Immigrants and Urbanization
Section 1-New Immigrants
1870-1920 approximately 20 million Europeans arrivedShift- now from southern and eastern Europe rather than northern EuropePush- rising population- scarcity of land- pogroms- political unrest- unemploymentPull- plenty of jobs, join family members
Chinese and Japanese
Much smaller numbers than EuropeansGold rush brought ChineseRailroadsAfter railroads completed- farmers, mining domestic service- Severely limited by the Chinese Exclusion Act in 18821882 Japanese allowed their people to move to Hawaii to work on plantations. When US annexed Hawaii, the emigration continued to the west coast.
West Indies and Mexico
1880-1920 over a quarter of a million immigrated from the West Indies. Scarce jobs- US had an industrial boom, therefore more jobs than people.Mexicans- came for work and to flee political turmoil.1902 National Reclamation Act- irrigate arid lands and turn them to farmland- drew many Mexicans to work.7% of Mexico’s population came here over the next 20 years.
Life in the New land
A difficult JourneySteamship- Atlantic one week- Pacific three weeksSteerage- disease- deathEllis Island- inspected- about 2% were denied entrance- Usually because of disease.Had to be healthy, able to work and have $25.00, not be a felon.17 million passed through Ellis Island
Angel Island- west coast’s equivalent to Ellis Island- Located in San Francisco Bay.Much harsher treatment than Europeans: detailed questioningIf admitted: find place to live, job, unfamiliar language and culture.Developed ethnic neighborhoods, social clubs, aid societies- built churches and synagogues- even newspapers in their native language.
Hyphenated AmericansNativism- XenophobiaImmigration RestrictionsMelting pot vs. salad bowlNativism-believed that Anglo-Saxons were superior. Did not object immigration from “the right” countries . Prescott F Hall, founder in 1894 of Immigration Restriction League-very WASP- Anti Catholic, Anti Jewish
Desirable to the Nativists were British, German and ScandinavianAmerican Protective Association 1887- very anti Catholic- many institutions refused to admit Jews.Influenced by these movements Congress passed laws requiring literacy tests.If you could not read 40 words in English or your native language, you were denied entry.President Cleveland vetoed the bill. A similar bill would pass over Wilson’s veto in 1917.
Nativist allied with labor movement- fear of lost jobs or lower wagesWorkingmen’s Party- Denis Kearney- headed the anti Chinese movement in California.1882- Chinese Exclusion Act- banned entry of almost all Chinese- 1892- extended for another ten years- not repealed until 1943. (China was our ally during WWII)San Francisco- put Japanese kids in separate schools. T. Roosevelt worked out deal with the Japanese- known as the Gentleman’s Agreement of 1907- limit unskilled Japanese from coming in return for desegregating schools.
Section 2- The Challenges of Urbanization
Immigrants Settle in the CitiesCheapest and most convenient place to live.1910- As many Irish in NYC as in DublinBy 1910- immigrants made up half the population of 18 major US citiesThe Americanization Movement- designed to assimilate people into the American Culture
Schools- teach English, US history, government, cooking, etiquetteMany did not wish to abandon their old waysEthnic neighborhoods became the norm. Soon, overcrowded, slums developed.Migration from country to city:Technology forced some into unemployment- steel plow, reaper. So moved to the city to seek workSegregation and discrimination were the normRacial tension grew between blacks and whites over jobs.
Housing: two options- buy on outskirts of the city (transportation problem) rent boarding house room in central city. (overcrowding)Jacob Riis- photographer- tenements- 2-3 families occupying a single family dwelling.Un sanitaryNo garbage collection, poor sewage facilities, rats, windows nailed shut to keep out smell
Mass transit:Street cars- SF and BostonWater- safe drinking waterHomes seldom had indoor plumbingUsual method was a bucket of water from a central communal sourceEffort to control diseases like cholera and typhoid (waterborne diseases)Filtration in 1870s- chlorination in 1908
ManureTrash collectionChamber potsCrimePickpockets/thievesNYC first police department 1844Most cities had none
Fire: limited water supply contributed to this problemUse of candles and kerosene lamps and heatersClosely packed wooden buildingsGreat Chicago Fire of 1871
Social Gospel movement- preached salvation through service to the poor.Established Settlement Houses: community centers in the slums to assist people especially immigrants.Run by middle-class college educated womenClasses in English, health and general aid.Founded in 1886 by Charles Stover and StantonCoitin NYCJane Addams- founded Hull HouseBy 1910 there were about 400 settlement houses in the US.
