Marching toward the 21st Century: Military Manpower and Recruiting

By Mark J. Eitelberg; Stephen L. Mehay | Go to book overview

6
Immigrants and the U.S. Military:
History and Prospects

Michael J. Greenwood

For many years prior to the adoption of immigration quotas in the early 1920s, immigration contributed importantly to U.S. population growth. During this period of American history, immigrants played a critical role in the U.S. Army. Edward M. Coffman estimates that during the 1820s, 36 percent of the Army was made up of foreign-born persons and during the 1850s, 67 percent were foreignborn. 1 He estimates that 50 percent of the enlistees between 1865 and 1875 were foreign-born, mostly from Germany and Ireland. In 1894 Congress began requiring that an enlistee be a citizen or intend to become one and also that enlistees read and write English. These requirements appear to have played an important part in diminishing the role played by immigrants in the U.S. military.

The relative importance played by second-generation immigrants (i.e., the offspring of immigrants) in the U.S. military has apparently received less attention than that of the immigrants themselves. However, when 19th century immigration was contributing significantly to U.S. population growth, second-generation immigrants were almost certainly an important source of enlistees. Birth rates of immigrants tended to be somewhat higher than those of natives, which contributed still further to "natural" growth of the U.S. population and provided a still larger pool of potential second-generation immigrants from which the military could draw enlistees. Moreover, as demonstrated in more detail below, ancestry appears to be an important determinant of military participation.

During the period immediately following the imposition of immigration quotas in the early 1920s, U.S. immigration fell considerably. Due to the depression and World War II, immigration remained quite low during the 1930s and 1940s. Whereas immigration began to grow again during the 1950s, it was not a particularly important source of population growth. Immigration restrictions essentially barred the admission of persons from Asia, and "natural" growth of the U.S. population was high due primarily to high birth rates (an era often referred to as the "baby boom").

Changes in U.S. immigration law passed in 1965 opened the door to persons of Asian ancestry as well as to other nationality groups that were severely restricted under the former national origin quota system. These changes set the stage for the

-97-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Marching toward the 21st Century: Military Manpower and Recruiting
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 250

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.