Immigration and Migration

Katherine Scott Sturdevant & Rick W. Sturdevant

In: Encyclopedia of Politics of the American West

Immigration and Migration

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  • To comprehend the history, character, or politics of the American West, one must consider the role of immigration and migration. From prehistory to the present, an impressive variety of peoples came to, moved within, or left the region, changing it physically and contributing to its human complexity. Immigrants’ acculturation within the western American mainstream, juxtaposed with their adherence to their own ethnic roots, rendered the population of the American West controversially diverse. Although founding frontier historian Frederick Jackson Turner lauded the frontier's creation of new American culture and politics, immigrants brought their “baggage” to the frontier to such a degree that nativists bristled at it politically, even violently, and do still. Whether the West will more celebrate or rue its diversity in the twenty-first century ...

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