America’s Third Founding: May 24, 1924, the Immigration Act of 1924


America’s Third Founding: May 24, 1924, the Immigration Act of 1924

24 May 2024

America is often said to have two "foundings": the first after the Revolution and the second after the Civil War with the abolition of slavery. These events were certainly momentous in our history, but there is a third "founding" that occurred in 1924--one that changed the future of America almost as much as these other foundings. Unlike the first two, America's third founding was fundamentally illiberal, inspirational to Hitler, and a rejection of America's first two foundings. The third founding occurred on May 24, 1924, when President Calvin Coolidge signed the National Origins Quota Act, which imposed the first permanent cap on legal immigration. Prior to the 1924 Act, all would- be immigrants were presumed eligible to immigrate unless the government had evidence showing that they were ineligible. The 1924 law replaced this system with the guilty- until- proven- innocent, Soviet- style quota system that we have today.
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David J. Bier

Published in
United States of America

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