Who was being persecuted during the late 19th century? Why did so many Americans oppose immigration during the late 19th century?
America's first European settlers also were America's first immigrants. In some cases, they were welcomed by Native Americans, and in other cases, they were seen as a threat. By the 19th century, the pattern had been repeated many times, with each new wave of immigrants encountering mixed reactions from already established Americans. The German, Irish and Italian immigrants who arrived in America during the 1800s often faced prejudice and mistrust. Many had to overcome language barriers. Others discovered that the challenges they had fled from, such as poverty or religious persecution, were to be encountered in America as well.