The “New” Americans
Immigrants - people who enter another country in order to settle there
Changing Patterns of Immigration
o Before the Civil War most immigrants had come from countries in northern or western Europe
o They had customs and cultures similar to most native-born Americans.
o Most were farmers or skilled craftsmen
o These people were known as the “old” immigrants.
o In the 1840s and 1850s there was a large number of immigrants from Asia
o After the Civil War an increasing number of immigrants came from countries in southern and eastern Europe
o These people were known as the “new” immigrants.
o They were escaping povery, famine, war, and persecution.
o They had customs and cultures different from native-born Americans and the “old” immigrants.
o Most were poor and illiterate; they settled in cities and worked in factories.
Willing to take jobs at very low pay
Push Factors – conditions that drive people from their homes
Pull Factors – conditions that attract immigrants to a new area
o “New” immigrants slowly became assimilated (made part of the larger culture).
o Their children attended American schools where they learned English and began to talk and dress like other American children.
o Settlement houses were established to teach immigrants the ways of the new land.
o Immigrants took jobs that forced them to mix with other Americans.
Prejudice and Discrimination
o Some native-born Americans were prejudiced against the “new” immigrants.
o They did not like people who
-spoke different languages,
-had different customs,
-and practiced different religions.
o Many were afraid that the newcomers would take their jobs.
o In the late 1800s and early 1900s Congress passed laws to limit immigration.
o Immigration from Asia was essentially ended.
o Quota System - limits were placed on the number of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe
Nativists: “native-born” Americans who resented the new immigrants and worked to limit and/or end immigration