Immigrants in American History

Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration

by Elliott Robert Barkan, Editor


The richness of the American experience is derived from the diversity of the people who reside within our nation's borders. This expansive four-volume work traces the cultural evolution of the United States and the changing face of its regions as a result of the ongoing influx of immigrants from all over the world.

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Cover image for Immigrants in American History

January 2013


Pages 1931
Volumes 4
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics American History/Race and Ethnicity

This encyclopedia is a unique collection of entries covering the arrival, adaptation, and integration of immigrants into American culture from the 1500s to 2010.

Few topics inspire such debate among American citizens as the issue of immigration in the United States. Yet, it is the steady influx of foreigners into America over 400 years that has shaped the social character of the United States, and has favorably positioned this country for globalization.

Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration is a chronological study of the migration of various ethnic groups to the United States from 1500 to the present day. This multivolume collection explores dozens of immigrant populations in America and delves into major topical issues affecting different groups across time periods. For example, the first author of the collection profiles African Americans as an example of the effects of involuntary migrations. A cross-disciplinary approach—derived from the contributions of leading scholars in the fields of history, sociology, cultural development, economics, political science, law, and cultural adaptation—introduces a comparative analysis of customs, beliefs, and character among groups, and provides insight into the impact of newcomers on American society and culture.


  • Recent immigration and naturalization data from the 2010 U.S. Census
  • Excerpts from American laws and customs
  • A chronology of migration to the United States between 1500 to 2010


  • Features the writing of leading scholars in history, political science, economics, law, and culture
  • Contains over 130 chapters covering the time period between the 1500s to 2010
  • Includes extensive bibliographies for each chapter
  • Covers voluntary, as well as involuntary, migrations
Author Info

Elliott Robert Barkan, PhD, is professor emeritus of history at California State University, San Bernardino. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Making It in America: A Sourcebook on Eminent Ethnic Americans; Praeger's Asian and Pacific Islander Migration to the United States: A Model of New Global Patterns; Greenwood's A Nation of Peoples: A Sourcebook on America's Multicultural Heritage; and From All Points: America's Immigrant West, 1870s–1952.



"A concise historical look at U.S. immigrant populations. . . . The well-written entries average about five pages and provide a bibliography for further reading."Choice

"A solid addition to any collection supporting a substantial history or political science curriculum."School Library Journal

"This set strives to go beyond the mere historical narrative of foreigners resettling in America and blends in economic, political, legal, and sociological perspectives on immigrant adaptation as well. . . . This is an interesting and thoughtful resource."Booklist

"Immigrants in American History provides a useful overview and lists basic resources of ethnic immigration and the issues that surround this."ARBA

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