Immigrants in the Gilded Age
Why Immigrants Came 15 • Work - factories, mines, railroads, farms • Free Land - Homestead Act • Education – free public schools • Freedom - democracy, no forced military service, religious tolerance
How Many Came 16 • Between 1865 and 1920 • Estimated 30 million • Nearly doubled the U.S. population
1865 - 1890 10 million Germans (2.8) English (1.8) Irish (1.4) 1890 – 1920 10 million Italians (3.8) Russian Jews (3.0) Slavs Greeks Armenians Where They Came From 17
Pogroms 18 18 Violent massacres of Jews in Russia in the late 1880’s
How They Came 19 • Steam powered ships • Crossed the Atlantic in 2 – 3 weeks • The poor traveled in steerage
Steerage 20 • Large open area beneath a ship’s deck near the steering mechanism • Cheap tickets • Limited toilet facilities • No privacy • Poor food
What happened when they arrived 21 • Most Europeans came in through the port of New York – Ellis Island • Subjected to physical exams and quarantined or sent back if found to be diseased.
Ellis Island 22 • Huge reception area in New York harbor near the Statue of Liberty • Opened by federal government in 1892 for steerage passengers entering the country
23 Where They Settled • Asians settled on the west coast. • Many worked on RR’s • Others in mining, fishing, farming, laundry and factory work • Willing to work for extremely low wages.
Where They Settled continued • Mexicans settled largely in the Southwest because of the irrigated land there. • Agricultural jobs • Built RR’s in the South • Willing to accept hard jobs for low wages. • Because of immigration restrictions on Asians, many jobs open for Mexican immigrants.
Where They Settledcontinued • Europeans settled mainly in cities in which they arrived, or headed west to mining towns. • Usually settled with the same ethnic groups in ghettos.
Ghettos 24 Ethnic communities within a city
How Americans Responded 25 • Nativism • Restrictive Covenants • Chinese Exclusion Act • Movement to Suburbs
Nativism 26 • An attitude favoring native-born Americans over immigrants • Nativists demanded the teaching of only the English language and American culture in schools
Restrictive Covenants 27 • Agreements among homeowners not to sell real estate to certain ethnic groups or nationalities
Chinese Exclusion Act 28 • 1882 - Law passed that prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the U.S. • Labor unions claimed that American wages were dropping because Asian immigrants accepted such low pay. • Law was in effect until 1943
Suburbs 29 • Residential communities that began to develop on outskirts of major cities • Public rail carriages were used for transportation to and from the city by those who could afford it.
Urbanization 30 The growth of cities (urban areas)
New York City c. 1900
Philadelphia Street Scene c.1890
Tenements 31 • Low-cost apartment buildings designed to house as many families as an owner could pack into them. • Generally associated with slums.
Tenement living c.1890
32 Urban Living Conditions • Pollution - soot made the air dark and foul • Poor sanitation - open sewers, rats and other vermin • Contaminated drinking water • Diseases spread rapidly - TB, malaria, typhoid • Fire danger - 18,000 buildings burned in Chicago and 250 died in 1871 fire
Urban Politics 33 • Political Divisions - as cities grew, so did public pressures for sanitation, taxes, transportation, etc. Many people looked to the city gov’t to take care of the problem. • Graft—people using office for personal gain • Political machines develop
Political Machines 34 • Corrupt city gov’t, used immigrants for votes • Usually run by a “boss” who either held office himself or hand-picked an individual to hold office
Tammany Hall 35 • A club that ran the NY Democratic Party • Controlled by “Boss” Tweed in the 1850’s -1870’s
Caption reads: “As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?”
Social Reform 36 • Efforts to improve society by • Aiding and educating the poor • Eliminating evil or destructive elements
Jacob Riis 37 • Immigrant from Denmark 1870 • Lived in NYC tenements • Became a newspaper reporter • Wrote, How the Other Half Lives, exposing terrible conditions in tenement slums
Prohibition 38 • Movement to legally abolish alcohol in the U.S. • Supporters blamed immigrants for a large portion of the alcohol-related problems in the nation.
Social Gospel Movement 39 • Churches sought to address problems like drinking and gambling by applying Jesus’s teachings to society. • Sought labor reforms and improved living conditions for workers
Education 40 • Schools aimed at assimilating immigrants into society. • Immigrants sought literacy and civic skills needed to gain citizenship.
Settlement Movement 41 • Reformers who believed that hand-outs did not help the poor • They would settle among the needy to witness their plight first-hand and offer social services through “settlement houses.”
Hull House 42 • A “settlement house” in Chicago • Opened by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in 1889 • Provided child-care, playgrounds, clubs and children’s summer camps, legal offices and a health clinic
Jane Addams c. 1896