Review: The things needed for industrialization and economic development: Technology Natural Resources Government support Workforce This is the story of how the American workforce came to be.
Why did Europeans want to leave Europe? Farm poverty and worker uncertainty Crop famines (Irish potato famine) Wars and compulsory military service Political tyranny (monarchies) Religious oppression Population pressure Available land Plenty of work Move up social ladder
Emma Lazarus "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" A gift from France. The Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886.
Europeans Flood into the US 25 million immigrants came to the U.S. between 1865 and 1914. “Old” Immigration – Before 1890 – North and western European countries “New” Immigration – After 1890 – Southern and eastern Europeans 70% of immigrants were men wanting to make money to either buy land in Europe or bring the rest of family to the US
The Atlantic Voyage Normally took 14 days to cross the Atlantic Most passengers booked passage in steerage – the cheapest option “Narrow, steep and slippery stairways lead to it. Crowds everywhere, ill smelling bunks, uninviting washrooms—this is steerage. The odors of scattered orange peels, tobacco, garlic and disinfectants meeting but not blending. No lounge or chairs for comfort, and a continual babble of tongues—this is steerage. The food, which is miserable, is dealt out of huge kettles into the dinner pails provided by the steamship company.”
...the 900 steerage passengers crowded into the hold of so elegant and roomy a steamer as the Kaiser Wilhelm II, of the North German Lloyd line, are positively packed like cattle, making a walk on deck when the weather is good, absolutely impossible, while to breathe clean air below in rough weather, when the hatches are down is an equal impossibility. The stenches become unbearable, and many of the emigrants have to be driven down; for they prefer the bitterness and danger of the storm to the pestilential air below. The division between the sexes is not carefully looked after, and the young women who are quartered among the married passengers have neither the privacy to which they are entitled nor are they much more protected than if they were living promiscuously. The food, which is miserable, is dealt out of huge kettles into the dinner pails provided by the steamship company. When it is distributed, the stronger push and crowd, so that meals are anything but orderly procedures. On the whole, the steerage of the modern ship ought to be condemned as unfit for the transportation of human beings...Take for example, the second cabin which costs about twice as much as the steerage and sometimes not twice so much; yet the second cabin passenger on the Kaiser Wilhelm II has six times as much deck room, much better located and well protected against inclement weather. Two to four sleep in one cabin, which is well and comfortably furnished; while in the steerage from 200 to 400 sleep in one compartment on bunks, one above the other, with little light and no comforts. In the second cabin the food is excellent, is partaken of in a luxuriantly appointed dining-room, is well cooked and well served; while in the steerage the unsavory rations are not served, but doled out, with less courtesy than one would find in a charity soup kitchen. The steerage ought to be and could be abolished by law...On many ships, even drinking water is grudgingly given, and on the steamer Staatendam, four years ago, we had literally to steal water for the steerage from the second cabin, and that of course at night. On many journeys, particularly on the SS Fürst Bismarck, of the Hamburg American Line, five years ago, the bread was absolutely uneatable, and was thrown into the water by the irate emigrants. In providing better accommodations, the English steamship companies have always led; and while the discipline on board of ship is always stricter than on other lines, the care bestowed upon the emigrants is correspondingly greater.
Ellis Island After a 14 day boat ride, immigrants landed at Ellis Island in New York City. Ellis Island was the processing center for European immigrants. A short medical exam would determine if they could stay or be forced to go back. After reaching America, many immigrants would live in ethnic neighborhoods.
Notable Ellis Island Entrants http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=24619&rendTypeId=4 Felix Frankfurter--Austria Knute Rockne--Norway http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/irving_berlin_hi.jpg http://www.musicals101.com/News/jolsonoval.jpg http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/bob_hope_vietnam.jpg Irving Berlin--Russia Bob Hope--England Al Jolson--Lithuania
The Island of Tears Contagious Diseases No Proof The Undesirables Criminals Insane Unskilled Workers
A Dissenting View An Italian immigrant in 1903: "I came to America because I had heard the streets were paved with gold, and I found three things. One: The streets were not paved with gold. Two: The streets were not paved at all. Three: I was expected to pave them." "A Nation of Strangers" by Vicki Goldbert and Arthur Ollman.
Asian Immigrants During the 1800s, life in China was awful. Stories of “Gum-Saan” – “Gold Mountain” was the name for California More than 322,000 Chinese came to the United States between 1850 and 1882.
Nativism Eventually, after so many immigrants arrived in the country the same thing happened that has happened here in the US recently… Nativism– extreme dislike of immigrants by native-born people Groups Targeted: Old immigration it was mainly the Irish Now… Jews & Catholics Eastern Europeans Asians
The Asians Were Targeted Most… WHY? What was different about the Asians than the other groups?
Its all about the looks and the perception of different.
Chinese Exclusion Act -- 1882 Barred Chinese immigration for 10 years and prevented the Chinese already living in the US from becoming citizens Repealed in 1943
Mark Twain’s Take: “They are a harmless race when white men either let them alone or treat them no worse than dogs; in fact they are almost entirely harmless anyhow, for they seldom think of resenting the vilest insults or the cruelest injuries. They are quiet, peaceable, tractable, free from drunkenness, and they are as industrious as the day is long. A disorderly Chinaman is rare, and a lazy one does not exist. So long as a Chinaman has strength to use his hands he needs no support from anybody; white men often complain of want of work, but a Chinaman offers no such complaint; he always manages to find something to do. He is a great convenience to everybody–even to the worst class of white men, for he bears the most of their sins, suffering fines for their petty thefts, imprisonment for their robberies, and death for their murders. Any white man can swear a Chinaman’s life away in the courts, but no Chinaman can testify against a white man.”