American Immigration 1890-1920

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Why did people immigrate to America
between 1890 and 1920?
Pull Factors of America
Rise in big business meant an abundance of jobs in America
Immigrants would work for lower wages so many companies encourages an large immigrant
work force
Higher wages
Low taxes
America was seen as `The Promised Land' and `The Land of the Free'
It was a way to a new start in `The New World'
America also offered religious freedom, which many area, from which people were coming
from, didn't have
America was still growing and being uncovered; this meant a lot of new land
The American government was giving away free land in the west for people to settle there and
expand America, it was a matter of how many could stay there
Immigrating to America gave many a fresh start and a new life
America was often known as `The Land of Opportunity'
America offered opportunities not previously available to many who immigrated
A better life was seen through the move to America
Compared to many areas where people were coming from, America was a haven for them
Offering protection from their government, there was no persecution and freedom was a key
factor of Americas promise
Push Factors
British (Old Immigration)
o The population rose from 13.9 million in 1831 to 32.5 million in 1901
o Fertility rates increased in the late 1800s and mortality rates shifted continuously
o But there was no catastrophic epidemic or famine in England or Scotland in the 19th
century ­ it was the first century in which a major epidemic did not occur throughout
the whole country, with deaths per 1000 of population per year in England and Wales
dropping from 21.9 from 1848­54 to 17 in 1901
o This lead to a vastly increasing population which caused many issues such as
overcrowding and unemployment
o 1876 -- 4.8%
1877 -- 6.6%
1878 -- 7.9%
1879 -- 9.1%
o Britain's unemployment rates rose, where as jobs were readily available in American
o Steamship fares to America were fairly cheap, so poorer, less skilled workers could
afford to travel there
Economic hardship

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The economy soon became unstable and inflation affected many, especially the poor
o Poverty grew, making it difficult for many to afford even basic necessities
o America was seen as a solution for many as a new start and a way to improve their
economic state
o Agriculture was seen as a great money-making opportunity that interested people of
all classes
o Capitalism also attracted many wealthy Brits
o People say the vast field in The New World would yield much produce, and that
immigrating…read more

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Between February and October 1917, the power struggle between the communist
government and those faithful to Tsar Nicolaus grew, leading to a civil war
o This civil war mean that a wave of Russians left to go to America to avoid another, as
the horrors of world war I were still fresh in people's minds
Political or religious persecution
o Wave of pogroms against the Jewish community in the southern parts of Russia
caused the death of many Russian Jews and the flight of many…read more

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In the 1850s, the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic American Party (also called the
Know-Nothings) tried to severely curb immigration, and even ran a candidate, former U.S.…read more

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Married Woman's Act 1922
The Married Woman's Act, aka the Cable Act, stated that any female US Citizen
who married an alien ineligible for citizenship would then lose her own citizenship
Immigration Act of 1924
Created a quota system that restricted entry to 2 percent of the total number of
people of each nationality in America as of the 1890 national census
This system that favoured immigrants from Western Europe and prohibited
immigrants from Asia
Many immigrants received discrimination, typecasting and hatred, especially from the…read more

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The prejudice and discrimination towards Italian Immigration to America
was based on the fear of unemployment, the Catholic religion, language
and customs
o Many Italians also came to America with the purpose of getting a job with
better wages and returning home with the new prosperity from America,
many Old Immigrants saw this as stealing Americas wealth and
exploitation, increasing the tension between ethnic groups
o Between 1891­1900 a total of 593,700 Russians immigrated to America
o 1901­1910 there were 1.…read more

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The Chinese Exclusion Act was only intended to cover a period of 10 years
later but additional laws were passed extending the period of exclusion.
The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act expired in 1892 but it was extended it for
10 years through the Geary Act on Immigration
o The extensions continued and were eventually made permanent when the
immigration law of 1924 excluded all classes of Chinese immigrants.…read more


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