Dillingham Commission for kids: What was the Dillingham Commission?
The Dillingham Commission (1907-1911) was established as part of the Immigration Act of 1907 to create a committee with the power to investigate and report on the effects of the increased levels of immigration to the United States.
Reason for the Dillingham Commission: Nativism
The reason for the Dillingham Commission was due to the rise in Nativism in America, a belief that the interests of established US residents should be given a favored status compared to new immigrants. The rise in belief in Nativism was due to the massive increase in immigration (between 1901 - 1910, a total of 8,795,386 immigrants were to arrive in the US). Nativism was also fueled by city riots (immigrants were blamed) and the fear of anarchy due to the 1901 President McKinley Assassination. The assassination of the president had a profound effect on Americans who became increasingly concerned about the spread of Marxism (a form of communism) that had started in Russia and encompassed an economic and political philosophy that advocated revolution and anarchy (hence the 1901 Anarchist Exclusion Act).
Dillingham Commission for kids: Who were the members of the Dillingham Commission?
The Dillingham Commission was a joint committee made up of politically motivated members of the House of Representatives and Senate together with three unelected representatives with specific knowledge on the subject of immigration. The committee was known as the Dillingham Commission after its chairman, William P. Dillingham, the Republican Senator of Vermont. The unelected members were William R. Wheeler, California Commissioner of Immigration, Charles P. Neill from the Department of Labor and Jeremiah W. Jenks from Cornell University. Hundreds of research experts on immigration and industry, reporting to members of the Dillingham Commission, also contributed to the Immigration report.
The Dillingham Commission Report for kids: What did the Dillingham Commission do?
The Dillingham Commission produced a 41 volume report on Immigration with its effects on important industries including mining, steel, iron, textiles, meat processing, leather, glass and tobacco. The Dillingham Commission Report and incorporated thousands of pages of exhaustive research that provided statistical information and analyses of subjects related to:
Facts on immigration legislation at state and federal level together with details of social and cultural organizations were also detailed in the Dillingham Commission Report. The highly influential anthropologist Franz Boas (1858 – 1942), who has been called the "Father of American Anthropology", was also an important contributed to the Dillingham Commission Report.
Dillingham Commission for kids: A Dictionary of Races of People
Jeremiah Whipple Jenks (1856–1929) was an American educator and economist. He worked with his key assistant, anthropologist Daniel Folkmar to discover ‘whether there may not be certain races that are inferior to other races... to show whether some may be better fitted for American citizenship than others.’ Jenks and Folkmar produced 'A Dictionary of Races of People' as one of the key contributing Reports of the Immigration Commission (Volume 5) which classified immigrants in racial terms.
The Dillingham Commission Report: "Old immigrants" and "New immigrants"
The Dillingham Commission Report made distinctions were made between "old immigrants" and the more recent "new immigrants". The report favored "old immigrants" who had come from North and West of Europe and opposed "new' immigrants" who came from the east and south of Europe and other parts of the world. For additional facts refer to the differences between Old and New Immigration.
The Dillingham Commission Report Conclusions
The Dillingham Commission Report was summarized in Volume 1 by William P. Dillingham. He was obviously one of the politically motivated members of the committee and selected specific areas of the report to highlight the need for immigration restriction. Using the content of the report William P. Dillingham was able to provide a scientific argument to recommend Immigration restriction to the United States. The Dillingham Commission report was completed in 1911 and concluded that immigration from southern and eastern Europe had resulted in a massive influx of inferior, uneducated and unskilled workers who failed to integrate with Americans, thus posing a serious threat to American society and culture and the number of such migrants should therefore be greatly reduced.