U.S. Immigration during 1880-1930

-edited by Michael Choi

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Overview of U.S. Immigration to America

-written by Mathis Boureille
Immigration is the reason the U.S.A is how it is to this day, this wiki has examples as to why our country is so diverse. Immigration is when people move from their home country to another country, and they settle there. A refugee is when person moves to a different location because of a religious problem, an economic hardship, a problem of too much war, or some other serious issue, and they want to escape it. One pattern that people had when moving to the U.S. was that most of them came to the United States through Ellis Island, New York, which numbered about 12 million immigrants. During the period from1894 through 1954, New York’s size grew from 3.3 acres to 27.5 acres. The reason the Untied States was so popular as a destination was because it was a “melting pot” or a place to start over. These people wanted to find better jobs and have a chance to find a better life for their families.

People from all over the world immigrated to the United States because of various reasons mainly to find jobs or begin a new start for their families. Some of these immigrants were the Japanese, Italians, Germans, British, Canadians, Swedes, Norwegians, Hispanics, and Chinese. Others were religious people, such as Jews and Catholics. There were more then 220,000 Japanese people who came to the U.S from 1885 though 1894, and they mostly settled in Hawaii. Many were 0farmers. Italians, from 1880 through 1930, numbered about 4,600,000, and these immigrants spread all around the U.S. They preferred not to settle in just one place, but most of them started out by living in those states bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Germans arriving between 1880 through 1930 numbered about 2,800,000, and they settled mostly in New York City and in Pennsylvania. Many of them came as a result of what was happening politically external image wseiximggrphs1880-1930.jpg&usg=AFQjCNFN7bVVkG5cJ1nzZ_RmHMXVdwGUAwback in their homeland. During this same time period, around 2,300,000 British people came to America. About this same number of people immigrated to the U.S. from Canada during the same time period. Irish immigrants numbered 1,700,000 from 1880 through 1930. Also during these years, the U.S. welcomed 1,100,000 Swedes as immigrants. Russian immigrants, for the same time period, numbered about 3,300,000. Austro-Hungarian people also immigrated to the Melting Pot, numbering 4,000,000 between 1880-1930. Chinese immigrants numbered 62,000.

Everyone who came to the United States had a dream, even blacks who were slaves and became free after Lincoln's election. Some of their more favored destinations upon entering this country included Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami, New Orleans, and Savannah, Georgia. The British people mostly settled in the New England area and also in Virginia. The Swedes and the Dutch people mostly settled in a section of New York that used to be known as New Netherlands. The Spanish immigrants established themselves mostly in New Mexico. The French, in large numbers, continued to settle in New Orleans where a colony of Frenchmen had been established since 1718. Also throughout the course of history, many African slaves were forced to come to America. They numbered about 600,000 to 650,000. Eventually they were freed, but many continued to live in the southern states where they had lived as slaves. Others moved to places like New York, Ohio, and Chicago where they found jobs. But there were also immigrants in the U.S that migrated from the South that moved mostly to the North and West. Even though they were free it was hard for them to find jobs and live without white people trying to hurt them in some way.

Causes of Migration to America

-written by Danielle Gofman
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Immigrants moved from their original country in order to find new opportunities elsewhere. From 1892 to the late 1900s, over 12 million people came to the United States to begin their new lives. In the year 1892, the United States government opened the Main Stream Station for immigrants to arrive to Ellis Island to start a new life and journey. Many immigrants were arriving to the United States a lot of them faced discrimination and many couldn't find jobs to support their families.

By December 1900, the Main Stream Station in Ellis island was open to about 2,257 immigrants who were coming to America. Many immigrants were also coming through New Harbor, another processing station. In 1914, as the United States began to fight in World War I, immigration slowed down because enemies were trying to sneak into the country through Ellis Island. In the year 1920, Ellis Island was open to many immigrants who were coming from different countries to America. First and second immigrants who got arrived to New York Harbor did not go through inspection unless they were ill, had legal documents or had wrong health documents.

