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Which Of The Following Could Best Be Used As Evidence To Support The Argument In The Excerpt That “ethnic Conflict Among Whites Rivaled Sectional Conflict As A Major Political Issue” Of The Period?


“For a few years in the 1850s, ethnic conflict among whites rivaled sectional conflict as a major political issue. The immediate origins of this phenomenon lay in the sharp increase of immigration after 1845…. The average quadrupled in the 1830s. But even this paled in comparison with the immigration of the late 1840s…. During the decade 1846 to 1855, more than three million immigrants entered the United States—equivalent to 15 percent of the 1845 population. This was the largest proportional increase in the foreign-born population for any ten-year period in American history…. Equal in significance to the increase in the foreign-born population were changes in its composition.”

James M. McPherson and James K. Hogue, historians, Ordeal By Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction, 2010.

Which of the following could best be used as evidence to support the argument in the excerpt that “ethnic conflict among whites rivaled sectional conflict as a major political issue” of the period?

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  1. To provide evidence supporting that ethnic conflict among whites rivaled sectional conflict as a major political issue in the 1850s, some relevant information could include:

    1. Rise of anti-immigrant/nativist political movements and parties, like the Know-Nothing/American Party, which opposed immigration and aimed to limit political influence of Catholic immigrants.
    2. Passage of laws or proposed legislation aimed at restricting immigration or rights of immigrants, especially at the state level.
    3. Outbreaks of ethnic violence or riots targeting immigrant communities, particularly those involving Protestant natives and Catholic immigrants.
    4. Political debates, campaigns, or rhetoric by politicians emphasizing ethnic/religious tensions and the perceived threat of certain immigrant groups.
    5. Voting patterns or election results showing significant anti-immigrant sentiment among native-born white voters in certain regions.

    Specific examples like the harsh anti-Catholic rhetoric of the Know-Nothings, the Philadelphia Nativist Riots of 1844, or the political rise of figures exploiting nativism would help illustrate how ethnic divisions created major political conflicts and shaped the national discourse alongside sectional issues in that era. Contemporary accounts expressing concern over mass immigration’s societal impact could also substantiate the argument.