• Unit Title
    Growth of Industrial and Urban America
     
    Supplemental Material
     

    Arrivals

     

    There isn’t one immigrant story: famines, wars, persecution, but also economic opportunity and adventure encouraged individuals to leave their homeland. In Ireland, families fled the Great Famine of 1845-51, Jews escaped the Russian pogroms beginning in 1881, and Southern Italians came hoping to earn enough money to return to Italy and buy land.  More recently, Haitians have left due to the political/economic collapse of their country.  It should be remembered that Africans were forcibly take from their homelands and enslaved in the United States and the colonies that preceded it.

    Those who made the journey were not the poorest of the poor, but the ones who could afford to leave, who often had greater job skills or education than those who remained behind. Whatever the reasons for leaving, immigrants came as part of networks of family and communities, whether Poles settling in Polish Hill in Pittsburgh in the late 19th century or Dominicans moving to Washington Heights today.  The networks give people an address – a place to go and a friend or family to take them in for a while.

    Immigration reached its peak at the turn of the 20th century and Ellis Island – organized in 1892 to replace Castle Garden in Manhattan – processed the largest number of immigrants.  More than 12 million people came through its doors, most having traveled steerage in a not very sanitary ship.  On arrival, they faced a physical examination to ensure they carried no communicable diseases and an interview to determine that they were not illegal contract laborers and would not become a public charge.  Two percent of immigrants failed and were sent back. 

    The passage of the National Origins Act in 1924 slashed the number of immigrants, especially those from Southern and Eastern Europe. The Hart-Celler Act of 1965 changed that by allowing entrance from countries earlier excluded, especially in Asia.  But the era of the steamship had ended.  Immigrants from overseas now arrive in airports – still drawn by a network of family and community connected between the homeland and the United States.

     

     

    Source:  Arrival. A Nation of Immigrants. The City University of New York. 13 February 2009 <http://www1.cuny.edu/portal_ur/content/nationofimmigrants/arrival.php>.

     

    Data Packet

     

    DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS TO AMERICA FROM 1875-1919 (In thousands)

    Years

    Arrivals

    Departures

    Departures/Arrivals

    1875-1879

     

    956

    431

    0.45

    1880-1884

     

    3,201

    327

    0.10

    1885-1889

     

    2,341

    638

    0.27

    1890-1894

     

    2,590

    838

    0.32

    1895-1899

     

    1,493

    766

    0.51

    1900-1904

     

    3,575

    1,454

    0.41

    1905-1909

     

    5,533

    2,653

    0.48

    1910-1914

     

    6,075

    2,759

    0.45

    1915-1919

     

    1,613

    1,180

    0.73

    DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS BY ETHNIC GROUP FROM 1899-1924

    Race or people

    Arrivals

    Departures

    Percent Departures

    Hebrew (Jewish)

    1,837,875

    93,344

    5.2

    Irish

    808,762

    100,108

    12.4

    Mexican

    447,065

    71,074

    15.9

    French

    415,244

    78,662

    18.9

    German

    1,316,614

    257,938

    19.6

    Czech

    159,319

    34,364

    21.6

    Scandinavian

    956,308

    227,620

    23.8

    English

    1,067,659

    261,295

    24.5

    Japanese

    260,462

    85,415

    32.8

    Polish

    1,483,374

    587,742

    39.6

    Greek

    500,465

    241,923

    48.3

    Italian, Northern

    605,535

    292,522

    48.3

    Croatian, Slovenian

    485,379

    246,098

    50.7

    Slovak

    536,911

    298,689

    55.6

    Italian, Southern

    3,215,451

    1,812,943

    56.4

    Hungarian

    492,031

    177,484

    63.9

    Bulgarian, Serbian, Montenegrin

    165,191

    148,386

    89.9

    Chinese

    59,079

    76,332

    129.2

    TOTALS

    14,812,724

    5,091,939

    34.4%

    Sources: Simon Kuznets and Ernest Rubin, Immigration and the Foreign Born (1954), p. 95, and Gavin Wright, Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy Since the Civil War (1986), p. 73; Thernstrom, op. cit., p. 1036.

