account of all that transpired during and after the arrival of the emigrants into America vividly offers a great explanation of the transformation that America had on the lives of these emigrants as well as the impact of their presence in shaping America to what it is in the present times. The book’s review of the political role that these emigrants played clearly depicts how and what they were prepared for in relation to their moving to America. A further strength of the book relates the foreign policy towards the immigration, clearly showing how this shaped the United States’ foreign policy as well as that of their native country. The effect of immigration is also seen in the increased population whereby huge masses of people flocked into the U.S and, as Jones explains, they still continued to arrive from different parts of the world. Allen Jones also explains in his book that the emigrants contributed significantly to the economic as well as technological development with regard to the fact that there were many different skilled people all arriving from different parts of the world. The fact that they came together and shared their skills also explains why development was an inevitable course.

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Quite a wide variety of Jones’ analysis’s of the impact of immigration shows some strong points backing the historic moment that saw a million foreigners arrive in America. The book explicates the role that emigrants played with regard to industrialization. As more emigrants persisted in their arrivals, there was increased demand of jobs and this gave rise to the creation of various industries. The book further explains that due to the high demand for jobs, there were many factories that were established and more companies were also developed to cater to the growing need of jobs for emigrants who were arriving from as far as France, Germany, England, and Sweden as well as from other various parts of the world. Jones explains that, as more emigrants maintained their flow without any restriction on who enters or leaves America, the population’s increase was at an alarming pace. The book further unveils that industrialization was also made possible because some of the arriving emigrants started and ran their own companies. 

Jones reiterates that because life was not an easy pie for the new arrivals, they had to be innovative and exercise high levels of ingenuity in a bid to cope with the new environment. For those who had the chance to work for the wealthy hosts and other emigrants who had started their own companies, the book explains that they worked in extremely hard and unfriendly conditions where they had to share rooms with other people they did not know. Additionally, as the book unveils, some of these emigrants who had the chance to work in the factories were paid low wages and even this did not deter them from coming to work as there were many of them seeking jobs. Despite the fact that they were given the most resented jobs to do in the factories and companies, they did not give up and instead, they worked hard and saved for their own domestic use and others saved and started their own businesses. It is for these various reasons that emigrants resulted to the establishment of labor organizations that sought to protect the rights of those who were working in factories and companies. The effect of immigration on the field of industrialization is well explicated in this book as reviewed.

Additionally, Jones in his book reiterates that the massive influx of emigrants significantly contributed to the growth of American nationalism. Jones recaps that the discriminatory immigration policies that were laid down during the period of American immigration contributed to the growth of American nationalism due to the fact that the new arrivals were forced to adhere to the ways of life of the Native Americans. As such, most people had to adjust their ways of life and accommodate themselves to the new ways; because people came from different parts of the world and they all needed to accommodate each other, they had no ruse other than to embrace American nationalism which indeed strengthened the course. It was particularly essential for the Jamestown settlers as well as the Vietnamese refugees to also adjust accordingly in a bid to ease their lives in the new environment and be able to develop amongst themselves.

The book also unveils that immigration contributed to democracy. The book unveils that as more emigrants continued to flock into America, they also became aware of their rights to be represented in politics. Their craving for democracy was made possible as they challenged the natives on the integral part of embracing democracy. Jones in his book unveils why democracy was important during that time and gives an in-depth analysis of the way emigrants contributed to the growth of democracy throughout America. He further explains that, during this time, democracy was seen to be the ideal tool worth pursuing because of the fact that it was the only mechanism that was to liberate all the American settlers.

The book also talks about emigrants’ long pursuit of democracy clearly showing the ways in which they strived to ensure that democracy was incorporated in American politics. Their ability to notice the significance of democracy and the impact that it will have on the general development of the new environment is well explained in the book, whereby Jones explains that because of the hardship that the emigrants faced in the new environment, some of the democratic political aspirants that rose among them received the support of majority of these emigrants. The book clearly explains that indeed, American immigration was an important phenomenon that transformed America into a better area for all persons arriving from different parts of the world. Their involvement in political issues also explains further the need and drive for democracy which proved to be an inevitable pursuit.

As Maldwyn Allen Jones concludes in his book, he further reiterates that indeed the immigration course contributed significantly to the growth of America into a better nation that was fair enough for the generation then as well as in the preparation of the country for the new generation. Jones points out that America is what it is now because of the impacts that emigrants had in the quest to shape the country for the better because they believed that they had moved from poor countries to settle in America, which indeed worked for all of them.

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