Development of Neighborhoods in Chicago

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Chicago in the 1920s was a turning point for the development of ethnic neighborhoods. After the opening of the first rail connection from New York to Chicago in the 1840s, immigration sky rocketed from that point on. Majority of the immigrants to Chicago were Europeans. The Irish, Italians, eastern European Jews, Germans, and Mexicans were among the most common ethnicities to reside in Chicago. These groups made up the greater part of Chicago. The sudden increase in immigration to Chicago in the 1920s soon led to an even further distinguished separation of ethnicities in neighborhoods. The overall development of these neighborhoods deeply impacted how Chicago is sectioned off nowadays. Without these ethnicities immigrating to Chicago almost 100 years ago, Chicago neighborhoods would not be as culturally defined and shaped as they are today.

Immigration to America from Europe was at an all time high in the mid-1800s. After the potato famine in Ireland in the 1840s, a large group of Irish immigrated to the United States. Since then, increasing numbers of Irish people have been moving to the United States, especially in Chicago. The Irish had come to realize that the United States really is the land of opportunity. With jobs being available to the immigrants, many more shipped in to start new lives for their families. However, for quite a while they did not live in the nicest of areas in Chicago. Many of the Irish resided in low-class areas such as overcrowded parts around the Loop, and out in the West Side. Not only did the West Side shelter the Irish, but many Germans and Jews lived in that area.

Ethnicities wanted to be with their own race. This began the movement of the development of ethnic neighborhoods. Although many et...

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... many immigrants faced discrimination, thus leaving them no choice but to live in the slums of some areas and try fight their way up to success.

Many of these ethnic groups still reside where their relatives first lived when they arrived many years ago, whereas a majority of the ethnic groups have dispersed all over the Chicago land area, creating many culturally mixed neighborhoods. Ultimately, all of these ethnic groups found their rightful area in which they belong in Chicago. To this day, the areas in Chicago that the different ethnic immigrants moved to back in the 1920s are very much so the same. These immigrants have a deep impact on the development of neighborhoods in today’s society. Without the immigrants’ hard work and their ambition to establish a life for their families and their future, Chicago would not be as developed and defined as it is now.

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