US immigration

Rate of immigration

relatively little immigration

1800 - 1830

From 1830 it resumes -> "most were attracted by cheap farm land"

Immigrants mostly from northern + western Europe

1800 - 1900

Britain, Ireland, Germany and Scandinavia

Foreign born population 1% in USA


Immigration 8,385/year


Immigration 23,322/year


Immigration 599,000

1831 - 1840

nearly quadrupled

207,000 Irish, starting to emigrate in large numbers following Britain's easing of travel restrictions, and about 152,000 Germans, 76,000 British, and 46,000 French

~900,000 French Canadians emigrated to the United States

1840 - 1930

mostly to the New England region

Considering the fact that the population of Quebec was only 892,061 in 1851, this was a massive exodus

Immigration nearly triples again

1841 - 1850

1,713,000 immigrants, including at least 781,000 Irish, 435,000 Germans, 267,000 British, and 77,000 French

Irish Catholics start comming to USA


Before 1845 most Irish immigrants were Protestants. After 1845, Irish Catholics began arriving in large numbers, largely driven by the Great Famine

"the United states opened its doors to 3 million people"

1845 - 1855


"Migrations was not the only mass movement int the mid-nineteenth century; even bigger was the surge of European immigrants across the Atlantic into the northeast and Midwest"-Dr

"proportionately the biggest influex in Us history"

majority from Ireland + Southwest Germany
"victimes of economic depression"
DR says Germans to rural areas
Irish overwhelmingly to "America's burgeoning cities" -> took on "essential but menial jobs"
-navvies building the railroads

Most came in through NYC, 3rd largest city in Western world after London + Paris

"often they were enticed by rags-to-riches stories"
DR gives example of newspaper by editor Moses Beach in his almanac entitled The Wealth and Biography of the Wealthy Citizens of the City of New York
he gave example of Mr John Jacob Astor (German)-> worth an estimated $25 mil.
made his money in fur trade, then invested it in Manhattan real estate
lots of other examples given of Britain + Germany

But DR says "for most Irish immigrants, however, the reality was very different from the myth"
=> those suspected of cholera/typhus/other diseases incarcerated in the hospital in Staten Island
those deemed healthy sent to Manhattan by "runners", "fleecing them handsomely in the process"-DR

"once ashore, many wandered around aimlessly - dodgingt he pigs and rabid dogs that roamed the streets - until they ended up, penniless, in the city almshouse"
"or in the Five Points area, the prime site for murder, robbery and prostitution in New York"
DR gives an example "fairly typical of this area":
lodging house at 35 Orange Street, described by one NY Times reporter as a 'damp and filthy cellar', half a dozen beds in 10 foot square, each bed with >1 person
'man, woman and child were huddled up in one undistinguishable mass'
DR says "yet even this was probably an improvement on th squalor these people had fled in Ireland"

5 million Germans to USA

1850 - 1930

90% of US population native born


Second wave of US immigration

1850 - 1930

nearly 25 million Europeans made the long trip. Italians, Greeks, Hungarians, Poles, and others speaking Slavic languages made up the bulk of this migration. 2.5 to 4 million Jews were among them.

Also 1.5 million Swedes + Norwegians
20% of the total population of the kingdom at that time

Dick + Nelly Holland + their 3 sons arrived in USA


DR says "many Irish immigrants, even in Fvie Points, managed to better off themselves"
e.g. from County Kerry in 1851
driven out by the "appaling" potato blight
Dick became a labourer
Nelly a washerwoman
boys earned money shining shoes/selling newspapers/ setting up pins in the local bowling allies "like most of their age"

Nelly Holland has $200 in Emigrants Saving Bank


Dick + eldest son had died pretty quickly tbf

equivalent of >$4,000 today

"not exactly rags to riches in the style of John Jacob Astor... but still real prosperity compared to her predicament a decade before"-DR
"Nelly Holland's story shows why, despite all their misery, immigrants believed in the American dream"

US Civil war

1861 - 1865

large no. of immigrants on both sides

European immigrants joined the Union Army in large numbers, including 177,000 born in Germany and 144,000 born in Ireland.[29] Many Germans could see the parallels between slavery and serfdom in the old fatherland

