slaves were considered as 3/5ths of a person whereas a free man was considered one person. There was a gender bias in US; women were not allowed to vote.
Immigration has long been part of American society. All non-Native American groups are, in essence, of immigrant stock. Even in the Colonial period, the English colonies contained large numbers of non-Anglo immigrants, especially those from various German states. By the 1790s Germans were outnumbered only by English immigrants and Africans forcibly brought as slaves. Another half million Germans arrived before 1850. They were welcomed to America. After the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers considered the new United States to be under populated and actively recruited immigrants, though the preference was for those of Western European and Protestant background. In the 1840s and 1850s, many citizens who were offended by their predominant Roman Catholic faith frowned upon the arrival of millions of Irish immigrants fleeing famine. The Great Depression and World War II curtailed European immigration, although Mexican immigration increased during the war. The border between the United States and Mexico was fluid throughout the nineteenth century, and many Mexicans became U.S. citizens after the 1846-48 Mexican War. During World War II, Mexicans were recruited to work both in defense industries and in agriculture, the latter campaign extending officially into the 1960s.
After World War II, immigration policy also shifted to allow more Eastern Europeans to enter if they were fleeing from nations controlled by communists, but quotas favoring Western Europeans remained in place until 1965. The net effect of this was that increasing numbers entered the United States illegally, especially Mexicans and Central Americans. From the 1950s into the 1990s, fewer Europeans sought to settle in the United States, and the makeup of immigrants shifted toward those from Asia and Latin America. The 1930 census, for example, reported that over 11 million of the previous decade's 14 million immigrants had come from Europe; by 1990 just 4.3 million of 19 million had come from Europe, whereas nearly 5 million were from Asia and over 8 million from Latin America. Large numbers of Filipinos settled in the United States after World War II, and larger numbers of Cambodians, Laotians, and Vietnamese came during and after the Vietnam War. Poor economic conditions in Latin America sent millions of Latinos northward, including large numbers of undocumented aliens.
Ethnic stratification is a form of social ranking that describes enduring relationships of inequality between different ethnic or racial groups. Ethnic stratification specifically pinpoints the existence of a hierarchical social system that positions ethnic groups relative to one another based on the political exigency, economic wealth, and class status members may or may not enjoy.
In order to consider ethnic stratification in the United States fully, it is first necessary to interrogate the terms ethnicity and race, as the terms are often (incorrectly) used as synonyms for one another. One of the better definitions of ethnicity comes from