Immigrants of the Early 1900s: The Hard Life in America

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A Hard Knock Life

For immigrants, life was as bad in America as it was in their homeland. Immigrants faced equally rough conditions no matter where they were. Life was terribly unfair to them. When life got as bad as it did for immigrants, as anyone would, they wanted to distance themselves from the problems. America seemed like the most ideal place to go. Unfortunately, life was no better there than it had been. Even in a prosperous land, immigrants still faced racism and rough conditions. Their lives were full of obstacles.

Immigrants emigrated for a variety of reasons, some political, others to escape war, or (in the case of the Irish) famine, but they all emigrated for one common reason; their lives were terrible. People would not leave their family and entire lives behind unless things had gotten so bad that they absolutely had to in order to survive. “We must look at what immigration to America involves. To the new arrivals, the change is excruciating. Learning a new language and dealing with strange customs make the first years of life in the new land painful...The economic system of the United States is a mighty engine of persuasion. It motivates people to do what otherwise they never would...”. John Lacs references to this in his essay From Enemies to Neighbors, which explains the troubles with immigrantion. (Lacs) Immigrants faced horrifying conditions, some were near death from lack of food, others were being hunted, or some had just ran out of money; but, they all decided they needed to leave. In the early 1900s, the Irish were in the middle of a famine, Eastern Europeans were facing economic issues, and Jews from all over Europe were being persecuted. Greedy American business owners thought up a way to capitalize on their misfortune, fliers and pamphlets were shipped to troubled countries all over the world by the thousands, these advertised a glorious, prosperous life in America, immigrants were offered large amounts of cheap land. The...
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