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What region in Europe was the source of the most immigrants to America at the turn of the 20 th Century? . I. Who were the “new” immigrants?. Before 1890, most immigrants were from Northern and Western Europe. After 1890, most “new” immigrants were from Southern and Eastern Europe.
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immigrants to America at the turn of the 20th Century?
Before 1890, most immigrants were
from Northern and Western Europe
After 1890, most “new” immigrants were
from Southern and Eastern Europe
Journey: 3,000 miles, 2-3 weeks
Steerage- 3rd class, below deck-
cargo section of steamboat
rich people, were way
above. I’d look up at them,
they were all dressed nice,
and we were like a flock of
sheep down below.”
was a sign the immigrants
had made it to America
“Give me your tired ,your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”
Emma Lazarus, 1883
processing station for
1907 peak year with 11,747
in one day!
immigrants for physical or mental “defects”
contagious eye disease
immigrants questioned about
political beliefs, marital status,
prospective employment, skills,
Ellis Island “admitted”
primary labor force for America’s Industrial Revolution
Textile Mills, Steel Mills, Coal Mines—
low pay and dangerous conditions
(1880-1910) 8.4 million immigrants arrived
1,285,000 in 1907
Immigration Restriction League, American Protective Association
fear immigrants would take jobs, prejudice based on
religious and cultural differences
humans could improve their condition- poverty, alcoholism, thievery, etc. were inherited traits
(favored sterilization, euthanasia of “defected” babies, execution
of “feeble minded”, no intermarriage, limitation of “new”
"The population of the United States will, on account of the great influx of blood from Southeastern Europe, rapidly become darker in pigmentation, smaller in stature, more given to crimes of larceny, kidnapping, assault, murder, rape and sex immorality. And the ratio of insanity in the population will rapidly increase."
Charles Davenport, 1911
Eugenics Records Office
some as humane
a high grade person
is born who will
have ability to
do creative work
and be fit for
4% of all Americans.
Every 18 seconds a
person is born
who will never
beyond a normal
8 yr. old
Every 50 seconds
a person is put in
jail. Very few
go to jail.
born in U.S.
with bad heredity such as the insane feeble minded criminals and other
measured beauty, intelligence,
morality, mental health
to solve the
“inferior” peoples- “genetic suicide”
Immigration Restriction Act of 1921
(Emergency Quota Act)- limit each nationality
to 3% of census in 1910
Johnson-Reid Act 1924- limited each nationality to 2% of
census in 1890
***Both lows cut off most immigration to America for several decades
Factories provide jobs but workers
often lived in poor conditions.
Tenements- cheap housing in city
To cope in their new
surroundings immigrants often
settled in ethnic neighborhoods
and need for new public services- sewage and
water systems and public transportation
N.Y. City 1st subway system
Immigrants began process of assimilation- “Melting Pot”
Children learn English, American customs, citizenship.
Public school served an essential role in assimilation.
What does this process of assimilation resemble?
What if immigrants worked hard and learned English and still
were poor? What social theory attempted to explain why many
“new” immigrants lived in poor slums at the turn of the 20th?
Social Darwinism- “survival of the fittest”
Chicago called Hull House. Outlet for
charity work. Rejected blaming
immigrants for being poor.
English, civics, cooking, dress making
kindergarten, laundry, employment, day care, legal aid, health care
founded New York Children’s Aid Society
alternative to slums- Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)
Orphan Trains--- children taken from streets and
sent to western farms, Christian families