Lecture 12: The "New Immigration"

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13 Jan 2011
Lecture 12: The "New Immigration"
-immigrants to jobs
-in Canada's industrializing cities
-on the resource frontier
-a US label: "the new immigration"
-international labour networks and settlement patterns
-in addition to the large ppl immigrating to homesteads, even more ppl immigrated to work in
Canadian cities
-bldg. operating mills/factories, bldg infrastructure like roads, bridges, streetcar lines, operating
-numerous unskilled men got work
-immigrant women were domestic servants
-as Cnd. women had other options
-frontier industries opened up like mining, forestry
-period of very extensive railway construction
-not just the CPR in the 1880s
-2 new ones in the 20th c.
-needed much labour
-some were Brit immigrants, who lacked skills, out of the crapy Brit eco.
-few Asians cause of restrictions
-many "foreigners"
-ppl who came from Euro, spoke lang. other then Eng/Fr.
-mostly men, many "foreigners," ppl who came for industrial work, called "new immigration"
-from the US term with similar meanings for immigration boom
-some settled down, built ethnic communities like Little Italy, Greektown
-what's "new" about is that it's industrial, and spoke diff. lang.
-US adopted restrictions like literacy tests to prove they had schooling, quotas on
size of immigrant groups from any one country, mostly from the 1880s-
-in Canadian terminology, means from 1900s-to the Great Depression,
though interrupted by WWI
-since never actually applied the restrictions
-the men who came, were part of international labour networks, began in peasant communities in
central and Eastern Euro
-also extended to S. America, esp. to Buenos Airos (like Chicago in that sense)
-to Australia as well
-Canada just one part of this vast network, but the pattern is familiar
-to get the work done needed in this booming eco., as the Cnd. born men
would be in farms while the women would be in clerical work
(had lang. skills and schooling), esp. in the financial sector, while
immigrant women would be domestic servants or in unskilled
-in this period, the Cnd-US border didn't matter to immigrants, they just wanted work
-Canadian patterns
-Canadian gov't policies assisted the "new immigrants" surreptitiously
-balancing competing interests
-didn't out right encourage it, were worried about backlash, like from Eng-
speaking or French-speaking
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-trade unions organized, prioritized putting constraints on industrial immigrants
-gained poli. influence at this time
-too much competition, too few jobs, even though they wouldn't have
wanted the jobs anyway
-nativists, worried about Canada's racial purity
-corps. desperately needed workers, esp. unskilled ones
-said only way to remain competitive
-public policy: agriculturists and domestics
-so as to keep the public, trade unions, nativists happy
-to grow the farming sector
-and cause lack of domestic workers
-ppl just said they wanted to farm, and the gov't admitted them in, knowing they
probably wouldn't
-private recruitment: industrial workers
-as they could encourage immigrants without criticism
-when not enough ppl still, the govt set up its own hidden companies
-also cause Euro nations didnt want all of their ppl to leave, so didnt want a
foreign govt coming in and recruiting
-railway corps. most important, esp. in the 1920s
-North Atlantic Trading Company
-The Railway Agreement, 1925-1930
-gave the big railway corps. free hand to get immigrants who
were supposedly bound for agri. with Cnd. gov’t bonus (in some
-185 000 arrivals in the late 1920s assisted by railway recruiters
-Empire Settlement Agreement, 1922
-to encourage Brit. settlement, to pacify nativists
-arrangement with the Brit govt and the Cnd. gov’t
-so that Brit. families who wanted to farm were subsidized in their migration
-reduced price from $130 to $30, for ocean travel ticket
-ppl needed to harvest crops in the fall
-10 000 ppl came in 1928
-partly successful in the 1920s
-but the numbers from elsewhere were still very large, and ppl were worried
-occupational niches, ethnic groups specialized
-“eth-class niching
-like Polish Jews were mainly in the clothing/garment industry, tailoring, hat-
-but in Euro oft. not allowed to farm, own land
-Italians were often construction workers
-oft. didnt have any experience, but from poor rural areas in Italy, but
chose not to farm, and thru chain migration they got jobs in the
same industry
-while in Australia, it was the Irish who did it, while the Italians were in
the fruit industry
-Macedonians, Bulgarians were in meatpacking, in slaughterhouses, tanneries
-again chain jobs
-Polish in the metal trades
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