New Imigrants in a Promised Land

Chapter 21, Section 1

Why Immigrants Came to the United States

Many immigrants came in the U.S. between 1865 and 1915, because of push and pull factors. Some push factors were when Europeans came because their populations grew and land was scarce. In Russia they supported pogroms and persecution and violence. This pushed out Armenian Christians out of the Ottoman Empire. Some pull factors were industrial jobs for low wages and cheap land in the west. The promise of freedom was also a pull factor for many new immigrants.

Adapting to New Life in America

Once immigrants came into America the had to immediately find jobs because they had no money. These newcomers would stay in the city because this was the center of industrial work. Newcomers would also be very close with their neighbors because they could speak their native languages. Most immigrants were often torn between old and the new traditions of America. They used acculturation to adapt easier with traditions. They would also blend their native languages with English that helped them adapt.

Opposing Immigration

Many nativists opposed immigration to preserve the country for native-born, white Protestants. They argued that immigrants would not fit into American culture because of their different languages, religions, and traditions. The immigrants would also take jobs for low pay, so the companies hired immigrants because they didn't have to pay them as much. In 1887, nativist formed the American Protective Association that campaigned for to restrict immigration. A bill was passed that denied entry to people who couldn't read their own language. This bill was vetoed by President Grover Cleveland, who thought it was wrong to keep peasants out just because they had never gone to school. Although, in 1917 the Congress overrode the presidents veto and it became a law.