Immigration Through Time
American History Since 1865
Immigration Through Time
Many of us, to include myself, are under the impression that immigration is something new and that only people from south of the border are the immigrants in this country that we all love. We need to keep in mind that around the year 1880 we had a wave of “New Immigrants” that came from places such as Italian, Poland, Russia and even Hungary. Lets not forget about the ones from Austria-Hungary, Syria, Turkey and even Greece. This influx of immigrants from all parts of Europe helped change the way things were. When we think about the big cities like, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago to name a few, we think about big buildings and traffic. This was not always the case but the uproar of immigrants made this possible. Immigrants came to the United States for all sorts of reasons and even though they found a lot of work here they came because they were either fleeing religious persecution, skirting the law or avoiding military service (Handlin, 1990). According to one historian, many came because they had heard rumors about the streets being “paved in gold” and were under the impression that American gave them a better opportunity for a better life (Bodnar, 1985). America did give these immigrants a chance for a better future that they did not have in their respective countries and in return, America began to be reshaped into what we know now, the big skyscrapers and roads everywhere allowing us to travel longer distances.
From 1865 to about 1907 there was a real need for immigrants that planters, land speculators, railroads, industrialist, and the state government strove to attract to our land with very little to no success. Plantation owners were there ones with a large interest to bring in foreigners for they were displeased with the quantity and quality of the Negro labor following the Civil War. It was after everything had cleared that the Negroes who had stayed no longer were held to the old ways and the ways they were disciplined. Their rate of work slowed down and their unreliability rose which led planters to look north, to Europe and even China for dependable replacements. State meetings were held by farmers in the South around 1873 which called for more immigrants to keep their farms producing. It was said that the need for immigrants came because the Negro could not furnish in quality nor in quantity the labor necessary to develop was planned for the south. Another reason for the call for immigrants was as a plan in hopes that it would stimulate the blacks in producing once again. Since Negroes were to few for the south’s needs, the planters wanted to supplement rather than force them out with immigrants. Cheap foreign labor seemed likely not only to replace emigrating negroes but also to break down Negro monopoly of unskilled labor and so keep wages low.
With time came change and with change came growth which brought with it a whole lot of immigrants from all over the world. Most notably they came from overseas in search for a better future for they had heard that American roads were paved in gold and they wanted a piece of it.
In 1890 there was a large amount of immigrants coming across the ocean for a chance at a better life, and for work. The United states became aware of all the immigrants so in order to try and accommodate and lure them in, because of the need of working hands to pave roads and lay tracks for the new railroad in the West, we stablished a receiving center in a small island just south of New York. Ellis Island became a very important symbol of hope and freedom for all the new arriving immigrants (Brinkley, 2010). The Statue of Liberty was a very important piece of history for four years earlier the French government had given it as a gift to commemorate the 100th anniversary of our alliance in the Revolutionary War. Inscribed in the statue were inspirational words by