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Chapter 7: Immigrants and Cities. A NEW WAVE OF IMMIGRATION. NEW IMMIGRANTS. 1880s: in 1 decade as many immigrants came as in the previous 4 decades=“melting pot” Old immigrants: mostly from Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, and Scandinavia (Northern Europe)

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Chapter 7: Immigrants and Cities

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Chapter 7 immigrants and cities

Chapter 7: Immigrants and Cities


New immigrants


  • 1880s: in 1 decade as many immigrants came as in the previous 4 decades=“melting pot”

  • Old immigrants: mostly from Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, and Scandinavia (Northern Europe)

  • New Immigrants: from southern and eastern Europe countries like Italy, Poland, Russia, Greece, and Hungary

    • Brought new cultures and religions like Judaism, Eastern Orthodox, and Catholicism

Coming to america


  • steerage: lower area of ship where steering was kept; immigrants traveled in this area

    • Cramped and dirty

      Europeans arrived at Ellis Island on East Coast/New York Ellis Island

  • Asian immigrants arrived at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay

  • Interrogated and examined physically before admitted

  • Immigrant life


    • Moved into large cities for work and stayed in neighborhoods with same nationality

    • Lived in tenements—poorly built, overcrowded apartments

    • Benevolent societies: aid organizations established by immigrants to help in case of illness, unemployment, or death

      • Eventually adopted American ways to fit in and promoted the free public education system as key to success in America

    Immigrant workers


    • Most were farmers from their home country but couldn’t afford to be a farmer in America

    • Worked in factories as unskilled labor for little pay and in bad conditions

    • Many worked in small factories making clothing known as sweatshops for long hours and unhealthy conditions

    • Earned living by how many pieces they made=pieceworkers

    Immigrant workers1


    • Many women worked as maids and cooks or ran boardinghouses

    • Some skilled laborers borrowed money and opened their own businesses

    • Many returned to Europe

    Opposition to immigration


    • Nativists: Americans that were already here

      • Prejudice against Asian and southern and eastern European immigrants’ languages and customs

      • Argued that the immigrants’ lack of education would harm American society

      • Feared they would take away jobs

      • Some took place in violence against immigrants

    Opposition to immigration1


    • Chinese Exclusion Act: 1882 Congress passed

      • Banned Chinese immigrants for 10 years

      • First time specific nationality was banned

      • Chinese American population dropped in 1800s and Congress extended ban into the 1900s

      • Immigration Restriction League: est. by nativists

        -demanded all immigrants prove they could read and write



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