The New Immigrants
Through the Golden Door
19th-20th centuries millions of immigrants am to
Came for many reasons
“birds of passage” – immigrants who came
temporarily to earn $ and return home.
•20 million came to the U.S.
•Many came to escape religious persecution
• increased population
Chinese and Japanese
•300,000 Chinese arrived
•Seek fortunes in gold
• helped build railroads
• worked farming, mining, and domestic
• 1882 Chinese immigration was limited by
West Indies and Mexico
•People from W. Indies came because jobs were
•Mexicans came because work was scarce and
political turmoil at home.
Life in the New Land
• Immigrants faced new
adjustments to a sometimes
Most traveled by steamship
Trip lasted 1-3 weeks
Immigrants were usually crowded below in
the cargo hold
Usually slept in lice infested beds
Disease spread quickly
Many died on the ship
Processing took 5 or more
-must pass a physical
-- government inspectors
checked documents and
• Immigrants had to
pass inspection at
• 1st was Castle Garden
in NY and later
moved to Ellis Island.
17 million immigrants passed through its facilities.
Immigrants could not have
been convicted of a felony in
Located on the West Coast
Immigrants processed were
1910 – 1940 50,000
immigrants entered the U.S.
through Angel Island.
Long detention in
they waited to see
if they would be
admitted or not.
Competition for Survival
• Many immigrants sought people who:
– shared their cultural values
– Practiced their religion
– Spoke their native language
– They thought of themselves as – Americans
• Immigrants pooled
– Build churches
• Social clubs
• Old people’s homes
• Start newspapers
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Native born people often disliked immigrants
and viewed them as a threat to the American
way of life.
• Many Americans saw America as a melting pot
– mixture of different cultures and races who
blended together by abandoning their native
languages and customs.
• Many immigrants did not want to give up their
• Rejected religious beliefs more than their
• Did not want Catholics or Jews because they
thought they would undermine democratic
• 1887 – The American Protective Association was formed.
Many colleges, businesses, and social clubs refused to
• 1897 - Congress passed a bill requiring a literacy test for
• Must read 40 or more words in English or in their own
language to be admitted.
• President Cleveland vetoed
• 1873- pressure to restrict Asian immigration.
• Jobs were scarce
• Asians would work for less
• 1882- Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act
– Closed immigration for 10 yrs.
– Extended in 1892
– Finally restricted indefinitely
– Not repealed until 1943
The Gentlemen’s Agreement
• 1906 - Japanese children were segregated and
placed in separate schools.
– Japan protested the treatment of its emigrants.
– Gentlemen’s Agreement- 1907-1908
• Japan agreed to limit emigration of unskilled workers to the
U.S. in exchange for desegregation.
The Challenges of Urbanization
• 1870 – 1920 the urban
from 10 million to 54
• Urbanization –
– growth of cities
– Mostly regions of the
Northwest and Midwest.
Immigrants Settle in Cities
• Cities were the
cheapest and most
convenient place to live.
• Offered unskilled
workers steady jobs.
• 1910 – more than ½ the
total population of 18
major cities included
• Designed to assimilate people to the dominate
• Sponsored by government and by concerned
• Education was provided to help w/assimilation
• Many immigrants still did not want to change
• Ethnic communities became overcrowded.
Migration From Country to City
• New farm equipment = less workers needed
• People moved to the city to find work
• Many farmers who lost their livelihoods were
– 1890-1910 – 200,000 moved north and west
• Many moved to escape:
– racial violence
– economic hardship
– political oppression
• Found all of these things in the northern cities
• Job competition between black and white.
U.S. journalist and social
Wrote that the multi-
family urban dwellings
called tenements, were
• Mass transit –
designed to move large
numbers of people
along fixed routes.
• enabled workers to
San Francisco – 1st street cars were
• Problem of safe drinking water
• NY and Cleveland built water works
• 1860’s residents still had inadequately piped
water or none at all.
• NY homes seldom had indoor plumbing
– Residents had to collect water in pails from
faucets on the street.
– Water improvements were needed to control
cholera and typhoid fever.
• 1870 – filtration of water was introduced.
• 1908 – chlorination was introduced.
• Garbage multiplied in
• Sewage flowed in open
• Factories spewed smoke
• Trash collection was not
• 1900’s sewer lines were
• Sanitation departments
• Pickpockets and thieves
• 1844 NY – 1st organized
– Too small for much
• Occurred due to lack of
• 1870s-1880s – a fire
occurred in almost
every large American
– Wood dwellings. Use of
• Firemen were
volunteers and not
• 1853 – Cincinnati, Ohio
established the first fire
• 1900s – most cities had
• Community centers
• In slum neighborhoods.
• Provided assistance to
people in the area,
Many settlement workers lived at the houses so they could
learn 1st hand of urbanization problems and help create
-Run by college-
cultural, and social
Sent visiting nurses
into the homes of
1886 -Charles Stover and Stanton Coit founded settlement
houses in NY.
