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Immigration to America! Introduction : Millions of immigrants came through the “Golden Door” in the late 19 th and 20 th centuries because they sought.

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Presentation on theme: "Immigration to America! Introduction : Millions of immigrants came through the “Golden Door” in the late 19 th and 20 th centuries because they sought."— Presentation transcript:


2 Immigration to America!

3 Introduction : Millions of immigrants came through the “Golden Door” in the late 19 th and 20 th centuries because they sought a better life for themselves and their families…

4 Some were escaping difficult conditions such as: Poverty Famine Land Shortages Religious/Political persecution

5 European Immigration: Within 50 years of 1870, about 20 million Europeans came to America! Before the 1890s, most immigrants had come from England, Ireland, and Germany… These were the “OLD IMMIGRANTS”…

6 Characteristics of the “Old Immigrants”: Most spoke some variation of English Mostly Protestant Many were skilled workers who came to the US with $ already in their pockets Result?? These “Old Immigrants” had a good chance for success in a new land!!

7 But after 1890, a new sort of immigrant began arriving… Whereas the “Old” came from NW Europe (England, Ireland, Germany), The “New” came from SE Europe (Italy, Russia, Poland, Hungary)…

8 “Old Immigrants”

9 “New Immigrants”

10 What caused these “New Immigrants” to come to the US? To escape religious persecution = move to America!! Rising European populations. In 100 years, Europe’s population more than doubled! little land for farming -too few jobs -=move to America!!

11 Causes continued… Political reforms and revolts caused people to long for a more free place to live =move to America!!

12 Non-European Immigrants… While Europeans represented more than 90% of the total immigrant population during this time, other groups came as well. Chinese Japanese Cuban Puerto Rican Mexican

13 Why Did Asians come to the US? Between 1850 and 1880, 200,000 Chinese arrived. They hoped to seek their fortunes in the Californian gold rush Railroading –Central Pacific Farming Mining Domestic service

14 Why did Mexican/West Indians come to the US? Between 1880 and 1920, 260,000 arrived from the West Indies. Jobs were scarce Many Mexicans became US citizens without ever leaving home!! Political/Social Upheaval Over 7% of Mexico’s total population left for the US within 20 years!!

15 Now that we know why, we need to know how they arrived… Even though these groups came from different backgrounds and for differing reasons, they all had one thing in common- A difficult journey!!

16 Boat trips were not fun!! From Europe to Ellis Island NY = one week From Asia to Angel Island San Fran = three weeks!!

17 Traveling Conditions: Frightening unfamiliar territory Crowded into below-deck cargo-holds on the boats Rarely allowed on deck and had to wait in the darkness; no fresh air Louse-infested bunks Shared toilets with hundreds of others Effects? Disease and death!!

18 New York’s Ellis Island The Chief Immigration Station housing Europe’s 16 million immigrants (11,000 per day!!) Many were detained for several days Some diseased were forced to return home (Tuberculosis)

19 Ellis Island continued… Many inspectors and doctors checked documentation of immigrants Immigrants were given literacy tests in their native languages Must have at least $25!



22 Angel Island, San Francisco: This immigrant gate housed mostly Chinese, but also other Asians. In contrast to Ellis Island, processing here included harsh questioning Long detentions Dirty, dilapidated buildings held immigrants in confinement, like prisoners Riots occurred (1919)

23 Walls contained the miseries experienced by immigrants: Everyone says traveling to North America is a pleasure I suffered misery on the ship and sadness in The wooden building After several interrogations, still I am not done 

24 Culture Shock Confusion and anxiety resulting from immersion in a culture whose ways of thinking and acting they didn’t understand

25 How did the immigrants deal with this culture shock or feeling homesick and lonely? They looked for others like themselves by forming ethnic enclaves. These similar groups often shared cultural values, religion, or language. Examples? Little Italy, China Town

26 Finding a Balance: Assimilation (melting pot), or Hyphenation-(salad bowl)? Native-born Americans and new Americans felt increasing friction caused by these overt differences!!

27 Melting Pot vs. Salad Bowl

28 Rules and Laws By passing legislation against immigration and closing the borders: -Chinese Exclusion- The act excluded all Chinese laborers from immigrating to the United States for 10 years -Gentlemen’s Agreement- The Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907 was an informal agreement between the United Statesand Japan Japan agreed not to issue passports to citizens for travel to the United States, thus eliminating immigration. In exchange, schools in San Francisco California, agreed not to discriminate against students of Japanese descent. - Immigration Restriction League- To decrease the flow of immigrants nativists formed the Immigration Restriction League. The league wanted all immigrants to prove that they could read and write in some language before being allowed into the country. President Cleveland vetoed this calling it “Un- American.”

29 How did the United States respond? Many Americans welcomed the newcomers, but many did not… “Nativists” only approved of immigrants from the “right” countries Immigrants experienced: -Discrimination -Xenophobia (fear of immigrants) -Anti-immigrant groups

30 Conclusion: As is true throughout history, certain groups of people have been considered more desirable than others, based on myth, racism, and tradition. This time period follows this trend…

31 Is Immigration Still an Issue Today?


33 Immigration to America


35 Riding in Steerage

36 Ellis Island-New York

37 Arriving in America


39 Waiting for Inspection

40 Examination

41 Detention

42 Leaving Ellis Island

43 Angel Island-San Francisco

44 Arriving to Angel Island

45 Medical Inspection

46 Questioning


48 Immigrant Housing-Tenements





53 Tenement Buildings

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