In the Shadow of the 1924 Immigration Act: FDR, Immigration, and Race

Yuill, Kevin (2014) In the Shadow of the 1924 Immigration Act: FDR, Immigration, and Race. Immigrants and Minorities, 32 (3). pp. 183-205. ISSN 0261-9288

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Abstract

Franklin Roosevelt often receives accolades for pushing the United States towards a more liberal stance on race and immigration, even if his administration remained aloof from civil rights or immigration reforms. This article questions that contention. Roosevelt, who presided over the period of the lowest immigration in the twentieth century, relied upon the break in immigration imposed by the 1924 Act (and the Depression) to consolidate a national culture based on ‘Nordic’ symbols, effectively carrying through the ‘Americanization’ initiated during World War I without coercion. Whereas there is evidence of Roosevelt’s liberal disposition towards those originating from Europe whose numbers were savagely restricted by the 1924 Immigration Act, and while Roosevelt was anxious to maintain cordial relations with Asian nations, he fully supported the Act’s debarment of Asians from American citizenship. Moreover, he did so for strictly racial reasons.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Immigration, immigration restriction, Franklin D. Roosevelt, race relations, 1924 Immigration Act, Asian exclusion
Subjects: Culture > History and Politics
Divisions: Culture and Regional Studies Beacon
Faculty of Education and Society > Department of Culture
Depositing User: Kevin Yuill
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2016 08:20
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2016 08:22
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/4097

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