Other countries have been less enlightened and less fortunate than New Zealand in their legislation, and perhaps still less fortunate in the administration of the laws passed for the betterment of the masses of their people. They have done little to convince the great majority that they are aware of the wrongs that have been done that majority in the supposed interest of the small class of the over rich. They have not provided opportunity for those who hitherto have had none, nor have they even provided a reasonable alternative for industrial warfare. Had they done these things in the past, or were they even to begin honestly to provide for them in the future, they might confidently expect that the reign of industrial warfare, which exasperates their people, and retards the prosperity of their nation, would be as easily and effectually suppressed as the experiment of the Syndicalists has just been in New Zealand.
LABOR: “TRUE DEMAND” AND IMMIGRANT SUPPLY
A RESTATEMENT OF THE ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF IMMIGRATION POLICY
Recent historians and economists have been showing that it was anything but pure and unadulterated sense of brotherhood that prompted many of our forefathers’ fine speeches about opening the doors of America to the down-trodden and oppressed of Europe. Emerson, fifty years ago, in his essay on Fate noted the current exploitation of the immigrant: “The German and Irish millions, like the Negro, have a great deal of guano in their destiny. They are ferried over the Atlantic, and carted over America, to ditch and to drudge, to make corn cheap, and then to lie down prematurely to make a spot of green grass on the prairie.” Indeed it would not be hard to show that there was always a real or potential social surplus back of our national hospitality to the alien.
The process began long before our great nineteenth century era of industrial expansion. Colonial policies with regard to the immigrant varied according to latitude and longitude. Most of the New England colonies viewed the foreigner with distrust as a menace to Puritan theocracy. New York, Pennsylvania, and some of the Southern colonies were much more hospitable, for economic reasons. That this hospitality sometimes resembled that of the spider to the fly is evident from observations of contemporary writers. That it included whites as well as negroes in its ambiguous welcome is equally evident.
John Woolman writes in his Journal (1741-2): “In a few months after I came here my master bought several Scotchmen as servants, from on board a vessel, and brought them to Mount Holly to sell.” Isaac Weld, traveling in the United States in the last decade of the eighteenth century, noted methods of securing aliens in the town of York, Pennsylvania: “The inhabitants of this town as well as those of Lancaster and the adjoining country consist principally