“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!”
-Statue of Liberty
The Great Migration
• 1880- Old Immigrants
• Germany Northwestern
• Italy Eastern &
• Russian Jews
1910- New Immigrants
Journey Across the
• 8-14 days on the sea.
• Lived in steerage compartments
• Few toilets
• Usually had to bring their own food
• Paid $65-$100 per ticket
(most used all of their saving for voyage)
• Quote from Italian Immigrant:
“I came to America because I heard the
streets were paved with gold. When I got
here, found out three things: First, the
streets weren't paved with gold; second,
they weren't paved at all: and third, I was
expected to pave them.”
• Immigrants settled in big cities- New York,
Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia
• Lived in neighborhoods w/ others from
• Not enough affordable
housing in cities
• Still exist today (Little
• Five-cents-a-spot-nickname they received
duo to cost for a place to sleep.
• Tenements (very crowded and filthy
• Chinese come to the U.S. via California in
the 1850s to find gold.
• As more Chinese emigrated to California,
white miners became frustrated.
• The California governor passed a tax that
took half of the Chinese miners earnings.
• The murder of Chinamen happened daily.
• The Transcontinental Railroad provided new opportunities
for Chinese immigrants.
• The railroad companies needed men who would take on
the dangerous work of clearing land and laying track.
• Chinese men who had been driven out of the gold mines
took this opportunity.
• The Chinese earned $35 per month and had to provide
their own food (white men did not).
• A special crew of Chinese set a world record for laying
track and were skilled and efficient workers.
Chinese Exclusion Act
• On May 6, 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act
placed a ban on Chinese immigrants
entering the United States
• In 1882 Congress passed the Chinese
Exclusion Act to stop immigration from
• This act was not lifted until 1943.
• From 1910-1940 the Chinese immigrants
arrived on a tiny island in San Francisco
Bay called Angel Island.
• They were detained for weeks or sometimes
months as officials processed their papers.
The Immigration Act
• Passed on May 26, 1924, the Immigration Act stemmed the
massive tide of immigration that had been flowing into the
United States since the mid-19th century.
• Of particular concern was the high number of nonwhite
and Eastern European immigrants who had been coming
into the country by the hundreds of thousands for decades.
• The law established a quota system for immigration that
highly favored Northern Europeans over all others and set
the standard for immigration policy until the 1960s.
Americans’ Treatment of
• Nativism- native born (Americans) good;
foreign born is bad.
Life as an Immigrant
• Now, you will imagine your life as an
– Write a 1 page letter home on a piece of
notebook paper to your family. Imagine you
are in the United States as an immigrant from
the 1800s. Tell them what life is like for you in
the United States and other things you are
– Put this in folder when complete.