The Hopes of Immigrants

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The Hopes of Immigrants

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The Hopes of Immigrants

Chapter 14, section 1


Main Idea:

*In the mid-1800’s, millions of Europeans came to the U.S. hoping to build a better life.

Why It Matters Now:

*These German, Irish, and Scandinavians had a strong influence on American culture.


Why People Migrated

*Emigrants – people who leave a country.

*Immigrants – people who settle in a new country.

*Immigrants flocked to the U.S. during

the mid-1800’s


*They came from Britain, Ireland,

Germany, Scandinavia

(Sweden, Denmark, & Norway),




*Most came from Europe.

*People came to America because of

push-pull factors: factors that push them out of their own country and factors that pull them into a new country.


*Push factors include


Population growth

(land became overcrowded)

2. Agricultural changes

(farm large areas, force tenants off)

3. Crop failures (led to hunger)

4. Industrial Revolution (jobs taken from artisans, many emigrated)

5. Religious and political turmoil

(escape religious persecution)


*Pull factors include



(practice own teachings, religion)

2. Economic

(sought land that could support families)

3. Abundant land

(U.S. millions of unoccupied land)


Germans Pursue Economic Opportunity

*Like the Scandinavians, many Germans moved to the Midwest. The climate allowed them to grow their traditional crop of oats.

*Germans also settled in Texas.

*Germans established towns of New Braunfels and Fredericksburg.


*Settled in cities and farms.

*Artisans opened businesses and some achieved great success.

*Germans were the largest immigrant group of the 1800’s and strongly influenced American culture.


The Irish Flee Hunger

*Most Irish immigrants were Catholic.

*Britain had ruled over Ireland for centuries and controlled the Catholic majority by denying them rights.

*Catholics could not vote, hold office, own land, or go to school.


*Many Irish chose to come to America.

*In 1845, a disease attacked Ireland’s main food source –the potato.

*This caused a famine, killing one million people and forcing many to emigrate.

*By 1854, 1.5-2 million Irish fled their homeland.


*In the U.S., the Irish became city-dwellers.

*The uneducated Irish arrived with few skills and had to take low-paying, back-breaking jobs.

*They competed with free blacks for the jobs that nobody else wanted.


U.S. Cities Face Overcrowding

*Immigrants flocked to American cities.

*Native-born Americans also flocked to the cities for a chance to make a better living.


Population Growth



Between 1800 and 1830, New York’s pop. jumped from 60,500 to 202,600!


St. Louis doubled it’s pop. every 9 years!

*Cincinnati doubled it’s pop. every 7 years!

**How were these cities able to support such a rapidly growing pop? It couldn’t!!!

**Rapid urban growth brought major problems!!



1. Cramped living spaces – lacked sunlight and fresh air.

2. Outdoor toilets overflowed-spreading disease.

3. Crime flourished.

*American cities were unprepared to tackle these problems.





Poor Sanitation



1. No public police force in New York City before 1845.

2. NYC only had one volunteer fire department until the 1860’s.

3. Only 138 miles of sewers for 500 miles of street….yuck!


Some Americans Oppose Immigration

*Some native-born Americans feared immigrants would not learn American ways.

*Some feared immigrants would outnumber natives.

*As a result, immigrants faced anger and prejudice – a negative opinion not based on facts.




– native-born Americans who wanted to eliminate foreign influence.

*In some cities,


formed secret societies


*Members promised not to vote for any


or immigrants running for office.

*When asked about their secret group,

members would

insist they know nothing about it.


*In the 1850’s, nativists started a political party - The Know-Nothing Party.

*The party wanted to ban Catholics and the foreign-born from holding office.

*Called for a cut in immigration and a 21 year wait to become an American citizen.


*Know-Nothing Party disappeared quickly as a national party.

*Northern and Southern branches could not agree on the issue of slavery.

*In spite of the such barriers as prejudice


the immigrants

had a strong impact on American culture.



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