IMPACTS OF IMMIGRATION ON US CULTURE 6
Impactsof Immigration on US Culture
Impactsof Immigration on US Culture
Immigrationis one of the most controversial issues in the US, with immigrationpolicies having a significant influence on the US politics. Aconsiderable section of the political elites is concerned about theincreased immigration into the US arguing that immigrants take upopportunities meant for the American people and that they take upgovernment resources. . Despite these concerns, the US has been hometo numerous immigrants who immigrate to the US in pursuit of wealthand happiness as the US is considered the land of opportunities(Kirisci, 2003). Among the earliest immigrants into the US are theTurks from the Ottoman Empire. The earliest known Turkish immigrantsconsisted of a band of two hundred Turks that were brought to the USby Sir Francis Drake. They arrived in 1586 and settled in the Englishcolony of Roanoke in the present-day North Carolina (Altschiller,2015). These and other Turkish immigrants have had a positiveinfluence on the American foods and Cuisine, religion, and farmingmethods, thus evidence thus evidencing the positive impacts ofimmigration.
Significantwaves of Turkish immigrants began immigrating into the US between theperiods of 1820 and 1920, where more than three hundred thousand people immigrated from the Ottoman Empire into the US. Early Turkishmigrants were male-dominated farmers and shepherd, majority of whomwere from the from the lowersocio-economic class. These settledin urban areas and worked in the industrial sector where they tookthe low-paying jobs in tanneries, leather factories, iron and steelsector in New York, Detroit and Chicago (Atabaki & Brockett,2009). These immigrants have continued to give the US an economicedge in the world economy they have brought innovative ideas andentrepreneurship spirit to the economy. Immigration provides businesscontracts to other market and enhances the American ability to tradeand invest.Turkish immigrants have been consequential in keepingthe economy flexible, provided a market for American goods andincreased government revenues through taxation (Akcapar, 2013).
Islamwas the principal religion of the Ottoman Empire hence more than halfof the immigrants were Muslims while the rest were Jews. A majorityof the Muslim Turks feared that they would not be accepted in thepredominantly Christian American Culture, thus became Christianizedbut the rest maintained their religious beliefs. The immigration ofMuslims into the US introduced Islam religion in a country that waspredominantly Christian (Balgamis, Karpat, 2008).This increasedthe number of Muslims in the US, the number of Islam-relatedreligious infrastructures such as mosques, as well as Islam-relatedreligious practices among them religious holidays (Altschiller,2015).The growth of the number of Muslims in the US created anenabling environment for religious interaction between Islam,Christianity and other religions in the US, leading to creation ofnew blends of religions that are unique to the US, and making the US one of the most religiously diverse continents in the world. Onthe other hand, the Turks who adopted Christianity for the fear oflack of assimilation in the US created a unique blend of Christianitythat was different from the European blend, thereby promoting thede—Europeanization of the American Christianity, creating aChristian blend that is unique to the US (Kirisci, 2003).
Immigrationof the Turks to the US had a significant impact on US Cuisine. American companies stock different food products that trace theirorigin to the Turkish cultures among them the Kebab, the döner andthe pide or the Turkish pizza. These cuisine varieties have offeredsurprising food abundance and varieties to the American people. Theyemphasize on healthy eating emphasizing on vegetable and cereals andgood fats, a fact that has led to the significant reduction offood-related maladies such as diabetes and heart diseases therebypromoting people health and wellbeing among the people (Atabaki &Brockett, 2009).The Turkish foods have provided food diversitiesthat have supported the establishment of numerous food companies andeatery joints, thereby providing employment opportunities for theAmerican people. However, there are relatively fewer Turkish foodjoints as compared to others such as Chinese food joints, owing tothe lesser number of Turks in the US to promote their cuisine.According to the latest national census, there are less than twomillion people who claim to have a Turkish origin (Kirisci, 2003).
Sincethe Turks were predominantly farmers, their immigration into the UShad a substantial influence on the farming methodologies adopted bythe American people. Since the industrial revolution, Americanfarmers have been on the forefront in using the inorganic farminginputs such among them chemical fertilizers to increase yield (Ertan,2002). However, the Ottoman Empire used organic farm inputs such asanimal manure to increase yields. The Turks adopted thesecentury-old farming methods perhaps owing the unavailability ofchemical farm inputs. The Turkish immigration brought this culture oforganic farming methods to the US (Balgamis, Karpat, 2008). Theculture is now widespread and preferred especially when striving togrow clean and healthy foods that are free from chemicals. Thesechemical free foods have a significant impact on the health andwellbeing of the American people, since they reduce the likelihood ofdiseases that are attributed to different chemicals in human foods. Additionally, the Turks introduced the mixed cropping farmingculture that is still widely used by Americans especially thosepracticing small-scale farming (Akcapar, 2013).The mixed croppingmethods have promoted food diversities and reduced the likelihood offood shortage in the US, which is critical in promoting health andwellbeing of the people. The original bunch of Turkish immigrant werefrom the from the lowersocio-economic class, they provided laborfor American farms thereby playing a role in increasing agriculturalproduction, thereby promoting food diversity (Balgamis, Karpat,2008).
Fromthe Above, immigration is one of the most controversial issues in theUS. However, unlike erroneously believed, immigration has moreadvantages than disadvantages to the US. The immigration of Turksinto the US increased the US labor force, increased the demand forAmerican goods, and increased government revenues thereby give theUS an economic edge over other countries. Turkish immigration led todiversification of American cuisine through introducing foods thatemphasize on fewer fats and more vegetables. The immigrationintroduced organic farming methods that have proved vital ineliminating chemicals from human foods that sometimes lead todiseases and introduced the mixed farming methods that have provedcritical in diversifying American cuisine and promoting Americanhealth and wellbeing. Thus, borrowing from the Turkish immigrationto the US, it is evident that immigration is beneficial to thereceiving state, as it leads to cultural nourishment.
Akcapar,S., (2013). Turkish Immigrants in Western Europe and North America:Immigration and Political Mobilization. London: Routledge
Altschiller,D., (2015). Turkish Americans. Retrieved fromhttp://www.everyculture.com/multi/Sr-Z/Turkish-Americans.html
Atabaki,T., & Brockett, G. D. (2009). Ottoman and Republican Turkishlabour history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Balgamis,D. & Karpat, H., (2008). Turkish Migration to the UnitedStates: From Ottoman Times to the Present. Center for TurkishStudies at the University of Wisconsin
Ertan,Zubedye. (2002). A History of Turks In America. Retrieved http://www.kucukcoban.8m.com/YAZILAR/turks_america.html
Kirisci,K. (2003). Turkey: A Transformation from Emigration toImmigration.http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/turkey-transformation-emigration-immigration