I. The Urban Frontier
By 1890, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia all had a population greater than 1 million. Louis Sullivan contributed to the development of the skyscraper. City limits were extended outward by electric trolleys. People were attracted to the cities by amenities such as electricity, indoor plumbing, and telephones. Trash became a large problem in cities due to throwaway bottles, boxes, bags, and cans.
II. The New Immigration
The New Immigrants of the 1880s came from southern and eastern Europe. They came from countries with little history of democratic government, where people had grown accustomed to harsh living conditions. Some Americans feared that the New Immigrants would not assimilate to life in their new land. They began asking if the nation had become a melting pot or a dumping ground.
III. Southern Europe Uprooted
Immigrants left their native countries because Europe had no room for them. The population of Europe nearly doubled in the century after 1800 due to abundant supplies of fish and grain from America and the widespread cultivation of Europe. "America fever" caught on in Europe as the United States was portrayed as a land of great opportunities. Persecutions of minorities in Europe sent many fleeing immigrants to the United States. Many immigrants never intended to stay in America forever; a large number returned home with money. Those immigrants who stayed in the United States struggled to preserve their traditional culture.
IV. Reactions to the New Immigration
The federal government did virtually nothing to ease the assimilation of immigrants into American society. Trading jobs and services for votes, a powerful boss might claim the loyalty of thousands of followers. In return for their support at the polls, the boss provided jobs on the city's payroll, found housing for new arrivals, and helped get schools, parks, and hospitals built in immigrant neighborhoods. The nation's social conscience gradually awakened to the troubles of cities. Walter Rauschenbusch and Washington Gladden were Protestant clergymen who sought to apply the lessons of Christianity to the slums and factories. Jane Addams established Hull House, the most prominent American settlement house. Addams condemned war as well as poverty. Hull House offered instruction in English, counseling to help immigrants deal with American big-city life, childcare services for working mothers, and cultural activities for neighborhood residents. Lillian Wald established Henry Street Settlement in New York in 1893. The settlement houses became centers of women's activism and of social reform. Florence Kelley was a lifelong battler for the welfare of women, children, blacks, and consumers. The pioneering work of Addams, Wald, and Kelley helped to create the trail that many women later followed into careers in the new profession of social work. The urban frontier opened new possibilities for women. The vast majority of working women were single due to the fact that society considered employment for wives and mothers taboo.
V. Narrowing the Welcome Mat
Ant foreignism, or nativism, arose in the 1880s with intensity. Nativists worried that the original Anglo-Saxon population would soon be outnumbered and outvoted. Nativists considered eastern and southern European immigrants inferior to themselves. They blamed the immigrants for the dreadful conditions of urban government, and unionists attacked the immigrants for their willingness to work for small wages. Among the antiforeigner organizations formed was the American Protective Association (APA). Created in 1887, it urged to vote against Roman Catholic candidates for office. Organized labor was quick to show its negative attitude towards immigrants. Immigrants were frequently used as strike-breakers. In 1882, Congress passed the first restrictive law against immigrants. It forced paupers, criminals, and convicts back to their home countries. ...
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