CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

In Attacking Immigrants, Republicans Repeat a Century-Old Mistake

The GOP's Nativist Politics in the 1910s and ‘20s Made the Democratic Party Great Again

Khizr Khan, father of fallen US Army Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan and his wife Ghazala speak during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Much like today, the 1910s and 1920s were a time when the fear of immigrants convulsed American society.

At the time, the world was reeling from geopolitical instability and economic recession. Terrorists calling themselves anarchists were using bombs against their antagonists in the United States. Foreigners—Jews, Catholics, Christian Orthodox from eastern and southern Europe, and East and South Asians from Japan, China, and India—were thought to be polluting America with their religions, cultures, and radical ideologies. That these immigrants formed a large portion of the population—similar to now—heightened …

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