Monday, 1 March 2021Immigration in the late 1800sHistory AIntroduction"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless,tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"These are the words written on the base of the Statute of Liberty, taken from apoem by Emma Lazarus.What do these words mean? To what extent do we continue to honor themtoday? Does America accept all cultures, immigrants, and races—no matterthe creed, color, or class?In the late 1800s, the United States was flooded with new immigrants from allover the world. Immigrants from Germany and Ireland had already made theirway across the ocean, but new immigrants were flowing in from eastern andsouthern Europe. Between 1830 and 1870, the population of the United Statestripled. New industrial jobs, growing cities, and the "American Dream" lurednew immigrants from across the globe. Thus the United States, in the late1880s, entered its urban revolution. Immigrants were about to shape thechanging face of American society.New ImmigrationMany "push" and "pull" factors contributed to the immigration of the latenineteenth century.Let's look at some of the factors that "pushed" Europeans out of theircountries to the United States during the second half of the nineteenthcentury. Thousands of immigrants left their homes and cultures because ofoverpopulation, economic depression, and crop failures. A lack of social andeconomic mobility and religious and political persecution in some parts ofEurope pushed immigrants to American shores.Coupled with a push out of countries, there was a "pull" to the United States. Adiverse group of immigrants were drawn to the United States during this timebecause America seemed to possess economic opportunities with the growthof industry, an abundance of land, open immigration policies, new religiousand political freedom, and a belief in the "American Dream." Many immigrantsalso had ties to relatives who had come to America before them.In the years from 1850 through 1880 more than 11 million immigrants rushedinto the United States. American industrialists, in need of cheap labor, alsosent recruiters abroad to bring a work force across the ocean. In 1882, anaverage of 2,100 immigrants stepped onto American soil every day!
Monday, 1 March 2021Draw of CitiesCities all across America beckoned new immigrants. City lights, indoorplumbing, telephones, and electricity were all reasons why cities such asChicago and New York boomed with new immigrants.Both immigrants and Americans alike flocked to big cities. In 1870, New Yorkwas the largest city in the United States with about 1.5 million inhabitants,followed by Philadelphia with about 650,000; Chicago with about 300,000; andBoston with about 250,000.