Draft riots in NY + "other Rish and German strongholds"


15 mil. immigrants this 1/4 century

1890 - 1914

Boston Economist Francis A. Walker warned that 50 years ealrier the would-be immigrant from Britain/Germany required "thrift and enterprise" to get across Atlantic, but now railways and steamships had created what he termed 'Pipe Line Immigration'
'there is no reason why every foul and stagnant pool of population in Europe... should not be decanted on our soil'Walker
Used what Reynolds called "Darwinian language" when referring to immigrants from SE + E Europe "beaten men from beaten races"-Walker
=> RE said the Darwinian stuff "became a motif of the immigration debate"
"it expressed the growing fear that world history would turn on the survival of the fittest race; America must therefore keep itself pure and strong

Ellis Island Immigration Station opens


trans-atlantic first/second class flyers allowed in automatically
-> Ellis island was for "steerage passnegers"

Paulina Caramando arrived there from Sicily with her parents
all stripped naked, washed + clothes cleaned
=> went to Boston where parents already established
"I always say thank God my father decided to come here" (like Spako)

Immigrants from southern + eastern europe

1900 - 1920

Germans kept coming
Italy, Austro-Hungarian empire, the Balkans and Russia

"the numbers were unprecedented, even by American standards"-DR

So called "New immigrants" from this time


"some f these immigrants became household names"
-bodybuilder Charles Atlas
-film star Rudolph Valentino
=> from Italy during these years
-Irving Berlin
-Sam Goldwyn
=> both Jews from Russian empire

Dillingham Comission


Says that the main source of immigraiton is now Southern Europeans and Russians

nearly 1.3 mil. people admitted to USA


80% from southern/eastern Europe

Theodor Spako comes to NY


from a small fishing village in Greece
came to NY aged 16 with his father

first view of USA was statue of liberty
"heart-warming words but the huddled masses' first real experience of America was much more chilling - the Ellis Island Immigration station"-DR

"Theodore Spako never forgot Ellis Island"-DR
interrogation, inpections, chalk marks on back at end
=> if you got a chalk mark, not allowed in bc o medical/psychological problems
-> Spako was allowed in but his father + brother weren't

"to this day, I... thank God, that I was admitted to the United States, that they didn't put the chalk mark on my back"-Spako


"religion sparked a full-scale riot in Philadelphia"

May 1844


where nativist protestnats mounted a campaign to "save the Bible in the Schools"
=> one of the rallies in Kensington broken up by "Irish agitators"
=> led into a "firefight, leaving several Protestants killed"

Next morning the Natve American newspaper says
'the bloody hand of the Pope has stretched forth to our destruction"
called on the readers" to arm. Our liberties are now to be fought for"
=> several hundred protestants march to Kensington
gun shots + arson
2 catholic churches + a convent set on fire + martial law for a week to cool things down

Also issues over:
-more relaxed catholic attitude to sabbath
-"temperance enthusiasts" not liking Irish saloons + German beer halls
"seein them as dens of vice and corruption"
=> beer halsl were community houses, especially on Sundays when whole families whiled away the time, but this in itself caused offence to strict Protestant Sabbatarians

Saloon/beer hall became hq of Democratic Party "to which immigrant Catholics largely gravitated"
"these people were seen as a credulous mass of foot soldiers, doing the sinister bidding of the Pope, his priestly officers and their corrupt political lieutenants"-DR

Most states have made primary education free


DR says "a daily flashpoint was the schools" between catholic immigrants + protestant WASPS

school day began with readings from King James Bible + protestant hymns + prayers
=> Catholics demanded rigth to use Douai Bible w. papal annotations
or to sned their children to church schools
"to militant Protestants, the drive for Catholic education showed that these immigrants were not ready to become true Americans"-DR

immigrants 1/2 the population of NY + Chicago


2/3 of St Louis
"soon they translated this into votes and influence"

"for many established Americans however, mass immigration was turning the (American) dream into a nightmare"-DR
=> previous settlers had been mainly Britsih protestants, threat posed to them by newcomers

"many middle-class Americans also regarded the newcomers as riff-raff, teetering on the edge of poverty, alcoholism and crime"

