What is the Statue of Liberty? What famous poem is written at the base of the statue? Has there been much immigration into the United States? What is an "Old Immigrant"? What is a "New Immigrant"

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Lesson 66
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What is the Statue of Liberty? What famous poem is written at the base of the statue? Has there been much immigration into the United States? What is an “Old Immigrant”? What is a “New Immigrant”? Why did the Old and New Immigrants come to America? How did the Immigrants come to America? Where did most immigrants stop when they arrived in America? What happened once in Ellis Island? What was the Ellis Island experience like for newcomers?


The Statue of Liberty has been in New York’s harbor since 1886. It was a gift from France to the United States. It represents the liberty that is enjoyed by free nations around the world. It arrived from France in 214 pieces. It was put together on Bedloe’s Island. Later the island was renamed Liberty Island. A poem by Emma Lazarus was carved at that statue’s base. In the past 200 years, more people have come to this country than any other. More than 35 million entered the United States between 1840-1920.Before 1885, the immigrants came mainly from northern and western Europe. These people are known as Old Immigrants. Most of these immigrants came from England, Ireland and Germany. Most settled in Boston, New York and in other eastern cities. Most Old Immigrants worked in farming. Africans, as we have learned, were forced into slavery in the South. During the 1880s, the number of immigrants greatly increased. Many came from the countries of southern and eastern Europe. They were from Greece, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Poland and Russia. “New Immigrants” were those who came into the United States after 1885. Most New Immigrants worked in factories and mines. Old and New Immigrants came for many reasons. Immigrants came to escape poverty and hunger. Immigrants came because they were ruled by unjust governments. Immigrants came by steamship. Most were poor and they spent the ocean trip in steerage. Many immigrants got sick on the trip and died. Most immigrants stopped at Ellis Island in New York harbor. Once in Ellis Island, doctors examined the immigrants to make sure they were healthy. Anyone found sick would be returned home. Ellis Island was often a scary place. The newcomers were tired from their long trip. They did not know what would happen to them here, and many worried that they would be sent back on the next ship. Few spoke English. Some people called Ellis Island the “Island of Tears”. From 1892-1954 more than 6 million people passed through Ellis Island. They brought their hopes and dreams with them.

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  1. Where did the Immigrants typically move to once they arrived in America?

    1. The immigrants usually moved into parts of the cities where other people from their homeland lived.

    2. Neighborhoods like these were called ghettos.

    3. They had names like “Little Italy”, “Little Poland” & “Little China”.

    4. These neighborhoods held some of the spirit of the immigrants’ native lands such as customs, foods and languages.

  1. Why were many of the immigrants uncomfortable living in the cities/ghettos?

    1. Most of the immigrants were poor.

    2. Many did not speak English.

    3. Most immigrants came from farming villages.

    4. They were not used to living in crowded apartments.

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  1. If conditions were so bad, why did people continue to come to America?

    1. America was the land of opportunity.

    2. Most immigrants had lost the hope of bettering themselves in their homelands.

    3. Immigrants came to America to escape injustice, poverty, disease, and land shortage.

    4. Immigrants wanted to make homes and farms of their own, religious freedom as well as the opportunity to receive an education.

Watch this You Tube Clip (28 Min)

Immigration Through Ellis Island - Award Winning Documentary Video Film


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