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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the ways that ethnic politics evolved in the United States. During the mid-nineteenth century, amid heavy immigration from Europe, ascendant mass parties mobilized newcomers rapidly, spurring nativism. Although the incorporation of immigrants gradually slowed after 1870 and Congress established immigration restriction laws during the 1920s, pluralism remained strong enough to allow the gradual integration of ethnics into the nation’s civic life. The revival of immigration after 1965, chiefly from Latin America and Asia, reinvigorated arguments about ethnic inclusion and nationalism. These debates developed in an altered civic environment, one marked by interest group activism and an emphasis on multiculturalism. Despite these differences, the preponderance of evidence suggests that the incorporation of ethnics during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries proceeded at a pace and in a manner comparable to previous eras.

Keywords: immigration, ethnic politics, mass parties, nativism, pluralism, immigration restriction, nationalism, multiculturalism, incorporation of immigrants

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