Revd Horace Bushell, leading Conneticut minister, "if you will glance over the catalogues of our colleges and universities, the advertisements of our merchangs and mechanics, you will almost never find and Rish name among them, which shows that they do not rise to any rank among us"
but if you look to almshouses + prisons "there you will find their names in thick order"

"the most sensitive issue was religion"-DR
most Irish + many Germans Irish Catholics
"their lifestly threatened the widespread sense of America as a protestant nation"

Protestant backlash becoems "serious politics"

1850 - 1860

"for years evangelicals had campaign aginst demon drink"
=> now went further, inspired by Neal Dow, mayor of Portland Maine who had pushed law banning sale of alcohol in Main legislature
nicknamed the 'Napoleon of temperance'

DR says this decades "saw the spectacular rise of an explicitly anti-immigrant political movement"

13 states had banned sale of alcohol


mostly in the northeast

so-called Main Laws
"not simply an anti-immigrant measure but Irish and German Catholics, whose economic and social lives were often built around the saloon and the beer hall, were leading opponents"
=> "many advocates of prohibition saw the liquor-trading immigrant as their prime target"

Maine Temperance Watchman:
complained tha the Irish 'come here with all their vicious habits and grovelling tastes uncontrolled, and they think they can make money at this thing"

Constitutional ban on the sale of alcohol


Anti-immigrant societies

Tammany Hall Society founded

May 1789

democratic corruption in NY

Order of the Star Spangled Banner founded


Started out as a secret society with masonic-stly lodges

was "a fringe movement for several years"-DR

Know Nothing Party mainly active

1854 - 1856

There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery, most often joining the Republican Party by the time of the 1860 presidential election

backlash against new immigrants gains strength


membership of nothings "surged" from 50k to >1mil.
=> elections that autumn, Know Nothing candidates to power in Massachussetts + state legislatures of most of New England

Also became the "main opposition to the Democratic Party" in the rest of the country, including South, displacing the Whigs

Know Nothings become the American Party


each member had to be "a native born citizen, a Protestant, born of Protestant parents, reared under Protestant influence, and not united in marriage with a Roman Catholic"

"Keep America Protestant - that was essentially the Know Nothings' motto"-DR
=> did not want an end to immigration, but to "control its political consequences":
-wanted to ^ period for immigrants to become citizens to 21 years
-bar Catholics from holding office

"The European who would drink fom the fountain of liberty should leave American politics to Americans"-Thomas Whitney, a NY leading nativist

First Ku Klux Klan

1865 - 1877

by six former officers of the Confederate army

"the amusement for members were the only objects of the Klan", according to Albert Stevens in 1907
Allen Trelease says there was little formal organisation

main goal became to target RECONSTRUCTION -> not immigration

Ku Klux Klan supressed


Asian Exclusion Act


outlawing the importation of Asian contract laborers, any Asian woman who would engage in prostitution, and all people considered to be convicts in their own countries

Chinese Exclusion Act


Chinese Immigration banned from this time
the "yellow peril"

Depression of teh 1890s

1890 - 1900

helped to revive "the nativist passions of the 1850s about immigrants as an alien threat to American values"
Italians stereotyped as criminals, Jews as crooks
"The flood gates are open... The sewer is choked, the scum of immigration is viscerating upon our shores" - one NY newspaper

New England elite families were top of people trying to "close the open door"
-> tried to traced roots back to pilgrim fathers

leaders of Immigration Restriction league included:
-Senator Henry Cabot Lodge
-A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard

Immigration restriction league founded


wanted to decrease immigration + not allow them full citizenship

IRL gets through congress a literacy test bill


future immigrants must read US constitution then write down twenty words from it, in any language
=> President Groover vetoed it

DR says same justification as Jim Crow

Japanese entry severely restricted to USA


"but comparable levels of animosity were often evidenced towards Europeans as well"-DR

Leo Frank convicted of murdering Mary Phagan, employee


lynched 2 years later -> nobody charged

His trial, and lynching two years later, attracted national attention and became the focus of social, regional, political, and racial concerns, particularly regarding antisemitism

