Old Immigrants Vs New Immigrants Essay

From 1820 to 1930, the United States received about 60% of the world s immigrants. Population expansion in developed areas of the world, improved methods of transportation. Reasons for immigration, like those for migration, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. These economic, political, and social conditions led to the New immigration after 1890. Take for instance the political reasons, where new immigrants favored democratic America where citizens had a voice in government because European governments were run by upper classes and commoners had no say in political matters. When it comes to social reasons we see that the European society was characterized by class distinctions for the lower class and discrimination against religious minorities, and most European governments forced young men to serve terms of military service. Economically, European city workers worked for low wages ant there was unemployment. Immigrants figured finding a job would be easy and making money would be a cinch.

There is quite a difference between New immigration and Old immigration in which, the old immigrants came from Northern and Western Europe such as, Ireland, Germany, Great Britain, and Scandinavian countries before 1890. They arrived when the frontiers were open to them, in which they settled down on farms. On the other hand, New immigrations occurred at a later time, particularly after 1890, where immigrants came from Southern and Eastern Europe such as Greece, Russia (Poland), Italy, and Austria-Hungary. They arrived when the frontier was closed. They then settled in the cities as factory workers and were secluded to the Pales of settlement where the immigrants were forced to live in special areas and were declined to education and legal and economic discrimination. The immigrant experience was absolutely bitter. When the immigrants came to the United States they traveled by ship; not only was the seawater rough, so was their position. Immigrants were forced to steerage, where the air was hot, people were sick, and the space was limited. When the immigrants reached Ellis Island, immigrants were always forced to check for diseases, they were not able to proceed without an annual check-up. After this, they were separated from there families and were constantly uprooted. It was also very difficult for them to adjust to a culture, one not similar to theirs. Some immigrants were accused by organized labor of lowering wages and living standards, though other groups of immigrants rapidly became a major part of the labor movement. Disagreement was early revealed by such organizations as the Know-nothing movement and in violent anti-Chinese riots on the West Coast. Discrimination took a hold of them, as did the struggle of their life in general.

The Emergency Act of 1921 limited 3% the annual immigration to the United States. After World War I, there was a flood of immigrants to the United States. The purpose of this law was to restrict the flow of immigrants, because immigrant space was quickly becoming almost non-existent. Immigrants were always competing with native Americans for jobs. In 1986, Congress passed legislation that seemed to limit the numbers of illegal aliens living in America, imposing harsh fines on employers who hired them and giving legal status to a number of aliens who had already lived in the United States for some time.

With changes from 1965, the United States has retreated largely from the immigration policies given in the first quarter of the twentieth century. With that retreat, and the resulting increase in the mass of immigration, the immigrant has again become a "problem." Certainly, today's immigration does not match that of the period around 1900. In recent years, annual immigration flows have averaged slightly above 800,000 a year, or roughly 3 per 1,000 Americans. Too much crowding is very inappropriate for the people of the United States. The United States does pertain the idea of Peace and Liberty , therefore, I feel we should not restrict immigrants, but restrict the number instead.

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants for kids: Ethnic Groups
Ethnic groups tend to be associated with shared cultural heritage, history, language and ancestry and include shared aspects such as religion, rituals, customs, cuisine and similar styles of dress. For many additional facts and information refer to Push and Pull Factors of Immigration.

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants Chart for kids
The Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants chart provides a fast overview that details and defines the differences between the two groups of immigrants to the United States of America. The chart details the differences between their countries of origin, their connections in America, religion, symbols and traditions, levels of literacy, physical characteristics, customs and lifestyles, culture, clothes, politics, affluency and adaptability.

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants Chart

Old Immigrant Chart - New Immigrant Chart

Origination: Northern or Western Europe - Southern or Eastern Europe or Asia

Countries of Origin: Holland, Germany, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Scandinavia - Russia, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia, Poland, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Serbia, China, Japan and Korea

Connections: Often had friends or family established in America - No connections to America or existing Americans

Religion: The majority of Old immigrants were Protestant - The New immigrants were Jewish, Catholic or non-Christian religions

Symbols and Traditions: Shared religious symbols, rituals and traditions - Different symbols, rituals and traditions

Literacy: Literate and skilled - Illiterate and unskilled

Physical Characteristics: Tall and fair with similar hairstyles - Short and dark with different hairstyles

Customs and Lifestyles:  Similar foods and jobs to existing Americans - Different to existing Americans

Culture:  Similar tastes in literature, music and art - Different tastes in literature, music and art

