what were the three most significant factors that shaped the immigrant experience of America in the late 1800s and early 1900s?

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what were the three most significant factors that shaped the immigrant experience of America in the late 1800s and early 1900s?

Category: Research Paper

Subcategory: History

Level: High School

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

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Immigrant Experience in America
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, millions of people migrated to the United States. Many of the migrants moved from western and eastern Europe, Germany and England. The rate of immigration rose during the period for several causes. One reason being the possibility of a better life, which was surrounded with economic achievements and disappearance from the oppressive nations. Another reason was due to the desire for adventure. And finally, majority moved in search of religious freedom specifically for the Jewish individuals who were then faced with religious prosecutions in Russia. Of the total number of the Jewish immigrants, 44 percent were women. The number was much bigger than any other nation involved in the movement. Similarly, over 135 people left Italy early between 1876 and 1900. The industrial revolution was a source of attraction to the immigrants since the chances of business growth were higher. Equally, the companies needed more workers to ensure their sustainability. America was the most preferred destination for most of the nations believed that it was a land of fortune (Kazin 37).
Reasons for the Immigration
The random migrations to America went on, and more than 2 million immigrants moved to the United States. They got inspiration from the natives, and they were tempted to believe that there was an ideal life in the land. Similarly, they abandoned their countries to escape poverty. At the same time, traveling was made possible by the presence of the ships
Before 1800, the majority of immigrants came from the northern continents, but towards the 19th century, the southern continents became increasingly visible migration statistics. Southern Italy was a rural community and was unique compared to the industrialized north. There was the scarcity of resources and jobs. Equally, the rates of birth also went up. Diseases and natural calamities also took a part in the peoples’ lives.
Employment was the most crucial factor that drew the majority of the immigrants into the United States. Prior to 1800, most immigrants were young men seeking employment. Most of them were less skilled and illiterate. Consequently, they moved to North America where they believed that they could get employment. Apart from jobs, the migrants were aiming at good wages since the payment in their respective countries were not comparable to in U.S. The wage levels in the United States were higher than even in Brazil and Argentina. The preference in the payment assisted in explaining the reason for the northward movement (Kazin 37).
Political Stability
Most of the migrants were motivated by the peaceful conditions in the United States. The migrants came from war-torn regions that severely affected their families. Some communities had already vanished into the American continent, therefore, inviting their members after they had established their dwellings.
Commercialization of agriculture
A country for instance Britain had landlords who raised the rents that farmers had to pay for using the land. The scenario was not readily welcome by the communities, therefore, making a majority move to the cities. However, several others who were also caught up in the situation decided to move to the United States where they could get paid employment.
Factors that Shaped up the Immigrants experience
Besides having a great impact on the demographic aspect of America, the movement also developed many lives of the immigrants. Their well-being in the new land contributed remarkably to the peoples’ social, political and economic factors. The elements that were related to the three were the pull factors that attracted the nations to the United States.
1) Social factors
The equality, tolerance and freedom provided by The American government brought peoples’ attention to America. The first group of migrants moved from Europe in search of religious freedom. They left their previous countries where they were religiously oppressed and given limits to their freedom of worship. However, in the United States, the immigrants met several religious groups that had already been established. The citizen from the nations with the diverse political affiliations, therefore, got their ways into what they thought could well suit them. Alternatively, apart from the freedom of worship, the people also acquired freedom to vote their chosen leaders. With the right leadership, the immigrants were prone to succeeding in their undertakings. Also, the people came to enjoy a freedom of speech that they initially never experienced in their countries. The other element was the freedom for education where their kids were given opportunities to study in the American schools. Many visitors never had such opportunities in their former homes (Moya 11).
Undoubtedly, the peaceful coexistence in the United States was another important factor that the migrants enjoyed in the new land. Before they came to the U.S., several communities were regularly found in the war with their neighbors. However, the migration ensured that such communities became independent and far away from one another (Moya 11).
2) Economic Factors
During the immigration period, the industrial revolution had already started in America. Business was mainly in the cities. The rise in the number of factories increased the need for labor. The individual from the village communities were convinced to move into the urban zones. Likewise, the immigrants from Europe were also drawn to the United States. The outcome was that the U.S transformed the visitors from farmers to industrialists thereby improving their living standards. The development of United States cities brought many features of urban life that had never been seen before by the migrants in their respective countries. One of such features was the story buildings that were central housing to the immigrants who lived in the slums and the ghettos (Lemon 750).
Life during the Industrial period
The boom in industrial framework had several effects on the lives of the both the Immigrants and the Americans. The jobs in the industries attracted people from farming to cities in vast numbers. In 1870, only 40percent of the total population were left in the rural setup. Similarly, business expansion opened up several opportunities to the visitors for economic gain. The generated business activities made several people manage enterprises successful with enough capital and make profits from investments while expanding the existing businesses. Many immigrants were able to get huge fortunes from their companies. Therefore, the number of rich people went up (Jones 99).
3) Political Factors
Machines represented the local politics during the era of migration. The system and the party were the only factors considered to hold power rather than individuals. In nearly every place in the U.S., the machines controlled loyalty of the voters. The machines were also responsible for distribution of economic and political responsibilities such as jobs, offices, and city contracts. Equally, machines were preceded by political professionals who had dominance over the city governance. The bosses also controlled the jobs of a majority of the city laborers and influenced the activities of hospitals, schools, and other city services. Machine politics thrived since it gave no opportunity for corruption. Also, the panic of 1892 gave Populist Party more life. After about a period of three years, unemployment reduced, workers no longer strike and support for the party rose (Panayi 103).
Political reforms
A strong urge for change came to the U.S. in the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. A majority of the immigrants called for changes in the in nations’ political economic and social systems. They were still believed in the idea of reducing poverty while improving their living standards. They worked tirelessly and enjoyed corruption free leadership. First reforms included moves to organize the farmers and the laborers. In 1887, skilled workers came up with the American Federation, which handled bargaining for better wages for the immigrants (Jones 99).
The Populist Party was then founded by a member of the Farmer’s Alliance. Similarly, the immigrants were also allowed to air their voices on matters concerning their activities. The Populist Party gave support to policies that would reduce inflation thereby making debts payable and reducing crop prices (Panayi 103).
Conclusively, the American experience for the immigrants was a enhanced by the condition of the country that ensured that it had fewer chances in failures. Firstly, the country had high economic viability due to industrialization. Secondly, America was the best destination because of its ability to handle social issues. Thirdly, the immigrants had the freedom in making decisions on what could affect them politically. America showed a sigh of success to each immigrant’s life.
Works Cited
Kazin, Michael. The populist persuasion: An American history. Cornell University Press, 1998.
Panayi, Panikos. An immigration history of Britain: multicultural racism since 1800. Routledge, 2014.
Lemon, James. “Liberal dreams and nature’s limits: great cities of North America since 1600.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 86.4 (1996): 745-766.
Jones, Maldwyn Allen. American immigration. University of Chicago Press, 1992.
Moya, José C. “A Continent of Immigrants: postcolonial shifts in the Western Hemisphere.” Hispanic American Historical Review 86.1 (2006): 1-28.

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