➊ Why They Came To America Essay
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This is What Would Have Happened if Christopher Columbus Never Came to America
It is very difficult to immigrate to the United States. Ellis Island closed down a long time ago. This chart shows the confusing and difficult path to a green card. Does that look easy to you? America allows greater numbers of immigrants than any other country. However, the annual flow of immigrants as a percent of our population is below most other OECD countries because the United States has such a large population. The percentage of our population that is foreign-born is about America is great at assimilating immigrants but other countries are much more open to legal immigration. For a law to be consistent with the principle of the Rule of Law, it must be applied equally, have roughly ex ante predictable outcomes based on the circumstances, and be consistent with our Anglo-Saxon traditions of personal autonomy and liberty.
Our current immigration laws violate all of those principles. For the Rule of Law to be present, good laws are required, not just strict adherence to government enforcement of bad laws. An amnesty is an admission that our past laws have failed, they need reform, and that the net cost of enforcing them in the meantime exceeds the benefits. That is why there have been numerous immigration amnesties throughout American history. Enforcing laws that are inherently capricious and that are contrary to our traditions is inconsistent with a stable Rule of Law, which is a necessary but not sufficient precondition for economic growth.
Enforcing bad laws poorly is better than enforcing bad laws uniformly despite the uncertainty. In immigration, poor enforcement of our destructive laws is preferable to strict enforcement but liberalization is the best option. Admitting our laws failed, granting an amnesty for lawbreakers, and reforming the law would not doom the Rule of Law in the United States—it would strengthen it. By not exercising control over borders through actively blocking immigrants, the users of this argument warn, the United States government will surrender a vital component of its national sovereignty. Rarely do users of this argument explain to whom the U. How can that be? The standard Weberian definition of a government is an institution that has a monopoly or near monopoly on the legitimate use of violence within a certain geographical area.
It achieves this monopoly by keeping out other competing sovereigns. Our government maintains its sovereignty by excluding the militaries of other nations, by stopping insurgents, and interrupting the plans of terrorists. However, U. The main effect of our immigration laws is to prevent willing foreign workers from selling their labor to voluntary American purchasers. If the United States would return to its immigration policy then foreign militaries crossing U. Allowing the free flow of non-violent and healthy foreign nationals does nothing to diminish the U.
There is also a historical argument that free immigration and national sovereignty are not in conflict. From the federal government placed almost no restrictions on immigration. At the time, states imposed restrictions on the immigration of free blacks and likely indigents through outright bars, taxes, passenger regulations, and bonds. States did not enforce many of those restrictions and the Supreme Court struck down the rest of them in the s. However, that open immigration policy did not stop the United States from fighting three major wars: the War of , the Mexican American War, and the Civil War. The U. Those who claim the U. To argue that open borders would destroy American sovereignty is to argue that the United States was not a sovereign country when George Washington, Andrew Jackson, or Abraham Lincoln were presidents.
We do not have to choose between free immigration and U. Furthermore, national sovereign control over immigration means that the government can do whatever it wants with that power—including relinquishing it entirely. It would be odd to argue that sovereign national states have complete control over their border except they that cannot open them too much. Of course they can, as that is the essence of sovereignty. After all, I am arguing that the United States government should change its laws to allow for more legal immigration, not that the U. This is an argument used by some Republicans and conservatives to oppose liberalized immigration. They point to my home state of California as an example of what happens when there are too many immigrants and their descendants: Democratic Party dominance.
They would further have to explain why Texas Hispanics are so much more Republican than those in California are. Nativism has never been the path toward national party success and frequently contributes to their downfall. In other words, whether immigrants vote for Republicans is mostly up to how Republicans treat them. Republicans should look toward the inclusive and relatively pro-immigration policies and positions adopted by their fellow party members in Texas and their subsequent electoral success there rather than trying to replicate the foolish nativist politics pursued by the California Republican Party.
Although some Texas Republicans have changed their tone on immigration in recent years, they have focused primarily on border security rather than forcing every state employee to help enforce immigration law. My comment here assumes that locking people out of the United States because they might disproportionately vote for one of the two major parties is a legitimate use of government power—I do not believe that it is. The resultant weakening in economic growth means that immigrants will destroy more wealth than they will create over the long run.