1889 – Jane Addams and Ellen Gates founded Chicago’s Hull
Jane Addams Hull House
1910 – about 400 settlement houses were
operating in cities across the country.
Helped cultivate social responsibility toward the
The Political Machine
• an organized group that controlled the
activities of a political party in a city.
• Offered services to voters and businesses in
exchange for political or financial support.
• Gained control of govts. In Baltimore, NY, San
Francisco, and other major cities.
Controlled activities of
throughout the city.
Gained support by
doing favors or
Gained voter support
of city-block or
Reported to ward
Role of The Political
• Controlled access to municipal jobs and
• Influenced courts and other municipal
• Used power to build:
– Sewer systems
– Water works
• Gave money to schools,
• Could provide
government support for
Immigrants and the Machine
• Many precinct captains
and political bosses were
1st or 2nd generation
• Few educated beyond
• Understood immigrants
• Entered politics at the
bottom and worked their
• Helped immigrants
• Immigrants gave them
votes in exchange.
Big Jim Pendergast
Precinct captain ->
Democratic city boss in
Kansas City by aiding
American, and Irish
Municipal Graft and Scandal
• Some turned to fraud
• Party faithfuls voted many times using fake
• Once the machine candidate was in office, it
could take advantage of graft.
– Graft - the illegal use of political influence for
Advantages of Graft
• Granted favors to businesses in return for cash
• Accepted bribes to allow activities, such as
gambling, to flourish.
• Police rarely interfered because they were
hired and fired by political bosses.
Tweed Ring Scandal
• William M. Tweed –
– “Boss Tweed”
– Head of Tammany Hall –
a NY Democratic political
– Led the Tweed Ring – a
group of corrupt
defrauded the city.
• One scheme involved the construction of the
– Taxpayers paid $13 million, but the actual cost of
construction was $3 million.
– The difference went into the pockets of Tweed
and his followers.
• Political cartoonist
• Helped arouse public
Tammany Hall’s graft
and the Tweed Ring
“A Group of Vultures Waiting for the Storm to ‘Blow Over’—‘Let Us
• Tweed - was indicted on 120 counts of fraud
and extortion and sentenced to 12 years in jail
– His sentence was later reduced to 1 year.
– He was quickly arrested again and escaped from
– He was captured in Spain when officials
recognized him from a Thomas Nast cartoon.
Civil Service Replaces Patronage
• Patronage Spurs Reform –
– Patronage – giving of government jobs to people
who helped the candidate get elected
– Reforms began to press for patronage to end
• They wanted a merit system for hiring.
Reform Under Hayes, Garfield, and
• Rutherford B. Hayes – elected in 1876
– Could not get Congress to support reform
– Elected independents to his cabinet
– Set up a commission to investigate the nation’s
– As a result of investigation, Hayes fired 2 of NY’s
top officials employed by the customhouse.
– Angered Republicans and Roy Conklin and his
• When Hayes decided not to run for re-election
a fight broke out at the Republican convention
between the Stalwarts and reformers.
• They decided on an independent candidate,
James A. Garfield.
• The Republicans nominated Chester A. Arthur
• 7/2/1881 – President Garfield
walked through the
Washington D. C. train station
and was shot two times by a
mentally unstable lawyer
named Charles Guiteau,
whom Garfield had turned
down for a job.
• Garfield lived until September 19.
• Chester A. Arthur became president and
despite his ties to the Stalwarts, he turned
reformer when he became president.
– His first message to Congress urged legislators to
pass a civil service law.
Pendleton Civil Service Act
• Authorized a bipartisan civil service
commission to make appointments to federal
jobs through a merit system based on
candidates’ performance on an exam.
• 1901 – more than 40% of all federal jobs had
been classified as a civil service positions.
Good – government officials became
more honest and efficient.
Bad – politicians turned to other
sources for donations.
• Politicians turned to wealthy
businessmen for campaign contributions.
• The alliance between government and
business became stronger than ever.
• Big business
– Wanted government to raise tariffs to protect it
from foreign competition.
– Democratic govt. did not want to raise tariffs
because they increased prices.
– 1884 – Dem. Won presidential election – Grover
– He tried to lower tariffs, but could not get support
• 1888 – Benjamin Harrison was elected
– He had about 100,000 less popular votes than
Cleveland, but had the majority of electoral votes.
– McKinley Tariff Act – 1890
• Raised tariffs to highest level yet.
• 1892 – Cleveland was elected again.
– The only president to serve 2 non-consecutive terms.
– He supported a bill for lowering the McKinley tariff,
but refused to sign it because it provided for a federal
– 1894 – The Wilson Gorman Tariff became law without
the president’s signature.
– When McKinley became president he raised tariffs