Immigration into the United States

1735 Words4 Pages
Immigration into the United States has been a motivating factor in a large population growth emerging from the slums of urban areas such as New York and Chicago, which has created a huge cultural absorption that has impacted the history of the United States. Throughout Poverty, Ethnicity, and the American City, 1840-1925, David Ward’s attempts to explore the negative and what some would call incorrect views and beliefs that many Americans have regarding the slums, the ghettos and the impoverished immigrant lifestyles. The American interpretation of these poverty stricken areas throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century in contrast to today and the way Americans view ghettos and the inner city. He finishes stating that the slums became temporary residences for migrants, and were no longer synonymous with simply impoverished immigrants and even “native” citizens.

According to Ward, the earliest use of the term slum expressed the anxieties about negative consequences of industrialization such as environmental pollution and housing congestion. These weren’t necessarily a result of urban employment but rather the scale at which industrialization changed these developments and the size of urban communities (1). In other words, immigration wasn’t the lone factor in creating the scare of slum lifestyles, but rather the rate at which industrialization accelerated immigration and the increasingly poverty-stricken citizens of the inner city.

As cited from Thomas Kessner, Ward continues stating that in attempts to classify the poor without admitting to the endemic nature of poverty the poor are separated into two groups: the worthy and the unworthy. The worthy are in poverty because of family illness or some other misfortune,...

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... topic will be drawn in an immersed in his findings? Again, unlikely, but rarely are any scholarly works such as this so fortunate. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with Ward’s book, if there were one area in which he could improve upon, it would be his excitement factor.

The information is there, the credibility is there and Ward uses excellent diction to keep the readers attention throughout his book, but never once over the course of 217 pages does any piece of information truly jump out at you. People looking to become well informed on impoverished immigrant lifestyles from the nineteenth to twentieth centuties will be hard pressed to find a book more informational and accessible as Ward’s, but those unfamiliar with the topic who are looking for new and interesting information may be left sorely unimpressed with the lack of thought provoking content.
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