At the time of the founding of the United States, the country consisted of 13 colonies, and almost 81% of Americans came from northern Europe and England. The others were of African origin or slaves and Native Americans. In the 1900’s, the racial and ethnic composition sharply altered. Waves of immigrants from Europe, Latin America, and Asia came into the United States and significantly boosted the population. Presently, even though the American population still mainly consists of individuals of European origin, America has become much more ethnically diverse in terms of immigrants from different cultural backgrounds. However, as the population grows more diverse, there is anxiety about Americans’ ethnic identity and whether the country should absorb such large number of immigrants.
Historically, the first immigrants who came into the United States brought their religious affiliations as overwhelmingly many were Protestant fleeing from religious persecution. Then the Germans and Irish arrived in the mid-1800s increasing the number of Catholics, and the large-scale immigration of the early 20th century threatened to reduce the percentage of Protestants.