TN Curriculum Standards:• 1.0-Understand how industrial developmentaffected the United States culture.• Understand how the influx of immigrants after1880 affected U. S. culture.SPI 6.4- Identify patterns of immigration and thecausal factors that led to immigration to the U.S.SPI 6.5- Distinguish the differences in assimilation of“old” vs. “new” immigration.SPI 6.6- Read and interpret a primary sourcedocument reflecting the dynamics of the Gilded Ageof American Society.
The “Old” Immigrants• From 1800-1880, more than 10 millionimmigrants came to the U.S.• They were mostly Protestants fromNorthwestern Europe.• This group would be referred to as the “old”immigrants.• They were accepted into American culture.
“Old” ImmigrantsThe “old” immigrantswere accepted because:• They looked the same• Spoke the samelanguages as theAmericans who werealready here• Worshipped the same .
The “New” immigrants• From 1891-1910, a new wave of immigrantscame to the U.S.• They came from Southern or Eastern Europe(Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish,Russian, and Slovaks, Arabs, Armenians,Chinese, French Canadians, and Japanese).• They were not as accepted as the oldimmigrants.
The “New” Immigrants• They looked different.• They worshippeddifferently.• They spoke differentlanguages.
Reasons for Coming to the U.S.• Plenty of land and work• Higher standard ofliving• Democratic politicalsystem• Opportunity for socialadvancement
The JourneyMost of the immigrants heard about the great opportunities that the U.S. had tooffer from RR and steamship promoters.These stories were often exaggerated. Steamships charged a low rate to attractpassengers.The ocean journey was extremely difficult. Most traveled in the steerage(accommodations below deck on the ship’s lower levels near the steeringmechanisms).The quarters were cramped with no privacy and very little ventilation.
Arriving in AmericaThose with criminal records (or without means to support themselves) were sent back.Those that passed inspection went through inspectors where they had to tell about theirbackground, job skills, and relatives.People with mental disorders or contagious diseases like tuberculosis or other serious health policieswere deported.At Ellis Island, the 1st thing that they saw was the Statue of Liberty. They had to go through a physicalexam.Newcomers 1st set their foot on U. S. soil at Ellis Island in New York Harbor or at Angel Island in SanFrancisco Bay. These islands were known as immigrant stations.
A New Life• Many immigrants foundthat that the U.S. offeredthem a better life than intheir homeland.• Others that settled incrowded cities facedmany hardships.• They could only find low-paying (unskilled) jobs.• As a result of this, theywere generally forced intopoor housing in/nearneighborhood slums.
A New Life• Immigrant/Ethnic Communities- pockets ofdiverse immigrant communities where theywere able to find institutions and neighborsthat help them make the transition financiallyand culturally into American life.• Religious institutions- neighborhood churches,synagogues, and temples provided communitycenters that helped immigrants maintain asense of identity and belonging.
A New LifeSome churches offered economic assistance, daycare for children, gymnasiums, reading rooms, sewingclasses, social clubs, and training courses for new immigrants.Many religious and non-religious organizations were formed to assist the newcomers. Theorganizations were known as benevolent societies (helped in case ofsickness, unemployment, death, offered loans to start businesses, set up insurance plans).Cultural practices- immigrants were often encouraged by employers and public institutions to adoptAmerican values. Older immigrants tend to cling more to their ties in the old country, while theirchildren adopted American cultural practices.Immigrant worker-did the country’s “dirty work” (work that was difficult and physically exhausting).They worked in the mines, in construction, and in sweatshops. They worked extremely long hours andreceived extremely low wages. Some worked as long as 15 hours a day.
Settling into Ethnic CommunitiesImmigrants made up most of the population in Northern cities like New York,Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit.They lived in ethnic communities lie “Little Italy” and “Lower East Side”because there they could speak their own native languages and worship intheir own synagogues. It gave them a sense of being back in their homeland.Immigrants that learned English and fully assimilated into American culturefared better than those that did not.
Chinese ImmigrationChinese had a large population (430 million) in the late 1800s and an even higherunemployment rate. There was widespread poverty.The Taiping Rebellion broke out in China and those that could leave left by thethousands. They came to America to work on the RR.They located to mostly Western cities. They worked as skilled laborers or asmerchants.Many native-born American business owners kept them out of theirbusinesses, so Chinese immigrants began opening their own businesses.Japanese immigrants also began leaving their homeland for economicopportunities in America.
Reasons Nativists were againstImmigration• They believed that there were more Catholicimmigrants coming in than there wereProtestant Americans.• They feared that they would undermine thelabor unions by working for less.• Nativists began to form anti-immigrantorganizations. These organizations agreed notto hire or vote for any Catholics.
Anti-Irish SentimentAnother group that wasdespised by these anti-immigrant/anti-Catholicgroups was the Irish.Since they had to take thelowest paying jobs or thedirtiest jobs, they werethought to be lazy, ignorant,and unworthy of anysympathy at all.Legislators moved to passlaws to limit immigration. Bythe late 1800s, they passedlaws banning convicts andmentally disabled peoplefrom immigrating to the U.S.Immigrants also had to pay a50 cents tax per person tocome here.
Chinese Exclusion• Legislators (particularly in CA) passed laws thatbanned Chinese immigration for 10 years.Chinese immigrants that were already in thecountry were banned from becoming citizens.• Although the Chinese protested by campaigningand suing in court, Congress did not lift the banuntil 1943 (41 years later).• When Japanese immigration increased, the SanFrancisco Board of Education required Chinese,Japanese, and Korean children to attend raciallysegregated schools.
Chinese Exclusion• Before, this had only applied to Chinese school-agechildren.• When Japanese officials in Japan found out about theforced segregation, they were furious. They voicedtheir concerns with then president Theodore (TeddyRoosevelt) and he struck a deal with the school board.• He agreed to pass legislation to limit Japaneseimmigration in exchange for them integrating theschool for Asian immigrants. This deal became knownas the Gentlemen’s Agreement.• Legislators would later propose giving immigrantsliteracy tests before they could be admitted to the U. S.
Separation by Class (pg. 224 in text)• The wealthy, the middle class, and the working class(poor) lived in separate sections of town (much liketoday).• Because of industry, more Americans moved fromworking class to middle class. The middle class wasmostly made up ofdoctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, socialworkers,…etc.• As they began to make more money, they began tomove further away from the city (to escape crime andpollution).• Most middle class families at this time had at least onelive-in servant.
The Working PoorMost families that fell into the working class category could only dream ofowning a home. They lived in crowded apartments known as tenement housing.Families also took in boarders to supplement their low wages.Within the working class, white males made more than African-American men,immigrants, and women.The whole family generally worked. Children were also forced to work in terriblework conditions. Most of them were illiterate since they had to go to work andnot school. Since there was no Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security at thistime, 70% of people who were over the age of 65 lived with their adult children.
Jacob Riis forced poverty awareness with hiswritings and his pictures about the slums