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  1. If you were applying for citizenship… • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services • http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis • Would you be a citizen?

  2. A New Wave of Immigrants

  3. New Immigrants • “There will soon be larger towns than any the world has yet known.” • Frederick Law Olmsted - speaking to a Boston crown about the rapid growth of U.S. cities.

  4. Old and New Immigrants • Old Immigrants (Before 1880) • Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, and Scandanavia • Protestant (except for Irish and some Germans) • New Immigrants (1880’s) • As many immigrants entered the U.S. in the 1880’s as had arrived in the years from 1820 to 1860. • Southern and Eastern Europe • Various religions

  5. Coming to America • Why come to America? • Economic opportunity, religious and political asylum, adventure of a new life • How did people get here? • Cheap boat tickets in steerage

  6. What were the conditions like in steerage?

  7. Ellis Island • On the East Coast, millions of immigrants came through! • Written tests, interviews, physical examinations Take a tour of Ellis Island!!! • On the West Coast, millions of Asian Immigrants entered through Angel Island!

  8. Immigrant Life • Most immigrants settled in large cities • What was in large cities for these immigrants? • Work / economic opportunities • Other immigrants from same country

  9. Where did Immigrants Live? • Tenements – poorly built, over-crowded apartments. • “I dreamed of the golden stairs leading to the top of the American palace where father was supposed to live. [I] went ‘home’ to… an ugly old tenement in the heart of the lower East Side. There were stairs to climb but they were not golden.” • New York Tenements 

  10. How did Immigrants adjust? • Formed benevolent societies • Aid organizations that offered help in cases of sickness, unemployment, or death • Adjusted to American culture • Language, customs, etc. • Does this happen today???

  11. Immigrant workers • Many had previously been farmers • Why would it be difficult to be come a farmer when immigrating to a new country, specifically the East Coast of the United States? • Found factory jobs in American cities • What types of jobs would an unskilled, non English speaking person get?

  12. Opposition to Immigration? • Why do people oppose immigration today?

  13. Opposition to Immigration • Anti-immigrant feelings grew along with the rise in immigration in the late 1800’s. • Racial and religious prejudices • Felt that these new immigrants would not be able to assimilate to American culture well and become good citizens. • Taking jobs away from union members in the United States

  14. Opposition to Immigration • Chinese Exclusion Act • 1882 • Banned Chinese people form immigrating to the United States for 10 years • Immigration Restriction League • 1894 • Demanded all immigrants prove they could read and write before entering the country

  15. Homework… • What does it mean to be American? What defines us today as American?