Section 3- Politics in theGilded Age
The Emergence of Political MachinesOrganized group that controlled the activities of a political party in a city, offered services to voters and businesses in exchange for political or financial support.Role of the Political Boss- not necessarily the Mayor. Controlled access to municipal jobs and business licenses. Influenced courts and other city agencies. Roscoe Conkling of NYC build parks, schools orphanages, and hospitals
Not only $ that motivated city bosses. Solving urban problems reinforced voters’ loyalty and extended their influence.
Immigrants and the Machine
Many precinct captains and bosses were first or second generation immigrants.Few had much formal education.Could talk to immigrants in their own languageHelped with citizenship, jobs, housing etc.In return immigrants provided votes.
Big JimPendergast- city boss Kansas City- by 1900 controlled entire state’s politicsHarry TrumanMunicipal Graft and ScandalTo win elections some used fake names of voters- multiple ballots- the dead votingGraft- illegal use of political office for personal gain
Politicians granted favors to businesses in return for cash also bribes to look the other way for illegal activities.****Until 1890- police were hired and fired by political bosses.Tweed Ring ScandalWm. Tweed- Boss Tweed head of Tammany Hall- powerful Democratic machine who were constantly defrauding the city.
NY County courthouse- billed taxpayers 13 million- actual cost was 3 millionThomas Nast- political cartoonist- helped break the Tweed ring. Tweed indicted on 120 counts of extortion and fraud and was sentenced to 12 years in jail. Sentence was reduced to one year- immediately arrested on release. He escaped to Spain. Rearrested after being recognized in a Nast cartoon.Political corruption had become a national issue.
Civil Service replaces Patronage
Patronage: giving government jobs to people who helped a candidate get elected.Evolved from Spoils System of Andrew JacksonAs a result, many were not qualified for the jobs they held…. Even at the highest level.Patronage vs merit systemRutherford B. Hayes- couldn’t convince congress for the need of the merit system.
So he appointed independents to his cabinet.He set up a commission to investigate customs houses.As a result, Hayes fired two top officials of NYC’s customs house. These jobs were controlled by the Republican Party.This enraged Roscoe Conkling (senator and city boss) His followers were known as the Stalwarts.
When Hayes decided not to run again in 1880, free for all at Republican convention between Stalwarts and the reformers. No resolution so:Convention settled on independent James A Garfield from Ohio (tied to Reformers) and as his VP Chester A. Arthur ( a Conkling supporter)Garfield gave reformers most of the patronage jobs,,, thus angering theStarwarts.
July 2, 1881- Train Station in DC Garfield was shot twice by CharlesGuiteau, whom Garfield had turned down for a job.“I did it and I will go to jail for it. I am a Stalwart and Arthur is now president.”Once Arthur became president he became a reformer. His first message to congress was to pass a Civil Service Law.Pendleton Civil Service Act of 1883Bipartisan civil service commission make appointment to federal jobs via a merit system based on performance and examination.
By 1901- 40% of all federal jobs had been classified as Civil Service jobs.Because politicians could no longer demand cash to keep jobs, politicians turned to other means to raise money. They turned to wealthy business ownersBusiness Buys InfluenceRepublicans wanted high tariff- Dems wanted no tariff because it caused prices to rise.
1884- Grover Cleveland (Democrat) elected president. First time in 28 years.Cleveland tried to lower tariff rates, but congress refused to support him.1888- ran again against Benjamin Harrison, grandson of Wm. Henry Harrison. He was financed by big business who wanted higher tariffs.Cleveland won the popular vote, but Harrison won the electoral college.He signed the McKinley Tariff Act which raised tariffs to their highest level.
In 1892 Cleveland was elected again- only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.He supported a bill (Wilson-Gorman Tariff) to lower tariffs, but refused to sign it because it had a provision for an income tax. It became law without the president’s signature.1897- McKinley became president and promptly raised tariffs again.Attempts to reduce the tariff failed, butreform was far from dead.