Donald Trump has come out with his plan to, among other things, deport 11 million people living in America. Without getting into the details of this plan, I take you back 150 years to another time in America when immigrants were viewed in the same way that Trump appeals to a large group of Americans.
The Native American Party, renamed in 1855 as American Party, and commonly named Know Nothing movement, was an American political party that operated on a national basis during the mid-1850s. It promised to purify American politics by limiting or ending the influence of Irish Catholics and other immigrants, thus reflecting nativism and anti-Catholic sentiment. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, whom they saw as hostile to republican values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, but met with little success. Membership was limited to Protestant men. The most prominent leader was former President Millard Fillmore (the party’s presidential nominee in 1856).