Watson B-G Group 2

Watson B-G Group 2

edited by Jonathan Wong


A History of Immigration during 1820-1880



Overview of U.S. Immigration during 1820-1880
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Ellis Island

written by Phillip Araj


From 1820 to 1880 many immigrants came to America in search for a better life. There are lots of reasons why people came from all over the world. The industrial revolution had started and they needed workers. Slavery was ending. The western railroads were starting to be build,and the gold rush began in California. In 1840's Irish immigrants came, to escape from the famine in Ireland, there wasn't enough food for them to eat people were dieing. One of the biggest group that immigrated to America during this time was the Germans. Many Chinese people immigrated to San Francisco. They worked on railroads and others tried to dig to find gold.From 1820 to 1880 they had a total of 3.000.000 people that emigrated to America. (Ellis Island)


Causes of U.S. Migration during 1820-1880

written by Maureen Durnin and Jonathan Wong
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There were many reasons for people to travel to America during the years of 1820-1880. The Chinese were one of the main groups of people to immigrate to the U.S. (Thinkquest, sec 2) They came after the California gold rush began. Although some of them came to America as gold miners, the Chinese found other opportunities in this country. They worked as farmers, fishers, cooks, peddlers, and storekeepers. They also worked on railroads. There was a large amount a job opportunity during this time period because of the great economy. (History Place) The Chinese took on the jobs that were undesirable to others. (Needham) Between the years of 1820-1880, America became home to 3 million Chinese immigrants.

Another large group that immigrated to America during this time period was the Irish. (About Biodiversity, paragraph 3) The main reason for their immigration was the potatoes famine that began in Ireland in 1845. The potato famine was more of a problem than many would think, as everyone in Ireland was dependent on potatoes to keep them from starving. The potatoes famine caused many people to immigrate to the U.S., which was seen as the land of opportunities, especially since this was the time period of the Industrial Revolution. (Famine) Many of the Irish immigrants were tricked into moving to America. The famine gave landlords good reason to want to get rid of their tenants, who were paying in crops. The landlords would buy their tenants tickets to America and make a bunch of promises of guaranteed food, clothes, and money. Some landlords would tell their tenants that there was an agent waiting for them on the other side who would give them money. (kidport) There were no agents. During the years of 1820-1880, 2.5 million Irish people immigrated to America.

The Irish were one of the most immigrated people to the U.S. as well as the Germans. One of the main groups that immigrated where the Germans. The Germans immigrated over 3 million people and out of those people 250,000 Jewish Germans. (Immigration Statistics and Jewish Life) The German Jews also left due to the rising discrimination of their people.(Jewish Timeline)

Those people migrated because Europe had a bad economy, famine, homeless, scarce amounts of food, and there was still hierarchy in some areas around the world. In a hierarchy the poor stay poor and that is why they would want to immigrate to the U.S. because there was hope and opportunity especially since it was the time of the industrial revolution.(Ellis Island)During the industrial revolution there were a lot of factory jobs available. The industrial revolution made it easier for immigrants to get around because of new inventions like the steam boat and trains.

The California gold rush made more people want to come before the discovery of gold there were only about 30,000 people there who were mostly indigenous then after gold was discovered in 1848. A lot of immigrants started traveling by boat to the U.S. and by the time of 1850 there have been 100,000 immigrants in California.(Calliope) The west ward expansion involved the migration of pioneers. The reason why the moved westward because it was new territory and the pioneers wanted to own some of their own land, there was lots of wild game, and it wasn't overcrowded like it is in most cities in the east. One of the most important reasons was that the government was handing out free land 320 acres to anyone, but on the one condition that you had to work the land.(Westward Expansion) The Native Americans though had their land stolen from them in the 1830's there was the Indian wars that caused many deaths and ended with the Indians losing. The Indians got put in reservations and there was several acts to restrict the Indians on where they can be and etc... (Native Americans) Economic problems, new ways of travel and new opportunities are a few reasons what caused people to migrate.

