Migrants and Immigrants

By 1900, 40% of Americans
lived in cities
11 million immigrants between
The city served as a symbol of
However, cities were strained in
all areas
Cities served as a battleground
for benefits and control
Pull factors
Young women lead the exodus from the
◦ Mechanization and mail-order magazines
Germans (3 m.), English, Scottish, Welsh
(2 m.), Irish (1.5 m.)
Along with the Scandinavians these
were the Old Immigrants
Chinese population on the west coast
despite the Chinese Exclusion Act of
Primary settlement was the city
◦ Irish – Boston; later the Italians to
◦ 1890 NY – 4/5 foreign born or
children of foreign born
Germans to the Midwest
Large number of immigrants were
single young men
Ellis Island became the central
processing center for immigrants
from 1892-1954
The west coast had Angel Island
in San Fran. (1910-1940)
Ethnic enclaves
Chain migration – relocation near
friends or relatives from one’s
original town
◦ Pros and Cons of this settlement
Birds of passage; especially the
Chinese and Italians
◦ But this was mostly the New
Massive wealth established by
the growing industrialists and
upper middle class
This created informal residential
segregation by income and also
To justify wealth, many appealed to
Victorian morality
◦ Financial success was linked to superior
talent, intelligence, morality, and selfcontrol
◦ Thus a network of institutions, from
elegant department stores and hotels to
elite colleges and universities, reinforced
the privileged position of these groups
Assumptions of Victorian world
◦ 1. human nature is malleable; people can
improve themselves
◦ 2. the social value of work; self discipline
and self control also helped the progress
of the nation
◦ 3. good manners and the value of
literature and the fine arts
◦ Began with the struggle with slavery and
◦ Dinner-table manners were key a
families level of refinement
Cult of Domesticity
◦ The ideal place for a woman was in the
◦ But also to foster the artistic
environment that would nurture the
family’s cultural improvement
In 1900 only 4% of nation’s 18-21
yr. olds were in college/univ.
Wealthy capitalists begin leaving
150 new colleges/univ. between
Morrill Land Grant Act (1862)
Birth of the research university
Typified by Tammany Hall in NYC
It started with ward bosses who
served as welfare agents; in
return was millions in public
utility contracts
William Marcy Tweed was the
most well known in NY
Initially many thought the problem
with the urban poor was their lack of
self control and self discipline
This also led to an effort to
Americanize them
Charles Brace founded the NY
Children’s Aid Society in 1853
YMCA was brought to American in
◦ By 1900 more than fifteen hundred serving
over 250,000
Salvation Army
◦ Formed in 1865 London by William Booth
(Methodist); America in 1880
◦ Pseudo-military organization that grabbed
the attention of the poor first
NY Charity Organization Society
◦ Thought too much overlapping charity
undermined the poor’s desire to work
◦ Sent in “friendly visitors” to the tenements
to counsel families
◦ Tried to convert the poor middle-class
standards of morality and decorum
1872 – Anthony Comstock
forms the NY Society for the
Suppression of Vice
Launched by Washington Gladden
Religion should fight social injustice
wherever it exists, even mediate
between business and labor (in response
to violent strikes)
Best articulated by Walter
◦ True Christian society would unite all
churches, reorganize the industrial system,
and work for international peace
New approach: relief workers would
need to settle with the poor in their
Jane Addams was the leader
She opened Hull House in Chicago
They invited the impoverished to plays;
sponsored art projects; held classes in
English, civics, cooking; and
encouraged immigrants to preserve
their traditions
Created studies of conditioned and
lobbied officials
Many of the women went on to
become successful politicians and
those active in the Progressive
Unsuccessful nature
◦ Many immigrants felt the efforts didn’t
do enough for political power
With the new entrepreneurial wealth
and a growing working class, America
begins to questions and ponder leisure
Working class America seeks diversion
and relaxation; the wealthiest obviously
have the time and money
The more impersonal work became, the
more sought after and valued leisure
time became
As unions fought for the eight-hour
workday, the slogan became “Eight hours for
work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours
for what we will”
Street activity, gymnastics clubs, singing
societies, saloons (they reinforced group
identity and were the center of immigrant
Sports memorabilia begins to adorn the
Sporting clubs sprang up, especially bare
knuckled boxing
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