Appeal failed to the supreme court in April 1915

The Birth of a Nation


Emphasised that South had been hard done by in reconstruction
-> endorsed by Woodrwo Wilson
led to the founding of the 2nd KKK

Second KKK founded


preached "One Hundred Percent Americanism" and demanded the purification of politics, calling for strict morality and better enforcement of prohibition. Its official rhetoric focused on the threat of the Catholic Church, using anti-Catholicism and nativism
=>according to Thomas R. Pegram

directed exclusively at white Protestants; it opposed Jews, blacks, Catholics, and newly arriving Southern European immigrants such as Italians

At its peak in the mid-1920s, the organization claimed to include about 15% of the nation's eligible population, approximately 4–5 million men
=> dropped to about 30k by 1930 bc of internal divisions + criminality

"two-thirds of the national Klan lecturers were Protestant ministers," says historian Brian R. Farmer

The Passing of the Great Race published


Madison Grant, a leader at one point
this book was a favourite of Adolf Hitler, DR says "not suprisingly"

celebrated what called 'the Nordics' as the global elite
'the Nordics are... a race of... above all rulers, organisers and aristocrats in sharp contrast to the essentially peasant character of the Alpines'
he advocated the sterilization of 'worthless race types'

DR points outt hat there were many Irish-Americans who wanted immigration restrictions as well as those of British descent (Lodge, Walker, Grant)
=> satirized by Finley PEter Dunne with his stereotypical Irish-American character Mr Dooley

Jacob Riis:
'the once unwelcome Irishman has been followed in his turn by the Italian, the Russian Jew, and the Chinaman, and has himself taken a hand at opposition... against these later hordes'
But Riis said they got what they wanted with corruption in politics -> taking control in places like Boston + New York

Literacy requirement act passed


the most sweeping immigration act the United States had passed until that time. It was the first bill aimed at restricting (as opposed to regulating) immigrants, and marked a turn toward nativism. The law imposed literacy tests on immigrants, created new categories of inadmissible persons, and barred immigration from the Asia-Pacific Zone

Red Scare

1917 - 1920

9k arrested + held without trial
but "it became evident that fears of revolution became unfounded"

KKK is a small organisation until here


according to Chester L. Quarles
=> not a huge nativist reaction


Irish potato famine

1845 - 1852

Lots of Irish to USA

Irish Catholics were primarily unskilled workers who built a majority of the canals and railroads, settling in urban areas

Failed revolutions of 1848


brings many intellectuals + activists as asylum seekers to USA

in People of France, the German states, the Austrian Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Italian states, Denmark, Wallachia, Poland, and others

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


extended U.S. citizenship to approximately 60,000 Mexican residents of the New Mexico Territory and 10,000 living in California. An additional approximate 2,500 foreign born California residents also become U.S. citizens.

1849 Gold Rush


attracted 100,000 would-be miners from the Eastern U.S., Latin America, China, Australia, and Europe. California became a state in 1850 with a population of about 90,000.

larger steam-powered oceangoing ships replaced sailing ships


resulted in lower fares and greater immigrant mobility.

also farming improvements in Southern Europe and the Russian Empire created surplus labor. Young people between the ages of 15 to 30 were predominant among newcomers.

for every 4 Italians into USA, 3 others returning home

1907 - 1911

DR says some "guest workers" -> Italians especially liked to come to USA for short amount of time to earn money

"but the majority of immigrants did settle, making city centres like Lower Manhattan even more cosmopolitan"

reporter Jacob Riis wrote that in alleys + courtyards could find:
"the other thing you shall vainly ask for in the chief city of America is a distinctively American community"-Riis
instead he said there was a "queer conglomerate mass of heterogeneous elements"

But DR says "the Union was only skin deep"
=> were America's new working class + some became "ardent socialists" e.g. Jewish Garment workers in NY
but "most had little sense of class consciousness"
bc they "lived in their own little ecthnic commuities" -> Italian-Speaking Catholics/Greed Orthodox rather than as a unified working class

after 5 years become naturalised citizens -> voters
-> much keener to keep their jobs + avoid a police record than "to agitate for a left-wing utopia"
"Mass immigration was a major reason for socialism's failure to take root in America ata time when it was flourishing in Europe"-DR