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Lecture 7

HIST206 Lecture 7: ImmigrationPremium

5 pages18 viewsSpring 2017

Department
History
Course Code
HIST206
Professor
Kreitzer
Lecture
7

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Immigration
Thursday, March 2, 2017
3:22 PM
Push & Pull Factors
Life in the United States
Restrictions on Immigration
19th Century
1870-1910: over 20 million people came to U.S.
o 1850s: majority of people coming from Northern Europe (England, Ireland, and Germany)
Had many cultural and religious ties to people in U.S
o 1900: demographics changing --> people coming from Eastern and Southern Europe (Italy,
Russia, Austria- Hungary, etc.)
Impacts how people are viewed when they enter the United States
Push Factors: reasons why people left their homelands (Emigration = out migration)
Agricultural changes in Europe
o Enclosure (fencing in private property {made it hard for people to graze cattle}) in Western
Europe: 1500s-1900s
Landowners raising livestock and removing tenant farmers; people who have skills as
farmers but cannot farm anymore because they’ve been evicted from large
landowners properties --> looking for land of their own (U.S. lucrative destination to
move to)
o End of Serfdom in Russia
Serf (an unfree peasant) - system of hereditary bondage where people were tied to a
specific plot of land, and had to follow rules of that landowner; state of servitude;
serfs couldn’t easily move (they couldn’t leave property that they were born into) NOT
MOBILE
Serfs moving for the first time (to places where they can own property and be
outside control of landowners)
Population Growth in Europe (1750s-1850s)
o Lower rates of infant mortality (more people living to adulthood --> means they are taking
up resources; having their own families; etc.)
People competing for jobs, food, housing --> better to go to U.S. as opposed to not
having enough to eat and not having enough space in Western Europe (not enough
resources)
Eldest sons inherit property; younger sons need to find a way to support themselves
(they could do so by participating in the Gold Rush - an adventure)
Irish Potato Famine, 1840s
o Small subsistent farmers depended on potato as main source of food
o Potato crops failing due to blight --> lost main source of food; people starving in Ireland -->
hungry and couldn't pay landlords and rent
o Come to U.S. in large numbers (during first half of immigration)
Religious Discrimination (2nd Half of Immigration)
o Tsar Alexander II assassinated, 1881
Blamed on Russian Jews
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Pogrom- persecution of Jews
Whole Jewish communities trying to uproot and leave Russia --> migrating as an
entire family ( so that they aren't persecuted because of their faith)
Pull Factors: Conditions that enticed people to the U.S. (immigration= in migration)
Availability of Jobs
o Period of 2nd Industrial Revolution --> business is booming
Factories, work to build railroad, mining work, as well as, a variety of other industries
looking for laborers (most were unskilled positions you just needed to work hard)
Wages --> a lot higher than what people can get in Europe
Availability of Land
o Homestead Act of 1862 provided people with opportunity to gain property in the U.S.
Chain Migration
o Independent men come to the U.S. first between ages of 13-35 years old
Looking for a way to make fortune or start family of your own so they came to U.S. to
get a job --> then buy a house, rent an apartment (become established in the U.S) -->
then bring over more people from your family still living in your homeland
Sent money to people in family to afford passage to U.S.
o Labor Brokers
Normally employees of a business already established within the U.S. --> they would
go to port cities in Europe, and try to get people from there to come to U.S. and work
for their company
They would sponsor the passage of immigrants to the U.S. (front the money for an
immigrant to travel to U.S, and in return the immigrant would pay off debt to labor
broker by working for a set amount of time)
Italian Immigrants in Jersey --> on farms
Trips to U.S.
People depending on trains to get them to port cities
Steam ship to reach U.S.
o 1870s steam ship took about 1 week
Conditions aboard ship
o Packing ships as full as possible
o Offering little amenities
People had to bring own bedding, own food, own water
o Lower Class people
On the bottom of the ship --> separate from 1st and 2nd class passengers
o Sanitation - disease spreads because so many people in close quarters ( could be deadly
passage for some immigrants)
Ellis Island, 1892
Immigrants coming from Europe passed through Ellis Island
Government should start to screen who enters the United States
o People met with immigration official
Physical Exam
Focused on exterior of body
Weed out people who carry disease or wouldn’t be able to work (ex: physical
handicap, mental health issue)
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