Immigrants played a big part in the industrialization and Gilded age of America. Immigrants had a vision of “pull” factors of why they wanted to come to America, and some of these reasons were valid while others were not. First of all, some “push” factors from their homelands included how many immigrants sought to escape conditions like famine, land shortages, or religious or political persecution, while others just wanted to temporarily earn money and then return to their homelands. Europeans mostly left their homelands to escape religious persecution, like an example of the Jews who were having organized attacks on them. One of the big pull factors that people believed was the promise of a better life. Many immigrants also came because of the scarce land in Europe due to the massive increase of population, or because they thought America had plentiful jobs opportunities, or because men and women wanted independent lives. The Chinese and Japanese mostly came because the seeked fortunes sparked by the California Gold Rush, but realized that that was long over. Due to this, they turned to helping make the railroads, farming, mining, or domestic service. The Mexicans who immigrated to America came because jobs were scarce in their homelands, and they thought the industrial boom promised work for everyone. They also wanted to flee political turmoil and work on the farmland created by the 1902 National Reclamation Act. Immigrants faced many hardships when coming to America, like a difficult journey, admission to the United States through Ellis and Angel Islands, finding housing, transportation, and clean water, and especially actually getting a job. They also had problems with immigrant restrictions like nativism, the Chinese Exclusion Act, and the Gentlemen’s Agreement. Other problems included sanitation, crime from small law enforcement, and mass fires.
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