New York City Immigrant Experience
During the year 1492, the history of American Jewish commenced which marked the eviction of Jews from Spain and thereby, landing in America. This marked the starting of Jewish communal society in North America.
The colonial Jews never crossed the mark of being 1/10th of a percent of American population, but they managed to establish the patterns of Jewish community life which persisted for many generations. This marked the beginning of immigrations which increased immensely during the late 19th century.
During the nineteenth century, the American Jews feared their existence in America and due to this, they decided to strengthen Judaism against the so-called Christian competitors. Now who does that? People coming from a different country try to occupy and strengthen their hold in a new country by making some religious innovations and reforms which were actually borrowed from the neighbors. Well, this is something really gutsy and need a lot of mind to do.
The first reform congregation in America was- "Reformed Society of Israelites for Promoting True Principles of Judaism According to Its Purity and Spirit."
At the same time, the communal leaders which was led by Traditionalist Jewish leader, Isaac Leeser from Philadelphia, adapted and emulated protestant caring and education techniques which included hospitals, Sunday schools, charitable societies, religious press and many more. He also produced a Bible in Anglo-Jewish translation with an attempt to unite the various voices of American Jewish society. Isaac supported his community to respond to the events of anti-Jewish discrimination all over the globe. Now this is what we call- getting a hold of a place with some reforms and forcing people to know that they belong to the same world, country and place.
German Immigrants taking a ship to USA during the late 19th century.
The picture above shows hundreds of German boarding ship to reach America for a living. Between the eras of 1850 to 1930, around five million Germans moved to the USA. After the 1880 bigger steam powered ships replaced the older ships which caused the rates to decrease and increased the mobility of immigrants immensely. Also, during the same time, the farming enhancements in Russian Empire and Southern Europe created huge number of surplus labors. This wave of immigration was a flood of migrants which was nearly 25 million. Greeks, Poles, Italian, Hungarians, etc. established the larger part of migration. Amid this were around 2.5-4 million Jews.
Now this was the huge number if immigration to a new nation which led to an increase of population immensely.
This picture shows people migrating to a New York City during the late 19th century which resulted in a huge migration from all over the world.
We can see the immigrants carrying all their stuff and bags with the mindset of settling down in the NYC. With such an opportunity, these migrants shifted from places to the New York City along with their family and friends and took it to be their new home. But, were they welcomed at all? Did this led to a good reform? Well, things changed drastically with people coming to this new city.
Homes and communities of the working class immigrants of Lower East Side Tenement in the New York City During 19th Century
This picture tells us about the condition of the homes and communities of the working class immigrants who moved in to New York City during the late 19th century.
Now, debates are going about the immigrants’ health and other basic needs. An on-going fight is carried out to improve the condition of migrants who migrated to New York City during the late 19th century. I too appreciate the tasks and pain that the people during that time took to secure and improve the life of immigrants now.
Immigrants taken to Castle Garden on barges
During the time between 1855-1890, immigrants who arrived in the New York harbor in the ships were ferried to Castle Garden on barges. Once they reached the place, they were examined by the doctors, were given access to the currency exchange office, job board and then, they were free to meet and reunite with their families.
The Castle Garden brought some kind of peace and order to the system of immigration which actually skyrocketed during the years that followed the Civil War.
Before this, there was a sense of confusion, insecurity and fear amid all the immigrants who migrated from their country to the USA.
Now was ought to happen as it was a new place and no one can accept people from other countries with open arms.
Anti- Immigration movement started during the late 19th century.
During the end of the 19th century, when people migrated to the New York City, many American Catholics objected their existence in the USA and wanted them to go back to their country.
The prejudice which many immigrants faced at the time of 19th century in regard to customs, religion and social status were bad and fatal. This often led to many ugly fights over what was taught in the schools, queries related to the loyalty of all the Catholic politicians and the job ads which stated “No Irish Need Apply”.
All these things affected the immigrants and obviously it must have had hurt them mentally, physically and emotionally.
As a matter of fact, even today people will not accept migrants coming to their country as they feel they would look their country, space and everything which they assume belongs to them.
The immigration during the late 19th century in New York City led to many communal issues and also deteriorated the standards of living of people staying in the NYC and the people migrating to the city. It led to many fights which took an ugly turn later.
Nevertheless, numerous immigration reforms were introduced to control the situation which slowly decreased the inflow of people from other countries. However, the Jewish and other immigrants fought day and night to get the so-called rights for a better living.