Pull and Push Factors for American Immigrants


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America in the early 1900?s was a giant melting pot of cultures. More than 1 million people per year relocated to ?The Promised Land?, for a chance to start over, escape poverty, war and many other push factors. But soon upon arriving, they realized that America was not the same land they expected. They faced many hardships and living conditions were bad.
Often, immigrants left their native countries because of push factors such as war, famine, hard times & epidemics and the government (Docs.1 and 2). These immigrants listened and heard about stories of America. Propaganda led some people to believe that the streets were paved with gold and anyone who went to America can become rich. Millions of immigrants, mostly from European countries, packed their bags and traveled to this unknown place in search of jobs, a better education, and a new life. (Doc. 3)
With increased immigration, open hostility towards these foreigners was shown more often. (Doc.4) Approximately 70% of the workforce was occupied by immigrants around this decade. This led to protests and a temporary immigrant quota. Nativism is an example of one of the many hardships immigrants had to overcome.
Because America was a developing industrial nation around the early 1900s, people from everywhere flocked to cities. As these cities became urbanized, there wasn?t enough living area to accommodate the millions of people. Several families lived together in tiny tenements that were often dangerous and lacked sunlight and air (Doc 5). Living conditions were bad, diseases spread like wildfire and the crime rate was high.
Language was a major barrier for these foreigners. Many were not given equal opportunities because they were immigrants and had accents. Learning was expensive for these immigrants who received verly little pay. They worked with dangerous conditions and for long hours (Doc. 6) Children worked as well, from selling newspapers to working in factories.

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Immigrants faced many hardships. Some even left America and went back home. But over time, they have assimilated. They have adapted to the new and preserved the old. It is thanks to these men and women that have paved the way for future generations. Today, we have a new wave of immigrants, mostly from Asia and Latin America. Like the predecessors before them, they have sacrificed a lot to come to America.


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