The corpus we are about to study includes three documents. First one is an extract of an article written by the journalist William Booth, dealing with the “second great wave ofimmigration” in the United States. The second one is divided into two pie charts showing percentages of main ethnic groups in the US population in 1997 and in 2050 (the informations given for that date areexpectations), Both document 1 and 2 are from the newspaper Washington Post, published on February 22nd, 1998, and are primary sources.
The third document is a cartoon of Engelhardt in The Saint-Louisdispatch, taken from Civilisation des États-Unis published in 1995, it is a secondary source.
This corpus deals with the melting pot in the USA, and maybe the end of it.
We will study in a first partwhat is called the “melting pot” in the United States, and then we will talk about its limits and its consequences.
Firstly let's define the term, the “melting pot” is used as a metaphor todescribe an heterogeneous society -in the USA the result of its huge immigration, which we will talk about later – becoming more homogeneous: when the different elements “melt together” into an harmoniouswhole with a common culture.
Concerning the United States, that expression was in use by the 1780s to talk about the assimilation of their immigrants to their new country.
In the document 1, W. Boothdefines it writing “the idea, so central to national identity, that this country [the USA] can transform people of every color and background into “one America”.”
In order to explain thatphenomenon, we must briefly talk about the immigration in the United States.
The first immigration wave -1607 to 1790- brought 4 million people to America, 80% were black settlers ans 20% black slaves; from1800 to 1880, the immigrants were mostly Europeans and constituted the “WASP stock” with the first wave of settlers, and around 200,000 Chinese labourers came to work on the rail roads.
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