Immigration

The New England Historic Genealogical Society | Genealogy Roadshow

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The New England Historic Genealogical Society contains some of oldest documents in the United States, making it a distinctly important resource for genealogists. Learn more about genealogy research and working with primary resources with this clip from season 3 of Genealogy Roadshow.

Emma Goldman: A New Generation of Radicals

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American Anarchists in the 1880’s were a small but powerful movement who advocated radical ideals of universal human equality, education for all, and an end to state governmen. Video from American Experience: “Emma Goldman.”

Helvetia: A Swiss Community

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Trace the settlement, history, and current status of the Swiss community, Helvetia, WV.

The Boettchers | Colorado Experience

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With a pioneering spirit and an entrepreneurial drive, Charles Boettcher became a leading businessman in Colorado, establishing The Great Western Sugar Company, Ideal Cement, and The Denver Tramway Company, before passing the business on to his son, Claude. Discover the rags-to-riches tale of one of Colorado’s most pioneering families, both in business and philanthropy.

Ethics and Laws

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Learn how Louis Dershowitz, grandfather of attorney Alan Dershowitz, helped relatives escape from Nazi persecution in this video from Finding Your Roots. As the Nazis spread their anti-Semitic policies in Europe, many Jews wanted to escape to safety. Immigration quotas enacted in the 1920s made it difficult for immigrants to enter the United States, so Louis Dershowitz submitted false documents to help his relatives enter the country. Use the “Teaching about Ethics and Laws” guide in the Support Materials section to help students understand ethical choices and how they relate to laws. 

Regional Realism | American Passages: Unit 8

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Delve into the writings of Mark Twain, Charles W. Chesnutt, and Kate Chopin in this half-hour video from the American Passages series. American culture was changing rapidly in the post-Civil War era: new technologies such as the telegraph and the railroad bound the continent together, postwar racial tensions brought the issue of the "color line" to the forefront of American consciousness, and a new commitment to realistic representation transformed literary style. Writers responded to these cultural developments by producing texts that paid close attention to the specifics of people and place in particular regions of the country, evoking the distinctive culture of areas of America that had not been previously represented.

Social Realism | American Passages: Unit 9

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Explore the writings and social realism of Edith Wharton and Anzia Yezierska in this half-hour video from the American Passages series. In the decades between 1890 and 1920, America was transformed into an industrial, urban, consumer society. This transformation created unprecedented opportunities for the acquisition of wealth, but also enabled the exploitation of large classes of people. Immigrants arrived in waves from eastern and southern Europe and in many cases they found only poverty and inequity in America. Writers responded to the rapidly shifting class and social structure they saw around them by producing texts that realistically depicted both the problems and the promise of industrial, urban America.

Rhythms in Poetry | American Passages: Unit 10

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Lean about Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance through the poetry of T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Langston Hughes in this half-hour video from American Passages. This video focuses on the effects of the Great Migration, urbanization, the rapid technological change of ordinary life, and racial prejudice. Centering on Hughes, Williams, and Eliot, the film shows how different strands of modernism developed and influenced one another.

Cecilia Chen's Genealogy | Genealogy Roadshow

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This clip from Genealogy Roadshow focuses on Cecilia Chen, a fourth-generation Chinese-American from San Francisco. Chen hopes to solve a family rumor that traces their lineage to an infamous gangster in San Francisco, Big Jim Chin. Genealogist Joshua Taylor examines old immigration records in the context of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to help Chen and her family find some answers.

Triangle Fire: Immigrant Workers & the American Dream

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In the early 20th Century, European immigrants, mostly women and young girls, worked in the garment district of New York City to support their families. Excerpted from, American Experience: “Triangle Fire.”

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