In Europe industrialization caused many immigrants to leave the country and to begin new lives and the industrial revolution flew through France, Germany and Belguim. 70% of immigrants were Europeans who landed on Ellis island to find the American Dream. Many arrived to Boston, Philadephia , Balitmore and New Orleans. Many immigrants from Eastern Europe faced a lot of discrimination because they were new to the country and did not speak the language and many could not get jobs because of their religion, their language and their work skills bcause when these immigrants were applying for jobs they people think that they don;t have the strength to do a regular job to put food on the table for their families.,

Experiences and Effects of Migration to and from America

-written by Eliza Oliva and Michael Choi

http:www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFz_UVjygG4 ...................................http:www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlHGDw14JZ8........................................

Two short videos on the troubles and worries of immigrants coming to Ellis Island.
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African American Migration

Between 1960-1950, the population of African Americans in the west rose from 196,000 to 1,787,000. These migrants moved to search for more land and more job opportunities. They travelled to Texas, Kansas, and Indian Territory using wagon trains, trains, or steamboats. They recieved agricultural jobs in the west that paid twice as much as the east. The Afican Americans became successful and the population soon exeeded the Native Americans.
After the Civil War, Kansas became a sanctuary for freed slaves. By 1890, about 30,000 migrants and freed slaves settled in Kansas. The African Americans began to thrive in their new environment. They not only got jobs in agriculture, but as doctors, ministers, and school teachers. And by the 1900s, farmers owned 1.5 million acres vallued at 11 million US dollars. New jobs began to open up like: entrepreneurs, railroad managers, and fedal office holders.
Booker T. Washington said in 1908 that many African Americans made progress and made America a better country. But, in 1907, Oklahoma became a Democratic state and the new government restricted the African Americans. They were not allowed to vote and segregation in schools and public places began to bloom. So, in 1910, Oliver Toussaint Jackson tried to help these African Americans get back to their agricultural lifestyle and forget about discrimination, but most of them started to move to cities.
By 1912, over 300 families moved to California. One of the four African American cities Allensworth prospered, but spoiled because the Sante Fe Railroad did not stop at Allensworth. This caused many business traffic to be diverted to the other white states. But, many other states were doing great. In Helena, Montana, African Americans established churches, fraternal organizations, social clubs, and fledging civil rights organizations. More jobs also opened up as hotel waiters, railroad porters, messangers, and cooks.
African American businesses like barber shops and resturants became successes. In 1900, the African American side of Denver had 3 newspapers, 9 churches, one hotel, many resturants and saloons, one funeral home, and one drugstore. They also had 2 doctors, 3 lawyers, and many musicians. Central California along Central Avenue was nicknamed the "Harlem of the West" because of the "distinctly African" neighborhoods and the violent African American district.
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Chinese Immigration

The Chinese immigrated to America in great numbers befor 1880 (because of the '48-'49 Gold Rush). But, in May 6, 1882, a Chinese Exclusion Act was implimented to slow or even stop the immigration of Chinese to America. But, the Chinese continued to come until April 29, 1902. In 1902, an act was passed to extend the exclusion act. This new act lasted for over 60 years making sure that the Chinese were not allowed to even immigrate to the insular (island) territories of America.

Italian Immigration

Italians also immigrated to the USA. During the 1890-1900, it was estimated that 655,888 italian immigrants arrived to the USA. About two-thirds of the group were men. They migrated from their country because of their poor living conditions and economic issues. The Italians normally lived in the "slums", poor, dirty and overcrowded areas. Tuberculosis was very common and at that time was at its worst peak. Most Italians, just like many other ethnic groups, came to the USA to pursue the American Dream. Their poor living conditions obligated them to move from their country to make money and support their families.

Jewish Immigration

Jewish immigration was mostly common in around the 1900's, but was in existence since the colonial period of the 17th century. Jews immigrated into the United States particularly into New York and New Jersey. Many Jewish refugees of the Holocaust and WWII migrated from Europe to the USA to get away from their homeland's oppression. By the year of 1900 the population of jews increased in New York and New Jersey and became the third-largest Jewish population in the world. A big contribution to the immigration in these cities was the Romanian Prosecution that was in act during that time. Jewish immigrants came to the USA mostly to seek refuge and live a better life then they were given in their homeland.

