Immigrant Experience and
Influence in the United States
• Roads, canals, and railroads were being built
at an increasing rate as the United States
continued to develop and expand.
• Immigrants provided the United States with a
cheap labor force for these grueling labor.
– Irish immigrants in the east and Midwest
– Chinese immigrants in the West.
• Irish immigrants faced prejudice and
discrimination because of their race
• Many Americans blamed the Irish for low
employment as Irish immigrants worked for
very little pay
• 1845 a potato famine in Ireland sparked a
mass migration of Irish to America, flooding
the U.S. with even more Irish immigrants.
• In June, 1832, a group of 57 Irish immigrants from
Donegal, Tyrone, and Derry arrived in
• They were brought to Chester County by a fellow
Irishman named Philip Duffy as laborers for the
construction of the Philadelphia and Columbia
• Within six weeks, all were dead of cholera and
violence, and were buried anonymously in a ditch
outside of Malvern.
• The men were left to die, their deaths hidden
from their families
• They were buried in a mass, unmarked grave
• Evidence of violence has been found among
the remains, including:
– Gunshot wounds
– Hatchet wounds
– Blunt force trauma
• There was a large increase in Chinese
immigration to America during the gold rush of
• Chinese immigrants also were hired as
inexpensive laborers for projects like the
• Chinese Americans began to be discriminated
against because of their race.
• Acts of violence towards Chinese immigrants was
common, as Americans blamed Chinese
immigrants for unemployment and low wages
Chinese Exclusion Act
• The act excluded Chinese “skilled and
unskilled laborers employed in mining” from
entering the country for ten years under
penalty of imprisonment and deportation as
Chinese immigrants “endangered the good
order of certain localities”.