Ch.7 – Immigrants & Urbanization (1870 – 1920) Urbanization Rapid Growth of Cities During the Industrial Age, manufacturers built many new factories in cities to be near workers. Created new jobs, drew more people (immigrants) to cities. Urban boom strongest in Northeastern U.S. The Pull of America People came to U.S. for many reasons; 1) political and religious freedom 2) unable to find work in their mother country 3) land was scarce & could no longer support the population 4) escape from famine & disease. Passage to the United States Most immigrants came by ship. Often cost a life savings. Bought cheapest tickets in steerage – area underneath ship near engine & rudder. Immigrants were packed tightly. Had little to eat & endured filthy conditions. Diseases were common. Ellis Island, New York Port of entry for most European immigrants after 1890. Immigrants tagged by native language. Inspected for disease, mental competency, criminal history (could be sent back if they failed tests). Name changes sometimes occurred for non-english speaking immigrants. Angel Island, California Port of entry for most Asian immigrants. Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. Processed mostly Chinese immigrants. Endured longer detentions in filthy buildings & more harsh questioning than European immigrants. The “New” Immigrants After 1890, most immigrants came from countries in southern & eastern Europe (Poland, Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Greece, ect.). Immigrants were Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox. Majority were unskilled & uneducated. Worked for low pay as factory laborers, miners, or construction workers. Immigrant children usually did not go to school, but worked to help support their family. Settled in ethnic neighborhoods in large cities of the Northeast & Midwest. Asian Immigrants (Chinese & Japanese) Immigrated primarily to West Coast (California to Washington). Chinese came to seek fortune in California gold rush. Later turned to railroad building, farming, mining, domestic service. Japanese moved to Hawaii to work on plantations. When U.S. annexed Hawaii in 1898, Japanese immigrated to U.S. mainland. Discrimination toward Immigrants Nativism – Belief that U.S. should be preserved for native-born Americans. Resented immigrants because they competed for jobs (accepted low wages & poor working conditions). Often felt “new immigrants” threatened America’s democratic institutions established by America’s founders (immigrants were Catholic, Jewish, etc. & came from poor, less advanced countries) Languages from southern & eastern Europe sounded strange. Protestants offended by Catholic festivals & Jewish beards & head coverings. Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) – Banned Chinese laborers from entering the U.S. Contributions to American Society Immigrants helped America to grow by staffing industries. Introduced new festivals, holidays, ethnic foods. Variety of churches & synagogues. Most became assimilated – blended into American society. Children were quick to adopt new clothing & habits. Urban Problems Inadequate housing, poor transportation, lack of clean water, poor sanitation, crime, fire. Most immigrants lived in Tenements – multi-story housing located in the center of cities. Often overcrowded & a breeding ground for crime & disease. Solutions included: full-time Police & Fire Departments Sanitation Departments (trash collection, sewer lines) Mass Transit – public transportation (subways, trolleys) City Parks for recreation (ex: Central Park in NYC – designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead) NY City Tenement Dwellings (Late 1800s) Urban Reform Concerned Americans, especially women, pushed to improve life in the cities. Jacob Riis – photographer & author of 1890 book, How the Other Half Lives. Brought attention & demand for reform in city slums. Social Gospel Movement – preached salvation to Christians who helped the poor. Settlement Houses – Operated by women. Jane Addams “mother” of settlement house movement – built Hull House in Chicago. Community centers built in middle of slums. Offered schooling, daycare, medical services to poor, especially immigrants.