Immigration History



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1830-1890

Reasons

Cheap land, jobs were abundant, and labor was scarce. The Irish Potato Famine; crop failures in Germany; the onset of industrialization; and failed European revolutions begin a period of mass immigration. The California Gold Rush spurs immigration from China. The U.S. government recruited Chinese immigrants to work on the transcontinental railroad.




Who

From 1830-1880 immigrants were primarily white Europeans who mostly spoke English: German, English, Irish (potato

famine and British rule) with few from Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands

In 1848, with the discovery of Gold, there was a spur of Chinese and Latin American immigrants to the west coast


Destinations

Irish – NE cities; Germans – mid-West; Asians and Latin Americans – West Coast


Treatment

In the first half of the century, immigrants were welcomed as workers who built railroads, worked in factories, and farmed Western lands. However, there was also a growth in Nativism. The Know-Nothing Party emerged in the 1840s as a reaction to potential loss of jobs, subversion of the Anglo culture, and fear of Catholicism.



Laws/Politics

1850s 

Know Nothing party unsuccessfully seeks to increase restrictions on naturalization. 


1882 

Chinese Exclusion Act restricts Chinese immigration. 










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