Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 75.djvu/592

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THE people of the thirteen colonies, the builders of the American Union, were almost exclusively of the Anglo-Saxon race. The immigration which set in after the war of independence and continued during the greater part of the nineteenth century, was composed of people not dissimilar from those early colonists. They came from the British Isles, Scandinavia, Germany and the smaller Teutonic countries. But during the last twenty-five years the number of immigrants from those regions has steadily decreased and has now sunk to very small numbers, while the immigration from Italy, Hungary, Greece and Russia has increased from year to year during the same period of time, and, of late years, has assumed truly enormous proportions. Thus while the earlier immigrants were of a reasonably homogeneous race, almost entirely of Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic origin, just enough leavened with Celtic elements to quicken the phlegmatic pulse of that cold northern race, the majority of the immigrants that landed on our shores during the last quarter of a century, are quite dissimilar in their origin, language, customs and religion from the original settlers of the American Union.

It is claimed by some writers that all these various races, which are now forming the population of the United States, will, in the course of time, fuse together and produce a new and superior type of people. Other writers go still farther; they assert that the immense numbers of this later immigration will overwhelm this country and, in the course of a few generations, supplant the original stock of Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic settlers.[1] Both these views are erroneous. It is impossible, as we shall see, that a general intermixture throughout this mighty empire can take place, much less will the later immigrants be able to supplant the descendants of those sturdy pioneers who first settled the vast prairies and fertile valleys of this great republic.

There are so many and so varied types among these later immigrants, and they are generally so much inferior to the native American

  1. "The awful tragedy, forever repeating itself, of hero nations building lordly palaces in which servant races will some day pitch their gipsy camps, will also set in in America, and the descendants of the sturdy Old English and Teutonic pioneers, a race that is said to possess the finest long-heads and the heaviest brains, will have only worked for Magyars, Slavs, Italians and Negroes." Kraus, Polit.'Anthrop. Rev., Leipz., 906-7, V., 695.