Urban Population Boom 1860-1900

Topics: Immigration, Immigration to the United States, City Pages: 2 (529 words) Published: April 16, 2014
The urban population boom from 1860-1900, it marked a dramatic shift in the United States from its traditional rural, to the new city lifestyle. The accepted fourteen million immigrants flooded in, ranging in all variations of ethnic backgrounds. From the English to the Russians, and all those in between, the many immigrants sought to escape problems ranging from poverty, warfare, political and religious persecution and natural disasters that plagued their homeland. With the arrival of the newcomers they now begin a new journey adjusting to American culture and contributing to its diversity. Upon reaching America, they often sought concentrated ethnic enclaves within cities, communities solely populated by an overwhelming majority of a specific ethnic group. Examples that have survived throughout the 19th and 20th centuries are: Little Italy’s and China Town commonly known today. The enclaves eased the harsh transition in the country by proving the essentials and extra only to those that spoke English. Yet, that where in lies the problem. Overly crowded cities and different cultures colliding constantly, it led to high rates of crime and disease in the tenement districts. The enclaves nowadays can be known as “gangs” but ironically it was originally meant as a way to protect oneself and to help others through a form of commonality, not the persecution of others. The growing disdain from the birthright against the naturalized formed the Nativist Impulse of the late 19th century. The negative public perception led to government action. New restrictions and legislations passed by the Congress such as the Chinese Exclusion Act (a law that barred Chinese immigration to the United States). The concerns of crime rates and growing health concerns, income, professional police departments, need of better water quality, waste removal and street cleaning were all addressed. The expansion of a public school system, education, provided a means of Americanizing the immigrant...
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