History Essay 1
The Debate over German Immigration to Colonial Pennsylvania
This assignment walks you through the doing an in-depth analysis of one of the
primary source documents we will be using in this course, “Memorial against NonEnglish Immigration (1727)” (Foner, Voices of Freedom, 57).
Primary sources are the evidence left behind by participants or observers of a given
event or during a particular period of time. Primary sources allow us to make personal
connections to the past. And finally, primary sources are the evidence used by
historians to support an interpretation of the past.
There were no immigration laws, as we understand them today, in the American
colonies. Unless one was enslaved or an indentured servant, one just “showed up”
where one wanted to live. This was the case when German immigrants began to
migrate to colonial Pennsylvania in the 18th century. However, just because there were
no immigration laws doesn’t mean all immigrants were welcomed equally.
To help you complete this assignment, be sure to also read the background
information about the document on the first page of it. This will be very helpful when you
answer the assigned questions below. Make sure you read these instructions
through in their entirety before submitting your assignment through Blackboard. The
fastest way to loose points is to skip over any of the assignment requirements. You
also must complete the available tutorial on citations and take the quiz before you
In your essay, please summarize what the authors of this petition are saying in this
document. What are the main points they make about German immigrants? What do
the authors want to see happen in Pennsylvania, and why? Do you think that ever
happened? Why or why not? Finally, what might this story tell us about the larger
history of immigration to the United States?
Be as specific as possible. The more specific you are the higher grade you will earn.
This assignment should be at least 1 page single-spaced or two pages double-spaced
Make sure the document has been proof-read for errors, and that it contains your
name in the upper right-hand corner. It should be in font no larger than 12
point. Please write in complete sentences and follow standard grammatical rules.
Make sure the document is in Word format before uploading.
You may divide this assignment into two paragraphs, one for each section, if you like.
Otherwise the whole assignment can be one paragraph. Use whichever approach
makes the most sense to you.
Use essay format: Bullet points or lists are not acceptable; do not use
subheadings; and you should not repeat the questions in the text unless you
Citations should be in short form (Foner, Voices of Freedom, 3). More information on
this may be found in the tutorial on Blackboard.
No additional sources are required to complete this assignment. However, if you
choose to use additional sources, you will need to also provide a Works Cited page.