I catalog educational materials in my "real" life and I came across
a gem yesterday. The book is called _Ellis Island and Beyond_ and looks
at immigration to the U.S. from the earliest times to the present date.
The book contains worksheets for students in the intermediate grades. I've
seen many books on this subject but this is by far the best and most balanced
treatment of the subject I've ever seen.
There is a section of the book which looks at people who did not
come to the U.S. by choice. The African slaves figure heavily in this
section of course but there is also a good deal of space given to white
slavery, transportation of "criminals", indentured servitude, and other
forms of forced emigration. In the section on European immigration, there
are some good teacher's notes on British immigration. The notes state that
between 1820 and 1930 4.5 million people left Britain for the U.S. and that
many others had gone before. The causes of this large movement of people is
attributed to overpopulation, changes in agriculture which pushed the small
farmer off the land (the Enclosure Movement in England), the Highland
Clearances in Scotland, unemployment caused by the Industrial Revolution,
and religious dissent. One of the "Extra Credit" questions in this section
is "How did the outcome of the Battle of Culloden prompt Scottish emigration?"
The book also contains excellent material on Irish immigration during the
Anyone looking for teaching materials of this sort would do well
to take a look at this book. The writers clearly have a grasp of history
far deeper than the limits of the subject matter.
And no, I do not receive a commission for promoting this book. :-)
I simply believe in passing the word when I see something that is a cut
above the usual.
Wendy S. Wilson, Jack Papadonis. _Ellis Island and Beyond_. J. Weston Walch,
1996. ISBN 0825127394.