Experiences and effects of U.S. Migration during 1820-1880

written by Hannah Herbert and Taylor Giuntinicvbvgf.jpg

When people migrated to the US, they would have to leave there homelands behind, but they came to a new life in the U.S.. Many groups migrated to the U.S. during the 1800's. Most groups came to the U.S. because of problems in the homelands(Ellis Island). People who came, came to the U.S. by boat. Since China is to the west of the U.S., most immigrants from China came to San Francisco by boat(Mining Frontiers of the West; 1848-1880). Once people were in the U.S., they wanted to find work. As more and more opportunities came up in the west, more and more people migrated west. In the west, the Continental railroad was being build which brought up many job opportunities (Ellis Island). There were already Native Americans living west. The people migrating wanted the gold and the land there, due to this, all of the Native American were slowly kicked off there home land(Mining Frontiers of the West; 1848-1880).

Most immigrants wanted to come to the U.S. because the economy was strong here. On the other hand, large amounts of immigrants were forced out during the Civil war and accused of stealing the jobs of American workers (Ellis Island).

Most immigrants wanted to come to the U.S. because the economy was strong here. On the other hand, large amounts of immigrants were forced out during the Civil war and accused of stealing the jobs of American workers (Ellis Island).

People often came to America, London, or other Industrialized areas in search of a new life outside of the poverty they endured in rural areas. The Industrial Revolution was what created new jobs for people in need of work, and steamboats and railroads brought them to these new opportunities. However, the journey to the cities was often just the beginning of a very miserable experience. People would be jam packed together and this would cause illnesses to be spread faster and infect more people when they would arrive onshore. This was a major health issue for all people, because new diseases were being rapidly spread throughout the country.

Since there was not enough housing for all the people, and the people could only afford very low rent, land lords realized that they could force ten families into a house made for only one family (www.shideshape.net) Sometimes people sleeping on windows would fall off and be killed. (info.industrial-revlutioniimmigration.html) This was also another health issue that would rapidly decrease property values and attract vermin.

The major problem was overpopulation. (New Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia, vol 9, I) Too many people in one place caused so many problems, more than just health issues but there was also an increase in the number of orphans. Air pollution made it hard to breath and because there were so many orphans, the factory owners got another idea which was child labor. Any time there was a problem, land and factory owners would always find a profitable way to fix it, except for air pollution. Eventually, all these problems found a permanent fix when the government passed new laws to fix them.

Immigration affected America in a major way, and that way was a new source of abused, cheap labor. Because of this, factories and industry rapidly grew. (Shideshape) With the growth of industry meant the growth of the economy, especially what little money immigrant had was soon taken from them by bill collectors. Unable to find any escape from the cycle which was industry life, immigration was seen by the wealthy as a secure, steady source of income.
This vicious cycle worked like this: An immigrant would come to the industrialized areas of America or Europe by means of steamboat or train. To get a ride, they would often have to either sneak on-board or sacrifice everything they had to possible buy a ticket. (New Book of Knowledge, page 67, paragraph 2) When they would arrive, they would then be forced rent out an inhumanly overpopulated apartment, then to pay the rent they would have to work in the factories. However, since they could still not afford the pay because of unjust laws and illegal activities on the collectors end, they would end up in dept and have to work more and more until they eventually ended up homeless, and still working.This was what the land owners wanted. Immigration was affecting our country and Europe by creating a strong dividing line between the upper and lower class. The concept of a middle class was now non-existent. Everyone was an extreme. Either you lived in America and owned land and became wealthy, or you did not own land and went into dept. This lead to protests, and eventually, after many legal battles, new laws were passed that gave rights to new citizens entering the country and punished all tax code violates, which there were many of. However, land values had still dropped significantly, and there is still question of whether or not such activities are occurring with workers who are not citizens. Immigration had a huge, viewable, impact on European and American life, especially in terms of worker unions and immigration laws.

Works Cited

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Reimers, David M. "Immigration." "New Book of Knowledge, the Vol 9, I". Grolier Incorperated. Danbury, Connecticut. 1987

"The California Gold Rush." Calliope. Copyright Calliope Film Resources, Inc. <http://www.calliope.org/gold/gold2.html>.

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