This is the most intelligent anti-immigration argument and the one most likely to be correct although the evidence does not support it. Economists Michael Clemens and Lant Pritchett lay out an enlightening model of how immigrants from poorer countries could theoretically weaken the growth potential of the countries that they immigrate to. Their model assumes that immigrants transmit anti-growth factors to the United States in the form of lower total factor productivity. However, as the immigrants assimilate, these anti-growth factors weaken over time. Congestion could counteract that assimilation process when there are too many immigrants with too many bad ideas, thus overwhelming assimilative forces.
Clemens is rightly skeptical that this is occurring but his paper lays out the theoretical point where immigration restrictions would be efficient by balancing the benefits of economic expansion from immigration with the theoretical costs of degradation in economic growth. Empirical evidence does not point to this effect either. In a recent academic paper , my coauthors and I compared economic freedom scores with immigrant populations across over countries over 21 years. Some countries were majority immigrant while some had virtually none. Immigrant countries of origin did not affect the outcome. These results held for the United States nationally but not for state governments.
States with greater immigrant populations in had less economic freedom in than those with fewer immigrants, but the difference was small. The national increase in economic freedom more than outweighed the small decrease in economic freedom in states with more immigrants. Additionally, large shocks into specific countries result in vast improvements in the economic freedom score. Large immigrant populations also do not increase the size of welfare programs or other public programs across American states and there is a lot of evidence that more immigrants in European countries actually decreases support for big government.
Although this anti-immigration argument could be true, it seems unlikely to be so for several reasons. It was my relatives, and they saved up to rent a bus to go with us to the airport. I was astonished to see how many people wanted to say goodbye. Everything was packed and we finally drove off the rubble driveway that I would never brush my fingers into, earnest to find shimmering treasures with the faces of men I did not know etched on them.
I looked out the window and saw a crowd of unfamiliar faces standing outside waving at our van as we passed by. Finally we reached the airport and everyone had the identical expression. She grabbed me in a tight embrace like she was never going to see me again and told me to be good. I had never seen such love and care as I did from my family, especially from people that were unfamiliar to me. After all the goodbyes we made our way into the building. I held a suitcase of my own, eager to help my parents as much as they would let me. Taking each step towards our plane I clenched to the suitcase rolling silently behind me.
Even though it was behind me I knew I would always have it because I held on tight. It was the same for all my friends and family that were behind me. As we walked to our future I would never forget the love and support that stood there crying. Worse, the trading paths from the coast to the interior continued to be conduits for pestilence. Serious smallpox epidemics struck the southern interior in , , , and , killing thousands of Indians during every outbreak. As Indian numbers declined and demand for trade goods soared, native people became enmeshed in the European economy. Instead of killing animals primarily for food, Indians hunted to obtain deerskins for the overseas market. Native people often insisted that European traders engage in traditional practices such as preliminary gift-giving and smoking tobacco , but native rituals associated with hunting probably became less important as Indians engaged in market hunting.
Only when Indians went to war—either against each other or against one of the European powers—did deer and other get a prolonged respite from native hunters. Because deer reproduced quickly during such interludes, the animals never became extinct, but by , the once-plentiful animals were noticeably scarce throughout the region. Though the French and Spanish were powerful players in the Indian trade, the transformation of southern agriculture was largely an English enterprise.
In addition to corn and other foodstuffs, English colonists planted cash crops—tobacco in the region surrounding Chesapeake Bay, rice and indigo in the Carolina low country—for the European market. Whereas native people had hunted deer and other animals for meat, colonists relied on cattle and hogs raised on the open range in southern forests. For the most part, planters who raised cash crops engaged in monoculture, the practice of planting only a single crop per field. Tobacco, rice, and indigo—all of which are extremely demanding of soils—quickly exhausted colonial plots.
Without the tangle of food plants typical of Indian gardens, English fields were also more subject to erosion and attracted insect pests such as grasshoppers, tobacco flea beetles, and rice worms. Free-roaming livestock had to be protected from native predators, especially wolves. By the s wolves were extinct in the settled regions, though other animals—such as crows and squirrels—for which officials offered bounties, continued to thrive. English colonists eventually found ways to turn trees into commodities, too.
Lumber from live oaks became important to the shipbuilding industry. Barrel staves made from white oak helped sustain the international trade in molasses and rum. Bald cypress and Atlantic white cedar became the preferred woods for shingles and clapboard. The resin was then distilled into turpentine, tar, and pitch, products all used in the shipping industry and collectively known as naval stores.
North Carolina, which—unlike South Carolina and Virginia—never developed a single-crop economy, led the southern colonies in the production of naval stores. Agricultural clearing and the various forest industries had the overall effect of reducing the forest cover and altering drainage patterns along major rivers. By the mid-eighteenth century, spring floods spawned by excessive runoff, annually threatened coastal communities.
