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Migration Movement Immigration  1890 to 1920

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 9 years, 10 months ago






AP Theme:  Demographic Changes:  Changes in birth, marriage and death rates; life expectancy and family patterns; population size and density.  The economic, social and political effects of immigration, internal migration, and migration networks.


America and the British Empire, 1650-1754

Migration to Appalachia - Proclamation Line established - A proclamation from the British government which forbade British colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains, and which required any settlers already living west of the mountains to move back east.

OLD IMMIGRATION 1800-1850  Immigration in Antebellum America

Although the Jacksonian time period is known as the “age of the common man” it did not embrace the immigrants.

During the 1840’s and 1850’s large numbers of Irish and Germans began arriving. The Irish settled into Eastern cities. The Germans moved to the Midwest.


Between 1831 and 1840:  207,000 Irish vs  152,000 Germans, Between 1841 and 1850:  781,000 Irish vs  435,000 Germans




Nativism - distinguishes between Americans who were born in the United States, and individuals who have immigrated - 'first generation' immigrants.  They even formed the political party called the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, more commonly known as the Know-Nothings. 





WHY? Threats involving language, jobs, pay-scales, control of the government, control of borders (and fears of invasion), moral values, and loyalties to racial and ethnic groups, are involved in nativism, with the exact ingredients varying widely.




Exodusters (1879 and 1880)  At the conclusion of the Civil War, many blacks moved to Kansas and were known as exodusters. This is known as the first great African American migration. Those who stayed in the south ended up as tenant farmers or sharecroppers. It was nearly identical to slavery, with the former masters in charge once again.





In the late nineteenth century, American was increasingly dominated by large urban centers. Explosive urban was accompanied by often disturbing changes


1920 Census – 51% of Americans lived in urban centers of 2,500 people or more











NEW IMMIGRATION  1880-1924  (Third wave of immigration)  
There is a shift in where Immigrants come from. These new immigrants arrived from southern and eastern Europe. 1890 Eastern Europe different religion – Catholic and Jewish = tension with Protestants

They were looked down upon by the more established English, German, and Irish immigrants. The new immigrants were usually poor and possessed limited skills. 

They typically went to work in factories where they were treated poorly, working long hours for very low pay. This situation led to them putting their entire family to work just to survive.


Unfortunately, the children did not get an education which would doom them to a life of working in factories themselves without a chance for improvement






Literacy Test Act (1917) Passed over Wilson’s Veto
Immigrants had to be able to read and write a language to get in  Didn’t have to be English



 1921 Emergency Quota Act, and May 26, 1921, Johnson–Reed Immigration Act—for the first time the United States limited the admission of (mostly) European persons based on their nationality and the proportion of people of such nationality among all foreign-born persons in the United States (quotas).  In 1924 the maximum was 3 percent of those born outside of the United States present in 1910.


The trial of immigrant anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti highlighted to the world just how nativist and anti immigrant that America had become.



IMMIGRATION TENSIONS,  1880–1925   Timeline of US Immigration Policy 1790 to 2011   Immigrant Timeline Quiz 








THE GREAT MIGRATION (1910 to 1930)


The "Great Migration" increased dramatically in the years between about 1910 and the early 1920s. Between 300,000 and 1,000,000 African-Americans moved north during this period, largely in response to an increased number of unskilled factory job openings as northern manufacturers boosted production for World War I.

Black migration between 1916 and the 1960s remained strong, except during the Great Depression. More than 6 million southern blacks made the move to the North during this period.


REACTION:  Revival of the new and improved Ku Klux Klan

KKK began to promote the organization nationally by 1922-25 – 6 million members at its peak

KKK had several causes :  Anti-black in the south - Anti-catholic in the Midwest and west - Anti-semitic in the east – Anti-urban in CA - LA vs. Rural CA over the issue of water - anti-immigrant all over. Disapproved of the immorality of saloon keepers, Darwinism, Birth control, Pacifism


REACTION:  The trial of immigrant anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti highlighted to the world just how nativist and anti immigrant that America had become.



MEXICAN MIGRATION (1877 to 1910) Mexican immigration in the 20th century came in three great surges of growth.


The first surge began in the 1900s. Revolution in Mexico and a strong U.S. economy brought a tremendous increase in Mexican immigration rates. Between 1910 and 1930, the number of Mexican immigrants counted by the U.S. census tripled from 200,000 to 600,000.


For many Mexican immigrants, moving to the U.S. was not necessarily a one-time journey of permanent relocation. Since the distance was so short, Mexican citizens could return home relatively easily, and many did so--because of improved conditions in Mexico, because of family concerns, or because they had earned enough money to live more comfortably. In the 1910s and 1920s, it is estimated that more than 1 million Mexican immigrants returned to Mexico.







REACTIONS: The Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882
Two groups in society faced special discrimination. The Chinese out west were constantly harassed. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed that outlawed Chinese immigration for ten year


REACTIONS: Nativist opposition
Americans had also tired of the teeming refuse (immigrant hordes) from foreign shores. The congress passed strict anti immigration laws.

2008 AP DBQ Question
“For the years 1880 to 1925, analyze both the tensions surrounding the issue of immigration and the United States Governments response to these tensions”










The Dust Bowl was an ecological and human disaster caused by misuse of land and years of sustained drought. Millions of acres of farmland became useless, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes; many of these families, since so many came from Oklahoma) traveled to California and other states, where they found economic conditions little better than those they had left. Owning no land, many traveled from farm to farm picking fruit and other crops at starvation wages. Author John Steinbeck later wrote The Grapes of Wrath, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and Of Mice and Men about such people.





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