Nativism and The Klan

By: Emily and Olivia


Nativism of the policy of protecting the interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants. World War I was a period of intense nativism in the United Sates. After the Great War ended in 1918 Europeans tried to relocate in many other places in the world. Many immigrants tried to move to the U.S. America did not want immigrants coming to the U.S. They said immigrants entering the U.S. was not American. African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and other foreigners were outlawed. Because of this groups were formed such as the KKK. They hated all African Americans.

Ku Klux Klan

The Ku Klux Klan is a racist, anti-Semitic movement with a commitment to extreme violence to achieve its goals of racial segregation and white supremacy.

Today there are more than 40 different Klan groups with a total of around 5,000 members.There is no “one” Klan.

The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the most infamous and oldest of American hate groups.

The KKK started during Reconstruction at the end of the Civil War, the Klan quickly became a group to intimidate Southern blacks, and any whites who would help them helped to prevent Southern blacks from enjoying basic civil rights.

National Origins Act

The National Origins Act was passed in 1924, a discriminatory immigration that restricted Europeans and Asians or other non-whites to enter the U.S. This act drastically lowered the annual immigration rate from 358,000 to 164,000. This act was abolished in the 1960’s. It reduced the annual country quota from 3-2 %. It was based on the census of 1890 when even fewer people from southern or eastern Europe living in America. This law also included the Japanese. Then an earlier law passed in 1890, had already excluded the Chinese. These quota laws did not apply to countries n the Western Hemisphere. The number of Canadians and Mexicans increase because of this.

Emergency Quota Act

Passed in 1921, also known as the Emergency Act. The objective of this act was to temporarily limit the numbers of immigrants allowed into the United States by enforcing quotas based on country of birth. Annual allowable quotas were calculated at 3 percent of the total number of foreign-born people from that country.

Exceptions to the quotas were made for government officials and their families,

“aliens” who were passing through the US or visiting as tourists or workers, immigrants from countries in the Western hemisphere, and children of US citizens. The Quota Act also did not apply to countries with mutual agreements with the US on immigration.

Alfred E. Smith's Election

In the election of 1928 Al Smith was up against Herbert Hoover. Smith was a democrat and the governor of New York and Hoover was a republican. Smith was a far different kind of candidate opposing Prohibition and defended the poor and the working class. Smith was the first Roman Catholic nominee for president. Unfortunately, Hoover won by a landslide due to both the prosperity of the 1920’s and the prejudice against Smith. Hoover even won the state of New York which was Smith’s hometown.