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"Farmers Value Polish Help"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The arrival of Polish immigrants into Massachusetts' Connecticut River Valley region led to many debates about them. On one side, articles argued that the Poles were all too foreign and could never assimilate into American life. The other side argued (as in this article) that although Poles were indeed foreign, they were important new blood in what was seen as dying communities. They also offered local farms a significant boost in labor. By 1907, the debate was strident enough that the Dillingham Commission of the U.S. Senate was tasked to examine the question. Their recommendation was that immigration to the United States should be stopped. That did not happen in 1907 and many Americans began to accept these new immigrants. However, an anti-foreigner backlash after the First World War (1914-1918) led to the effective end of immigration into the U.S. in 1924.
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