The novels were written at a time when Germans and Scandinavians were considered to be another “race,” perhaps not quite like the Irish https://loansolution.com/payday-loans-mo/ and the Italians, but also not quite “white.” But then the word “race” in the period under consideration also covered what now we would call “ethnicities,” so that in English one talked about “the German race,” “the French race,” etc. ” According to John Higham, America adopted the idea of “nativism” coined from the “Native American” parties (Higham, 1955 , pp. 27–30). Hence, “Native” refers to the descendants of the settlers of the original Thirteen Colonies and not to “indigenous” American Indians (US History, 2013 , 424). This xenophobic and nativistic 1920s America was more strict and selective as to its immigrants: “white, Anglo-Saxon, English speaking, and Christian” (Hing, 2004 , pp. 4–5).
Although African–Americans are not immigrants or aliens, they still do not fit within the racial standards of white supremacy: they are black and hence are not “real Americans.” Therefore, racism and xenophobia against them are obvious for many reasons. The First Great Migration characterized by massive movement of African–Americans during and after WWI triggered xenophobic and bigoted attitudes: “In 1910, three out of every four black Americans lived on farms, and nine out of ten lived in the South. World War I changed that profile […]. Hoping to escape tenant farming, sharecropping, and peonage, 1.5 million Southern blacks moved to cities. During the 1910s and 1920s, Chicago’s black population grew by 148 percent; Cleveland’s by 307 percent; Detroit’s by 611 percent.” As a result, hostility between blacks and whites increased especially when it came to housing as “[m]any cities adopted residential segregation ordinances to keep blacks out of predominantly white neighborhoods” (The Great Migration, 2016 ).
For another, they were viewed as boosters of materialism
Winthrop Jordan ( 1968 ) claims that in the late eighteenth century blackness stood out separately form the human race thanks to “Christian cosmology” and especially Protestant Christianity which played a significant role in “English patriotism.” He also notes that color has become a dominant birthmark to distinguish between the white Christian and the black heathen: “white and black connoted purity and filthiness, virginity and sin, virtue and baseness, beauty and ugliness, beneficence and evil, God and the Devil” (7). However, the disputation over the Negro’s inbred nonphysical features only started a century later: “they indeed seem to be born and bred Villains” (4). There was a substitution of the Christian color classification of the Negro with that of the innate features due to “secular nationality” which did not envisage including blacks within its scope (7). Moreover, with more immigration of non-English Europeans to the United States “the colonists turned increasingly to the striking physiognomic difference.” The term “white” stood for the old, Anglo-Saxon, native-born people of the country: those who had arrived in America during the waves of immigration of the early nineteenth century and before. According to John Tehranian, the distinction between whites and non-whites in the US was established by the earlier Anglo-Saxon immigrants precisely on the basis of the two waves of immigration. The non-whites in this case signified Germans, Jews, Slavs, Greeks, Italians, Irish, Arabs, and Spaniards, among others (Tehranian, 2000 , pp. 825–827).
However, according to the “American Immigration Timeline”, they were three
Similarly, Bill Hing argues that there were two basic waves of immigration which formed the country: the eighteenth-century wave which constituted the old-stock Americans or “real Americans” who settled the country in its early years. This wave continued until 1803 and “brought with it white, predominantly English-speaking, mainly Protestant Europeans” (4). The second wave, which began in the 1820s and lasted until the 1920s, included mostly “Catholics and Jews, more southern Europeans and non-English speakers.” Therefore, unlike the first wave, this wave gave rise to many restrictive immigration laws. The influx of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe was particularly high in the 1880s. John Higham maintains that in 1883 the new arrivals caused fear among the “original” Americans who saw these new immigrants as a menace to America’s politics, culture, and economy. For one thing, the newcomers were regarded as moral and economical threats. The authors, though, do not fail to criticize Americans for indulging themselves in profligacy, but imply that foreigners are more to blame for boosting materialism-more than native-born Americans. The first big immigration wave between the years 1700–1776, consisted of mainly English Europeans. The second big immigration wave during the years1820–1870, included nearly 7.5 million mostly from northern and western Europe. The third big immigration wave, 1881–1920, approximately 23.5 million immigrants mainly from southern and eastern Europe particularly from Austro-Hungary, Italy, and Russia entered the American shores.