Immigration's Troubled History
Immigration and the Decline of Internationalism in the American Working Class,1864-1919
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/09/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21692
Book review of Charles R. Leinenweber's Immigration and the Decline of Internationalism in the American Working Class,1864-1919.
Through a close examination of the internal debates over immigration within various American labor and socialist movements, Leinenweber illustrates the initial hopes embodied by the First International to "generate a spirit of solidarity that would transcend national and ethnic boundaries," and their ultimate failure, through the support of restrictionist policies.
In this remarkably timely examination of the relationships between migration, internationalism and class formation, Leinenweber makes the grim and all too familiar observation that many within the nascent American working-class movement became "caricatures of Americans," and "literally adopted the slogan, 'America for Americans,'" when they themselves were immigrants.
Immigration and the Decline of Internationalism in the American Working Class, 1864-1919 is assembled from Leinenweber's 1968 University of California doctoral dissertation along with an appendix of three additional published articles he wrote in subsequent years exploring the American socialist movement. Nearly 50 years after its initial writing, many of Leinenweber's observations remain chillingly pertinent.