Tag Archives: citizenship

Perfecting Humanity

One aspect of the Progressive Era was the popularity of eugenics—selective reproduction to improve humanity. Indiana was the first state in the United States (and one of the first places in the world) to establish laws to determine whether or not the physically and mentally ill or disabled should be allowed to reproduce. This law was controversial from its inception. Signed into law by Indiana Governor J. Frank Hanly, its enforcement was blocked by the subsequent governor, Thomas R. Marshall. The law was found unconstitutional by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921.
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The Immigration Debate

Immigration of various peoples to the United States had been a subject of fierce debate since the earliest days of the nation. In the 1920s, the United States enacted the most sweeping immigration restrictions in its history. Since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the sentiment had been to regulate not only how many immigrants came to the United States but where they came from as well. The immigration legislation of the 1920s–chiefly the Quota Act of 1921 and the Immigration Act of 1924, aimed to limit immigration from “undesirable” areas, such as southern and eastern Europe.
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