    Immigration Handout: The Peopling of America, 1880-1930

     

     

    By the 1880's, steam power had shortened the journey to America dramatically. Immigrants poured in from around the world: from the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Southern and Eastern Europe, and down from Canada.

    The door was wide open for Europeans - In the 1880s alone, 9% of the total population of Norway emigrated to America. After 1892 nearly all immigrants came in through the newly opened Ellis Island.

    One immigrant recalled arriving at Ellis Island: "The boat anchored at mid-bay and then they tendered us on the ship to Ellis Island… We got off the boat…you got your bag in your hand and went right into the building Ah, that day must have been about five to six thousand people. Jammed, I remember it was August. Hot as a pistol, and I'm wearing my long johns, and my heavy Irish tweed suit."

    Families often immigrated together during this era, although young men frequently came first to find work. Some of these then sent for their wives, children, and siblings; others returned to their families in Europe with their saved wages.


    The experience for Asian immigrants in this period was quite different. In 1882 Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, severely restricting immigration from China. Since earlier laws made it difficult for those Chinese immigrants who were already here to bring over their wives and families, most Chinese communities remained "bachelor societies."

    The 1907 "Gentlemen's Agreement" with Japan extended the government's hostility towards Asian workers and families. For thousands, the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay would be as close as they would ever get to the American mainland.

    For Mexicans victimized by the Revolution, Jews fleeing the pogroms in Eastern Europe and Russia, and Armenians escaping the massacres in Turkey, America provided refuge.

    And for millions of immigrants, New York provided opportunity. In Lower New York, one could find the whole world in a single neighborhood.

    Between 1880 and 1930 over 27 million people entered the United States - about 20 million through Ellis Island. But after outbreak of World War I in 1914, American attitudes toward immigration began to shift. Nationalism and suspicion of foreigners were on the rise, and immigrants' loyalties were often called into question. Through the early 20s, a series of laws was passed to limit the flow of immigrants.

     

     

    Source:  The Peopling of America. 1880-1930. Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. 13 February 2009 <http://www.ellisislandrecords.org/immexp/wseix_5_3.asp>.

     


    Immigration Handout:  Immigration to the United States:  1851 – 1900

     

     

    In the late 1800s, people in many parts of the world decided to leave their homes and immigrate to the United States. Fleeing crop failure, land and job shortages, rising taxes, and famine, many came to the U. S. because it was perceived as the land of economic opportunity. Others came seeking personal freedom or relief from political and religious persecution. With hope for a brighter future, nearly 12 million immigrants arrived in the United States between 1870 and 1900. During the 1870s and 1880s, the vast majority of these people were from Germany, Ireland, and England--the principal sources of immigration before the Civil War. That would change drastically in the next three decades.

     

    Immigrants entered the United States through several ports. Those from Europe generally came through East Coast facilities, while those from Asia generally entered through West Coast centers. More than 70 percent of all immigrants, however, entered through New York City, which came to be known as the "Golden Door." Throughout the late 1800s, most immigrants arriving in New York entered at the Castle Garden depot near the tip of Manhattan. In 1892, the federal government opened a new immigration processing center on Ellis Island in New York harbor.

     

    Although immigrants often settled near ports of entry, a large number did find their way inland. Many states, especially those with sparse populations, actively sought to attract immigrants by offering jobs or land for farming. Many immigrants wanted to move to communities established by previous settlers from their homelands.

     

     

    Once settled, immigrants looked for work. There were never enough jobs, and employers often took advantage of the immigrants. Men were generally paid less than other workers, and women less than men. Social tensions were also part of the immigrant experience. Often stereotyped and discriminated against, many immigrants suffered verbal and physical abuse because they were "different." While large-scale immigration created many social tensions, it also produced a new vitality in the cities and states in which the immigrants settled. The newcomers helped transform American society and culture, demonstrating that diversity, as well as unity, is a source of national strength.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Source:  Overview:  Immigration to the United States 1851-1900. Rise of Industrial America, 1876-1900. The Learning Page. Library of Congress. 13 February 2009  <http://lcweb2.loc.gov/learn/features/timeline/riseind/immgnts/immgrnts.html>.


Last Modified on February 14, 2018