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Citizenship and its Duties: The Immigration Restriction League as a Progressive Movement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-182
Number of pages21
JournalImmigrants and Minorities
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jan 2014
DateE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jan 2014
DatePublished (current) - Aug 2014


This article argues that historians' understanding of the establishment of the quota system in the 1920s can be improved if ‘nativist’ organisations such as the Immigration Restriction League are not interpreted as a natural psychological reaction to an increase in immigration, but in the context of a new mode of power. The article compares the League's mode of operation and their attempts to convince other citizens of the necessity of restriction with the settlement movement. This comparison, it is argued, reveals that despite their radically different underlying rationales, both sides aimed at transforming individuals into better citizens.

    Research areas

  • immigration restriction, progressive movement, USA, governmentality, progressive era


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