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Presentation on theme: "CH. 8-2 EARLY IMMIGRATION AND URBAN REFORM AMERICAN HISTORY."— Presentation transcript:


2 IRISH AND GERMAN IMMIGRANTS IRISH IMMIGRATION Since the 1700s Irish had relied on the potato as their major food crop —a disease struck the crop severely restricting the harvest Ruling British government provided little relief By 1850 about 1 million people died in “The Great Irish Famine” More than 2 million people left to save themselves Nearly 1.5 million ended up in the USA

3 GERMAN IMMIGRATION Germans fled for economic depression and overpopulation Other reasons included religious persecution, harsh tax laws or military service, failed revolution (1848) Germans came to America searching for free land and business opportunities

4 PUSHED AND PULLED “Push-pull model of immigration” Factors that cause people to leave their homeland are “pushes” Factors that cause people to move to a particular country are called “pulls” Various pushes and pulls led a record number of immigrants to the USA 3 million Irish and Germans by 1860

5 THE LIVES OF IMMIGRANTS HOSTILITY TOWARD THE IRISH Many immigrant groups in the USA faced DISCRIMINATION (treatment based on race, gender, class, etc.) Reasons for discrimination: Shear numbers – 1.3 million Poverty – Irish would work for low wages—threat to American workers Roman Catholic (major religion in USA was protestant)

6 NATIVISM—opposition to immigration Change in American thinking THE KNOW-NOTHINGS Anti-immigrant sentiment was promoted by well- funded and well-organized groups KNOW-NOTHINGS—group earned its name because when asked about it the answer was “I know nothing”

7 The Know-Nothings reorganized into a political party called THE AMERICAN PARTY Remarkable political success in a short time— 40 congressional seats The American Party ran a presidential candidate in 1856 Disagreements over slavery and other issues fractured the party and it ceased to exist by the Civil War

8 A DIFFERENT GERMAN EXPERIENCE Germans didn’t experience discrimination Germans-middle class and Protestant Irish-poor and Catholic Germans could afford to travel far inland Many settled in the mid-west Large German communities from NY to TX Germans worked as farmers, artisans, factory workers, and other jobs

9 REFORM, URBANIZATION, AND INDUSTRIALIZATION 1800—1 in 20 Americans lived in urban areas 1860—1 in 6 did Urbanization and industrialization caused major social change and resulted in important reform movements GROWING CITY POPULATIONS Many Irish settled in northeastern cities such as New York and Boston

10 By 1850—Irish immigrants accounted for 25% of the population in these cities Today—New York and Boston still have large Irish populations URBANIZATION AND REFORM American cities were home to some tremendously wealthy people Richest 1% of the people controlled 50% of the wealth in a city The vast majority of urban Americans were very poor.

11 The plight of tenement dwellers sparked preliminary efforts at reform Local Boards of Health were established to set sanitation rules Enforcement was uneven—poorer neighborhoods received less attention than rich ones. Conditions in poorer districts would remain unsatisfactory through the mid-1800s

12 INDUSTRIALIZATION AND REFORM —number of people working in manufacturing rose from 5% to 30% Farmers worked for themselves and kept their profits People were now WAGE-EARNERS (paid a set amount by the owner) Instead of making things they needed, people had to buy items with the limited wages they earned

13 In addition to immigrants—many Americans were leaving the farms to work in the factories URBAN WORKING CLASS—new social class; many poor and uneducated. Many were immigrants. Relatively wealthy business owners wanted to maximize their profits The results were low wages, long hours, unsafe working conditions Workers began to organize in groups to demand higher wages, shorter hours, and safer conditions

14 The efforts by workers to improve their situation was one of the great reform movements of the Reform Era Known as “Labor Movement” Began late 1820s Most organizations were local and short-lived 1834—first attempt to create a national labor organization In New York City, several groups merged to form the NATIONAL TRADES UNION It lasted until the Panic of 1837 (economic crisis-1/3 of Americans lost their job)

15 Labor movement face fierce opposition from business owners Ten-Hour Movement—campaign to change length of workday to 10 hours instead of 12 or more 1837—President Andrew Jackson declared a 10-hour workday for some federal workers 1840—President Martin Van Buren extends policy to more federal workers Mid-1840s—NH becomes first state to mandate a 10-hour work day THE END


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