Immigrants in the United State Cities

Junior (College 3rd year) ・History ・APA ・1 Sources

John F. Kennedy described America as an immigrant-heavy country. This sentence exemplifies how important immigration is to the American character. As a result of significant past occurrences and laws, the country has experienced numerous waves of immigration. For instance, after the British discovered the ""New World,"" there was a first wave of immigration. The immigration of slaves during the slave trade followed this surge as well. Later, when immigration restrictions were lifted, residents of Latin American and Asian nations could move to the United States. Over the centuries, these waves of immigration have shaped the identity of the American people and have conferred tremendous benefit to both the American people and the immigrants themselves.

The immigrants were attracted to American cities because of favorable social and economic factors. First of all, the Industrial Revolution presented a lot of opportunity to the people in America. Immigrants would move to these urban areas to look for employment opportunities. Others would move to these areas looking for better pay. Additionally, America was lauded as a free nation where any man could successfully make a fortune out of honest hard work. Coupled with the conducive economic climate, the absence of political tension and an enabling social environment, this promise of opportunity lured many immigrants who often came from worse off countries. In the discovery of the new world, most Europeans immigrated to America in the hope of a new beginning (Hirschman and Mogford)

Some common characteristics of all these individuals are that they were often young, industrious and had a hope of establishing a better life in the United States. The characteristics of the migrants often depended on their motivation for immigration. For instance, in the colonial period, most of the immigrants were slaves or European. Following the industrial revolution, the immigrants were mostly the poor, unemployed individuals or the rich who sought new opportunities for wealth creation. The latter group came with European technology that drove the industrial revolution. However, other immigrants were refugees who were escaping unfriendly regimes or whose countries were destroyed by war.

For most immigrants, their situation improved after immigration. For instance, they found a favorable socio-political environment with economic opportunities which they utilized to establish industries. Also, their social situation was improved by gainful employment. However, for some, settling in the United States did not improve their situation as industries offered low pay for long hours. Also, they were victims of social injustices since the natives perceived them as competition for the opportunities that were available.

The immigrants had a positive contribution to the American establishment. As a nation of immigrants, the identity of the American people was curved by the interaction of these new populations. The perception of America as a place where a free man can make a fortune out of his honest effort is borne of the experience of these immigrants. Additionally, the population increase around industrial centers from immigration is responsible for much of the urbanization and the emergence of urban culture. Finally, immigration has had a net positive economic effect through the contribution of skilled workers, enterprise, and increased trade volume.

Works Cited

Hirschman, Charles and Elizabeth Mogford. ""Immigration and the American Industrial Revolution From 1880 to 1920."" Soc Sci Res (2009): 897-920.

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