French-Canadian-Americans in the eyes of the Anglo establishment

We're all familiar with the way in which anti-immigrant forces portray migrants who come to the U.S. (and other developed countries) in quite racist terms. For an example you can check out the best-selling anti-immigrant (not just anti-immigration) book by Peter Brimelow, Alien Nation. In brief, he's arguing that people coming to the US from the third world are a real danger to this country, which he claims was built by British Isles stock people (he almost totally discounts even the migrants from other parts of Europe). In general immigrants from third world countries are portrayed as lazy, not civilized, and in general a burden to this country.

This kind of sentiment is not new. In fact, what's striking is how in the 19th and early 20th centuries the French inhabitants of northern Maine and of New England in general (along with other non-Anglo inhabitants of the US) were described in terms that were pretty much identical to how today's third world immigrants are described. Here are a few examples:

Description of the French inhabitants of the upper St.John River valley by the editor of the newspaper The Portland Transcript in 1858 A commentary from the New York Times of June 6, 1892, from Scott Michaud

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Last revised 08 Jan 2002