Edward M. Bannister Famous Immigrant to America Term Paper

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Edward M. Bannister - Famous Immigrant to America:

America was defined as a nation of immigrants or the melting pot in the century between 1820 and 1920 with more than thirty-three million people entering the country through the ports. During this period, there were massive waves of immigrants, particularly from Europe, entering the United States until the end of the open immigration era. This era of open immigration came to an end after the passage of the Emergency Quota Act in 1921. Nonetheless, 13-15% of America's population was comprised of foreign-born population by this time (Kim par, 1).

Given the fact that immigrants and natives were substitutes, immigration had a major impact in the economy of the United States particularly in the era of mass immigration. During this era of mass immigration, natives were displaced especially in the northeastern part of United States where these immigrants largely settled. In addition to this, immigration also led to the lowering of native wages with the wage growth of immigrants being slower as compared to that of native-born American workers.

Edward Mitchell Bannister:

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Edward Mitchell Bannister was born in the late 1828 in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada of a native Barbados father. While his father was a native of Barbados in West Indies, the racial identity of his mother is still anonymous. Nonetheless, Bannister's mother, Hannah Alexander Bannister, lived in New Brunswick and was accredited for nurturing Bannister's earliest artistic desires. After the apparent earlier death of his father and his mother later on in 1844, Bannister lived in New Brunswick with a white family. However, Edward Mitchell Bannister left his foster home a couple of years later and worked at sea, as was normal for many young men from his home town ("EDWARD MITCHELL BANNISTER" par, 2). In late 1840's, Bannister moved to New England where he remained for the rest of his life.

Reasons why Bannister left Canada for America:

Identical to the reasons for the flow of immigration to the United States, Bannister left Canada for New England due to the combination of push-and-pull factors. His move to Boston in 1848 was due a number of reasons which include:

TOPIC: Term Paper on Edward M. Bannister Famous Immigrant to America Assignment

Job Opportunities:

One of the major factors why Edward Mitchell Bannister moved to Boston in 1848 is due to the number of job opportunities that were available in Boston. After losing his parents by the time he was sixteen years, Bannister worked on coastal trading vessel as a cook. In these early years, the young Bannister spent most of his time sailing on the Narragansett Bay studying its waters and cloud formations. In his early years in Boston, Bannister struggled to establish himself and as a result held a variety of unskilled jobs before he became a barber.

The sailing job was appropriate for Bannister as he enhanced his St. Andrews' education with visits to libraries as well as museums. The facilities in these libraries and museums especially in Boston and New York helped Bannister to eventually become a painter. Following his lessons on how to paint, Bannister did not only paint in the Boston Studio Building but he also enrolled in a number of evening classes at the Lowell Institute with the renowned sculptor - anatomist Dr. William Rimmer.

Economic Hardships:

This is the other reason why Bannister left his native country for America just like most of the immigrants in the period between 1820 and 1920. Following the death of his father while he was six and the death of his mother while he was sixteen, Bannister experienced serious economic hardships ("Edward Mitchell Bannister" par, 2). The economic hardships were the reasons why Bannister did various menial tasks as he struggled to establish himself. In his quest to counter the economic hardships, Bannister left for America, a country that was experiencing a flow of immigrants. These economic hardships also served as a point for Bannister to develop the artistic desire. In fact, the white family he and his older brother lived with after the death of his parents instilled them with love for arts, literature and music.

Why Immigrants Chose America:

As stated earlier, the United States was known as the nation of immigrants due to the flow of immigrants during the mass immigration era. Immigrants from various parts of the world particular Europe, migrated to the United States for various reasons. These immigrants such as Edward Mitchell Bannister chose America as their destination due a number of reasons which include:

Endowments and Technology:

One of the major reasons why immigrants chose the United States is the industrial development, which was displayed in three major production technologies (i.e. artisan shops, factory-assembly and factory-continuous. Before the industrial development in America, skilled workers produced their products through the help of apprentices and family members. The industrial development enabled these factories to employ various unskilled workers.

For Edward Bannister, endowment and technology may have been one of the reasons why he chose to settle in Boston. After taking up the barber trade, a new opportunity opened up in portraiture as a result of the industrial development in America. Technology and industrial development led to the growth of new markets that were yet to be fully explored. Though he continued to work as barber, Bannister took the portraiture job, which required people with artistic skills to tint some works that were prototype of the photograph.

Growth of Cities:

The growth of cities in the United States as compared to other countries attracted many immigrants to the country. This growth of American cities led to the increase in job opportunities and enabled the immigrants to have opportunities of developing their areas of interests. As mentioned earlier, Bannister moved from Canada to the United States because of the job opportunities that were available. Though he initially worked as a cook, Bannister found a chance to work as a barber in Boston. Most importantly, apart from working as a barber and working in portraiture, Bannister developed his artistic skills at Lowell Institute.

This opportunity to work and study was as a result of the growth of America's cities during the mass immigration era. This factor also meant that America was a destination for most immigrants because it was easy to find well-trained professional in various fields. For Edward Bannister, much of his artistic abilities were nurtured by Dr. William Rimmer, a renowned sculptor and anatomist. Edward Bannister also developed his artistic interests because of the inspiration he got from the paintings of William Morris Hunt. During his stay in Boston, Bannister was influenced by Hunt who not only held various public exhibitions but also studied in Europe. Interestingly, as compared to the natives, many immigrants were concentrated in cities and would most likely choose to live in the cities.

Economic Conditions:

Though America's economy was not as good as compared to today, it was better than the economy of most of the countries during the era of mass immigration. Many immigrants chose America as their destination because of its economic conditions as compared to that of their native countries. These better economic conditions in America were as a result of enhanced transportation networks, growth of the cities and endowments and technology. As mentioned earlier, Bannister left his native country, Canada, because of the economic hardships following the death of his parents. Due to the fact that it was easier to find jobs in America and the better economic status of the country, Bannister chose to live in Boston where he could work and study at the same time. While in Boston, Bannister became increasingly aware of the plain rustic motifs and the pictorial poetry of French Barbizon paintings just like many American landscape painters.

Bannister's Accomplishments in America:

Christiana Carteaux, a Narragansett Indian, born in North Kingston, Rhode Island, became the wife of Edward Mitchell Bannister on June 10, 1857. However, Bannister and Christiana had no children and Mrs. Bannister worked as a wigmaker and hairdresser in Boston. It is believed that the Rhode Island background of Christiana might have convinced the couple to move from Boston to Providence in 1870. This move to Providence, Rhode Island limited Bannister's artistic studies though he achieved major accomplishments with his paintings. Some of Bannister's major accomplishments in America include:

Early Artistic Acclaim:

Edward Mitchell Bannister received early artistic acclaims because he primarily painted what he knew intimately. Much of his early paintings were the blue-gray skies, the Rhode Island landscape as well as Narragansett dunes and shores. These paintings culminated from the encouragement he received from his wife and within a few years, Bannister left the barber trade to concentrate on painting. Most of his early paintings were exhibited and sold around Boston. Furthermore, these paintings were also chosen for various group exhibitions at the Boston Art Club and Museum. In addition to painting landscapes, Bannister's paintings were also from Biblical themes and historical scenes.

Art's Highest Honor:

The second accomplishment for Bannister while in America was art's honor he received at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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