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New Immigrants “Early 1900’s”.

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Presentation on theme: "New Immigrants “Early 1900’s”."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Immigrants “Early 1900’s”

2 Why Come To America? Immigrants Reasons: 1. Lured by promise of better life 2. Escape difficult conditions at home a. Famine b. Land Shortages 3. Escape religious/political persecution 4. Jobs supposedly plentiful in America 5. Come to earn money then go back (Bird of Passage)

3 From Where Did Come? - Europe:
Northwest: English, Irish, German, Scandinavian Southeast: Italian, Russian, and Polish - Asia: Chinese and Japanese - Mexico and Caribbean: Mexican, Jamaican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican

4 How was the Journey? Traveled by steamship to America - trip across Atlantic took 1 week - trip across Pacific took 3 weeks Traveled in “steerage” (cheapest accommodations in a ship’s cargo hold)

5 As for conditions below decks, an agent for the United States Immigration Commission described them as follows: “During the twelve days in the steerage I lived in…surroundings that offended every sense. Only a fresh breeze from the sea overcame the sickening odors. Everything was dirty, sticky, and disagreeable to the touch. In such conditions, disease and even death were not uncommon.”

6 Where did enter the U.S.? Ellis Island: Atlantic side immigration station in New York Harbor - decided whether to admit or reject immigrants - 17 million immigrants passed through - Had to pass a physical health exam - Had to pass a govt. inspector’s test a. able to work? b. have some money? c. never been convicted of a felony?


8 Where did enter the U.S.? Angel Island: Pacific side immigration station in the San Francisco Bay - decided whether to admit or reject immigrants - 50,000 Chinese enter U.S. ( ) - Had to pass a physical health exam - Had to pass a govt. inspector’s test (much more harsh and longer decision time)

9 physical health exam govt. inspector’s test

10 So you are IN! Now What? Immigrants Faced Challenges:
1. find a place to live 2. find a job 3. understand the language 4. understand the culture How to Cope? 1. create ethnic communities


12 - Multi-family dwelling in urban areas
Where to live? Tenement buildings - Multi-family dwelling in urban areas - Families shared living space - Lighting & fresh air were scarce

13 - Uncomfortable, Crowed, and Dirty
What conditions like? - Uncomfortable, Crowed, and Dirty - In New York, 1,231 people lived in only 120 rooms in one part of the city - In Chicago in one year, over 60% of newborns never reached their first birthdays - Many had no home and slept in “5 cents a spot rooms” where people paid for a small space to spend the night

14 An immigrant himself, Jacob Riis was well known for his photographs documenting the lives of immigrants & the urban poor in his book How the Other Half Lives

15 How did Americans react?
Americans saw country as a “Melting Pot” Problem: Many immigrants do not give up “old” culture

16 Outcome: immigrants numbers increased = anti-immigrant feelings emerge
Nativism: favoritism toward native-born Americans 1. anti-immigration groups begin to form - Immigration Restriction League - American Protective Association 2. demand for immigration restrictions


18 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act: law passed by Congress which banned Chinese immigrants for a period of 10 years (few exceptions) 1897 Congress pass law requiring literacy test for immigrants (President Cleveland veto's) 1906 San Fransico Board of Ed. Segregate Japanese school children Outcome: Gentleman’s Agreement: Japan will limit immigration if segregation repealed

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