Please summarize the speech called "Shut the Door", by Sen. Ellison Smith. The article can be found here: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5080

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Senator Smith made this speech during debate over immigration restriction in the 1920s.  This was a time when many Americans had very nativist attitudes and were very much in favor of restricting immigration.  Smith's speech advocates restricting immigration and gives the major reasons why many wanted to take this course.

Smith's ideas can be summarized in this sentence:

I think we now have sufficient population in our country for us to shut the door and to breed up a pure, unadulterated American citizenship.

 

What he is saying is that there are enough immigrants in the United States to fulfill the needs of the country.  At the same time, he is saying that further immigration will dilute the country and its culture.  He is implying that the immigrants do not assimilate and become "true" Americans.  Therefore, he wants to "shut the door" and to "assimilate what we have."

Sources:

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