2 The ImmigrantsThe first wave of immigrants came to America during the time period of Most of them came from Northern & Western Europe (Irish, British, & German). This group is referred to as the “Old Immigrants.”The second wave of immigrants came to America from Eastern and Southern Europe (Italians, Greeks, Hungarians, Poles, Russians) and Asia (Mostly China) during the time period of They are referred to as the “New Immigrants.”
3 U.S. Immigration Statistics: Origin (in percentages) DecadeTotalNorthern/ W. EuropeEast/Central/ S. EuropeCanada and Latin AmericaAsia2,314,824 87.8 01.4 07.2 02.82,812,191 73.6 14.4 04.45,246,130 72.0 18.2 08.1 01.33,687,546 44.5 51.9 01.1 01.98,795,386 31.7 60.8 04.15,735,811 17.4 58.9 19.9 03.44,107,209 28.7 36.9 02.4
5 Why did they come?Push Factors – things that pushed immigrants away from their homelands. For example, much of Europe experienced overpopulation, crowded cities, lack of jobs, and food shortages. Also there was a lack of available land in Europe. Another major reason was to escape religious persecution.
6 Pull Factors – things that pulled them to America Pull Factors – things that pulled them to America. For example, many Europeans came seeking a life in a free, democratic country. The U.S. had a lot of farmland, mining, and factory jobs. For example, the Irish and Chinese came to work on the railroads.
11 The Journey to AmericaMost European and Asian Immigrants came across on Steamships. Most trips took about 2 weeks. Wealthier passengers could afford to travel 1st or 2nd class on the upper decks of the ships. However, most passengers had to travel in steerage, the open area below. There were often over 2,000 people on ships. People had to sleep together, crowded into large rooms. Seasickness, spoiled food, and filthy toilets made a horrible stench. Sometimes there was only 1 toilet for 1,000 people!!
14 Arrival in AmericaMost European Immigrants arrived in America on the East Coast and passed through the Ellis island immigration processing station in New York City. Ellis Island processed over 16 million immigrants.Most Asian Immigrants arrived in America on the West Coast and were processed at Angel Island, right of the coast of San Francisco. About 50,000 Chinese immigrants passed through Angel Island.
16 The most dreaded of all exams was the Eye Exam The most dreaded of all exams was the Eye Exam. Inspectors used a metal hook to pull up immigrants eye lids to check for the eye disease called Trachoma, which could lead to blindness.
17 InspectionsAll Immigrants had to pass through medical and legal inspections. People who didn’t pass were deported.Medical Inspections: Immigrants were checked for medical problems like lameness, heart condition, mental problems or eye conditions. If any problems were found, immigrants would be marked for closer inspection and possible deportation.
18 Legal InspectionsImmigrants who passed the medical test were sent to the legal interview. They were asked a series of about 30 questions about their background.About 20% of immigrants failed either the medical exam or legal interview. Some were sent to the hospital, others were deported.“Why should I fear hell, I’ve been through Ellis Island.” – quote from an immigrant
21 Ethnic NeighborhoodsOnce they arrived in America most immigrants settled in large cities in North East like New York or Boston because of the available factory jobs. Most stayed in ethnic neighborhoods – where they lived around people from the same country. They kept ethnic traditions, foods, and their native language.
24 Living ConditionsMost Immigrants settled in poor areas where it was cheapest. They lived in Tenement Housing – cheap, dirty, small apartments shared by many people. These slum apartments were unsanitary, overcrowded, dirty and filled with diseases. For example, one immigrant stated:“I lived in a 3 bedroom apartment with 14 people. At night the floor of the kitchen and dinning room were turned into beds.”