Those trees most in demand, including longleaf pine, disappeared from settled regions, to be replaced by scrubby oaks and less valuable loblolly pines. In the years immediately before the American Revolution, firewood became increasingly scarce and expensive in Charleston, Baltimore, and other burgeoning southern towns. Dams constructed to provide waterpower for sawmills also restricted the annual runs of fish up coastal rivers. Virginia established a closed hunting season on deer in Other colonies outlawed night hunting and the killing of does, two measures designed to relieve some of the pressure on the deer herds.
Such laws, however, were almost impossible to enforce and in , Virginia decided to invoke a four-year moratorium on deer hunting in an effort to save the lucrative trade in leather products. Wringing money from southern soils and forests required an extensive labor force, a need England first met with white indentured servants and, by the early eighteenth century, with African slaves. The shift to slaves resulted from several factors including a growing shortage of white labor, English racism, and the profitability of the slave trade , but the cash crop economy and the southern environment also played crucial roles in the changeover.
In Virginia and Maryland, as tobacco fields became exhausted, planters eventually developed a system of field rotation in which laborers first cleared a plot in the Indian manner by girdling trees and burning off the underbrush. The first year, planters grew corn and beans on the new tracts, then as the land became more open and fit for cultivation several crops of tobacco, followed by wheat. Fields then lay fallow—sometimes for as long as 20 years—before they recouped enough fertility to produce more food and cash crops.
As a result, any planter actively engaged in growing tobacco had a constant need for labor to clear new fields. The shift was gradual, but between about and , most Chesapeake planters seem to have concluded that environmentally sustainable tobacco farming went hand-in-hand with slavery. The southern climate and disease environment figured into the shift as well. The mosquito-borne parasite that causes malaria might have been present in North America before Europeans colonized the South; anopheles mosquitoes capable of carrying the organisms flourished in the swampy environs of the Atlantic coastal plain. However, because southern Indians lived in relatively small villages and frequently moved in conjunction with the seasons, malarial outbreaks were rare before European settlement.
As the English became established along Chesapeake Bay and in South Carolina, they seem to have brought malarial parasites with them. By the s, vivax malaria a comparatively milder form of the disease began to afflict colonists in Virginia and Maryland; by the s, it was present in the Carolina low country. In the first decades of the eighteenth century, falciparum malaria a much more virulent form of the disease became prevalent in both regions. Because many of the slaves imported to work on tobacco and rice plantations came from West Africa where malaria was common, they brought with them both acquired and genetic protection against some of the more virulent strains of malarial parasites, another trait that, in the eyes of English planters, made Africans better suited to work in tobacco and rice fields.
Colonists paid a high biological price for their decision, however. Slaves imported to the region brought in new strains of malarial parasites and either slaves or slave traders eventually introduced yellow fever, a much more deadly mosquito-borne disease, into the town of Charleston. In addition, the boggy habitats of the ever-expanding rice fields provided acres of new breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Malaria and yellow fever would plague the South for decades to come. Planters relied on slaves for more than labor. Africans brought crucial environmental knowledge to southern fields and forests. Many of the first slaves imported into South Carolina probably had some prior experience with raising cattle on the open range.
The use of fire to clear new fields was also a technique used with which Africans had long been familiar. Much evidence suggests that slaves from West Africa, where rice had been grown for generations, aided rice planters in harnessing coastal tides to provide irrigation, an innovation that came to the Carolina low country in the s. One thing, however, seems certain: Where Europeans saw uncultivated, worthless land, slaves often saw opportunity.
In the forests that bordered the tobacco and rice fields, slaves hunted rabbits, opossums, raccoons, squirrels, and other small game, perhaps employing snares and other trapping techniques perfected in Africa. Around their cabins or in other areas not frequented by white folks, some slaves kept garden plots and in some instances raised chickens and hogs, all used to supplement the meager diet provided by white masters.Similar Oncoming Tornadoes: A Brutal Force Of Destruction could be found in remote areas along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts. When I first arrived, Why They Came To America Essay had Why They Came To America Essay hard time transitioning from the French to the American system. There is evidence that German Americans reacted most negatively to anti-German Americanization policies during World War I, to such an extent that they walled themselves and their children off from American society, which slowed Should Schools Get Rid In Schools? pace Why They Came To America Essay assimilation.