Mexican Immigrants

About 30,000 immigrants from Mexico arrived between 1900 and 1909, 185,000 arrived between 1910-1919, and about 50,000 between 1920 and 1929. Many were extremely discriminated against. Many were seen as inferior by the other already-present immigrants. They were only allowed to swim in the public pools once a week, and that was the day before the pool was to be weekly cleaned. They had to do all the manuel labor without many resources and even less care. Racial slurs were created like "Wetback" because of the rivers they had to cross in order to immigrate to the United States.

Immigration Acts

The Immigratin Act of March 3, 1903 prohibited the admittence of immigrants aof many different races (alongside the Chinese). The act prohibitted anarchists or anyone that would threaten the government. Aliens were to be deported after three years of initial entry, but can be deported earlier if they were charged of a crime two years within their initial entry. Also, the act started the contract labor laws which gave immigrants free passage to America in return for the immigrants labor.
The Immigration Act of February 20, 1907 required the aliens to state their intentions for arriving in America before they were allowed in. This new act prohibited feeble-minded people, people with physical and/or mental defects, people with disease, or women entering for immoral purposes. The old act of criminally charged deportation was extended to three years after initial entry. The President could also deny people entry, but this was mainly directed at the Japanese.
The Immigration Act of February 5, 1917 prohibited illiterate aliens and included mentally sick people in the previous list. This act also included all Asians to be excluded (working closely with the Chinese Exclusion Act of May 6, 1882),
The Naturalization Act of June 29, 1906 required all aliens to know English before they were naturalized.

Contract Labor Laws

Contract Labor Laws allowed immigrants to get free passage to America in exchange for work. The labor laws initially included artists and musicians, but the Immigration Act of February 20, 1907 exempted the artists from the laws. The extremely talented were allowed to play and gain citizenship without having to do actual work. Artists, musicians, and people that specialized in recognized professions were allowed to stay beyond the normal three years.


The Italian men did all the construction of all kinds. The Polish and eastern European men did all the dirty jobs afiliated with industry. The Jewish and Hatian women worked at all the garment factories that clothed all of America. Many immigrants wanted to start their own farm and start a new agricultural lifestyle, but any did not have the money and resourses to do so.
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Deportation and Border Control

The Act of March 4, 1929 stated that aliens were to be deported if convicted of carrying bombs and if they are convicted of any fellons. The Act of February 18, 1931 stated that immigrants were to be deported if they violated the US law in regards to selling, importing, exporting, and/or making drugs.
The Act of May 28, 1924 founded the US Border Patrol. The Border Patrol controlled the flow of incoming illegal immigrants. The Act of April 2, 1928 allowed the US Indians to cross the border, but not the adopted members of any tribe.

Important Dates

In 1892, Ellis Island was opened and became the gateway for many European immigrants. In 1849, the Immigration Restriction League was created to disrupt the flow of arriving immigrants. From 1905-1914, was the heaviest 10-year period of immigration with 10,116,000 legal immigrants entering America. From 1907-1908, the restriction of Japanese immigration was enforced. World War I from 1914-1918 disrupted many European immigrants from leaving and coming to America. In 1917 literacy tests were given to potential immigrants. 1924 was when Asian immigration officially ended. And 1930 marked the beginning of the Great Depression, a hard time not only for immigrants, but the existing citizens.

Works Cited

• Daniels, Roger. American Immigration : A Student Companion. Ed. Chafe H. William. New York, NY: Oxford UP, Incorporated, 2001.
• Ganzel, Bill. "Farming in the 1920s." Wessels: Living Farm History. 12 Nov. 2008 <http:www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/farminginthe1930s.html>.
• Government. "Historical Immigration and Naturalization Legislation." US Citizenship and Immigration Services. 07 Nov. 2008 <http:
• "A History of American Agriculture 1776-1990." About.com: inventors. USDA. 12 Nov. 2008 <http:inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarm2.htm>.
• "The Western Migration." In Motion: The African American Migration Experience. AAME. 08 Nov. 2008 <http:
• Wilson, Grace L., ed. "Story of Immigration in the U.S.: Ellis Island." The Brown Quarterly. Fall 2000. 6 Nov. 2008 <http:brownvboard.org/brwnqurt/04-la.htm>.
• Zainaldin, Jamil S., and John L. Inscoe. "Progressive Era." The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Georgia Humanitites Council and the University of Georgia Press. 08 Nov. 2008 <http: