ADVANCED PLACEMENT AMERICAN HISTORY
Immigration and Urbanisation
the 1840s and 1850s many immigrants had
*Unlike most German immigrants and some Irish (or ‘old immigrants’), many of the ‘new immigrants’ were poor and unskilled. Many were also Catholic or Jewish (at a time when most Americans were Protestants). This added to fears that American culture would change or be destroyed, which led to greater discrimination.
immigrants came because falling farm
immigrants came to
other cases, entire villages would pack
up and move to
immigrants arrived they had to be
inspected to make sure they were healthy and that they had
money, a skill, or
Island was relatively welcoming and
about 98% of immigrants were allowed into the
1890, 40% of the people in
*As more and more immigrants entered the country, an anti-immigrant movement known as nativism (which had existed since at least the 1840s) tried to limit immigration and the rights of immigrants. Some of the earliest laws against teaching religion in public schools were passed by Protestants to try to shut down Catholic schools.
against the ‘Yellow Peril’ of low-paid
Chinese workers in California led to Congress passing the
Chinese Exclusion Act
in 1882, which outlawed immigration by Chinese workers (or
even the return of
those who went overseas on a visit) and limited the rights
of Chinese in
America. The Supreme Court later ruled that
Chinese-Americans born in
*Eventually, as more and more immigrant workers joined labour unions, the unions demanded better treatment for immigrants, but assimilation was a slow process.
some immigrants moved west or went
to small towns, most settled in big cities, and
*In 1860, 16% of Americans lived in towns or cities of 8,000 people or more. By 1900, over 30% lived in towns or cities, including 15 million Americans in cities of 50,000 people or more. The growth of cities is known as urbanization.
*New inventions helped cities grow. Steel frame construction and Otis’s safety elevator allowed the construction of skyscrapers ten storeys high or higher, and better central heating systems made them more comfortable.
transit also became widespread in the
late 1800s. Horse-drawn streetcars had existed for
some time, and in
*Streetcars, cable cars, and later subways allowed people to live farther from where they worked, eventually creating suburbs for those who could afford mass transit every day—the poor still stayed in inner cities and walked to work.
of the working class in the inner city
ended up living in tenements, cheap apartments that were
overcrowded, dark, and poorly-maintained.
*Overcrowding in cities led to the spread of disease, crime, fighting between gangs based on ethnic groups or workplace affiliation, and disasters due to the fact that a tenement that caught on fire could kill hundreds of people. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 killed between 200 and 300 people and left over 100,000 homeless.
*In the late 1800s more and more cities began creating professional police forces, fire-fighting companies, public utilities (the most important were those that provided clean water), and even public parks so people in cities could have a brief escape to a real outdoor setting. Nonetheless, poverty, pollution, and crime remained serious problems into the 20th century.
groups tried to help the working
Young Men’s Christian
Association was founded in
groups also provided education based on
Bible study, but extending to many other areas, including,
emphasised health and fitness as well.
Basketball was invented by James Naismith while
studying at the
Salvation Army was formed in
*In 1880, the Salvation Army came to the United States, and in the early 20th Century gained respect for helping people left homeless by the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 (the deadliest natural disaster in US history, with between 6,000 and 12,000 killed) and the Great San Francisco Fire of 1906.
there were many unskilled workers,
the need for educated workers led to the growth of public
they had existed throughout the
country, especially in
*Some schools focused on preparing students for college, while others prepared them for agricultural or craft work.
1881, Booker T. Washington founded the
Tuskegee Institute in
both the working classes and the middle
classes, education could even be a form of entertainment. In 1874,
Methodist minister John Heyl Vincent
and businessman Lewis Miller founded a teaching camp for
Sunday school teachers
at a campsite on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in
soon became popular for entire families
to come to educational camps like this, and Chatauqua
meetings were held across