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Spaces and exchanges: what has been the impacct pf exchanges on the society in the USA

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Spaces and exchanges :

        I’m going to talk about the notion of spaces and exchanges.  First I will state a definition of exchange; an exchange is a continuous movement or circulation. There are various types of exchanges like movement of people, trade or communications, information. It can also be an act of giving and receiving something else in return. This notion deals with the geographical and symbolic areas that all societies occupy and the interactions between men and different societies. Here I will focus on migratory flow and exchanges.

 We may wonder what has been the impact of exchanges on the society in the USA.

 On the one we will see the waves and the reasons of immigration and on the other hand we will see the point of view of Americans about immigration.

First, in class we saw that there have been 4 waves of immigration in the USA during the last 4 centuries.  The first wave was during the colonial period from 1500 to 1840 and people come from France, Britain, Spain and Holland who settled in the East. Meanwhile millions of West Africans were forced to come as slaves to work on plantations. The second was during the middle of the 19th century, and this time people come from Ireland, Germany in the East and Chinese migrants came to the west coast but in 1882 laws banned immigrants from china. The third wave was from 1882 to 1924, immigrants come from Russia, Poland, Italy and other European country and was marked by the apparition of Ellis Island in 1992. It was an immigration station of Manhattan in the bay of NYC. Immigrants were inspected for visible ailment, and passed exam to see if they were fit to enter the USA, the people who were sick and also criminals were denied. Conditions were so difficult that 40% of them eventually returned home. However, in 1921 and 1924, quota laws were passed to strictly limit immigration. Then Ellis Island operations slowed considerably and it was shut down in 1954. After 1965, laws were revised. And this is the beginning of immigration from the Caribbean and South America (especially from Mexico). Nowadays, the Latinos represent the biggest minority group in the USA, they are 43M.

All these people come to the USA to escape problems like starvation, religious persecutions, wars and economic problems like poverty. The Irish for example wanted to escape persecution they suffered by the English. They were attracted by the American dream, for them USA meant an open society with religious and political freedom and economic prosperity; they wanted to have a better life. All these immigrations waves have built America and made the USA a multicultural society.

Today, in America there are a lot of minority like African Americans, the Latinos, the Asians and many others. But, there is also a lot of racism in this country as a result Americans are divided about immigrations. On the one hand, some of them want to welcome in the USA people who are trying to escape the difficulties in their country but on the other hand many others want to close the borders especially to prevent the Mexicans and the migrants from Arab countries to enter the USA. In class we saw 4 cartoons about the border between the US and Mexico. In these cartoons, we can see that at the same time the US need Mexicans especially the employers because they are a low paid labor force and they reject them because they think they are responsible for violent crime and reproach them with taking up the Americans of jobs. The new president of the USA, Donald Trump thinks in this way, he wants to create a bigger wall between Mexico and the US borders to stop immigration. His election shows that the majority of Americans doesn’t want Mexicans to enter the USA because it was Trump’s main argument. So nowadays, in general the multicultural society doesn’t make happy some part of the Americans.


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