Clothes: Similar clothing - Different style of clothes

Politics: Adhered to democracy - Were used to autocracy or radical politics

Affluency: Many came to America with some money - Most were penniless and destitute

Adaptability: Able to quickly 'fit in', adapt and adopt the ways of another culture - Slower to change

Old Immigrant Chart - New Immigrant Chart

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants Chart for kids

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants for kids: The Gilded Age
Concerns about immigration during the Gilded Age had led to the rise in Nativism in America and the fear of the growing numbers of immigrants. Industrialization in the Gilded Age, the mechanization of industry and the emergence of the factory system, had resulted in the ever increasing demand for cheap labor which fed the surge in Immigration. This in turn led to the rapid Urbanization in America during the Gilded Age and the massive influx of immigrants to the cities. The problems in the cities during the Gilded Age fuelled the movement to place restrictions on Immigration, the Immigration Act of 1907 was passed and the Dillingham Commission was established. 

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants for kids: The Dillingham Commission Report
The Dillingham Commission was politically motivated to restrict immigration to America. The Dillingham Commission produced a report containing 41 volumes on the subject of Immigration in the United States and kicked off the debate surrounding "Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants" in the United States. The 1911 Dillingham Commission Report detailed information about immigrant occupations, living conditions and education.

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants for kids: The 'Dictionary of Races of People'
One volume of the Dillingham Commission report provided 'A Dictionary of Races of People' which classified immigrants in racial terms in an attempt to discover whether to discover:

 "whether there may not be certain races that are inferior to other races... to show whether some may be better fitted
for American citizenship than others."

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants
The Dillingham Report made distinctions were made between the "old immigrant" and the more recent "new immigrant". The report favored the "old immigrant" who had come from North and West of Europe and opposed "new immigrant" who came from the east and south of Europe and other parts of the world.

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants for kids: The "Old immigrant"
The "Old immigrant" was defined as follows:

 ● They were from Anglo-Saxon or Nordic races
● ● They came from the West Northern areas of Europe such as Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Germany, France and Scandinavia
● ● They shared similar ethnic and cultural backgrounds and it was these people who initially populated America
● ● The very foundation of America was built upon the ideas, skills and culture they brought with them

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants for kids: The "New immigrant"
The "New immigrant" was defined as follows:

● They included Asian, Slovak and Jewish races
● They came from countries in Asia and South eastern European countries such as such as China, Japan, Korea, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia, Poland, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Serbia and Russia
● ● They had no connections to America or existing Americans
● ● Many had totally different physical characteristics and were easily identifiable as "New immigrants"
● ● Many had non-Christian religions and adhered to different beliefs and had experienced totally alien environments
● ● They wore completely different clothes, had different hair styles, spoke strange languages, had different tastes in music and art and ate different food

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants Debate: The Dillingham Flaw
The contents of the Dillingham Commission Report was given a huge amount of publicity in the newspapers that gave rise to the Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants Debate. The report was presented as a scientific argument to meet the political agenda of restricting immigration to America and contained racist stereotypes within immigrant ethnic communities. This established an artificial and totally biased view of "old immigrant" and "new immigrant". This highly prejudiced view is referred to as the 'Dillingham Flaw' that made unfair comparisons of the "old" and the "new" immigrant. Although the report contained many statistics and information it failed to take into account that the new immigrants were recent arrivals to America. It failed to take into account the short time the "New Immigrant" had spent in America compared to the "old" immigrant. This clearly impacted the "New Immigrant" in terms of occupations, education, finances, environment, and the rate of assimilation.

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants: "A Serious Threat to American Culture and Society"
The 1911 Dillingham Commission Report concluded that the "New Immigrants" to America were inferior, unskilled and uneducated workers who failed to integrate with Americans. The Dillingham Commission Report further concluded that the "New Immigrant" posed a serious threat to American culture and society. It recommended that immigration to America should be restricted.

Push and Pull Factors
For visitors interested in the subject of immigration refer to our website on Push and Pull Factors of Immigration which provides details of why people left their homes in various countries and moved to the United States.

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants - President Theodore Roosevelt Video
The article on the Old Immigrant vs New Immigrant provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 26th American President whose presidency spanned from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909.

Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants for Kids

● Facts about the Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants for kids
● Definition of the Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants chart
● The Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants, the Dillingham Commission
● Immigration in America for kids
● Fast, fun facts about Immigration to the United States
● The differences between the Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants
● Theodore Roosevelt Presidency and Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants debate for schools, homework, kids and children


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