The Impact of Immigration, 1870 to 1910
How did immigrants change American society?
What impact did immigrants have on the United States economy?
From 1870 to 1910, more than 20 million immigrants entered the United States from Europe. How did immigrants change American society? What impact did immigrants have on the United States economy?
Use your knowledge of immigration and Documents A, B, C, and D to answer questions 1 through 4 and the essential questions below
“At night we got homesick for our fine green mountains. We read all the news about home in our Lithuanian Chicago newspaper, The Katalikas. It is a good paper and gives all the news. . . . I joined the Cattle Butcher’s Union. This union is honest and has done me a great deal of good. It has raised my wages. I am getting $11 [a week]. . . . It has given me more
time to read and speak and enjoy life like an American. . . .
With more time and more money I live much better and I am very happy. So is Alexandria. She came a year ago and has learned to speak English already. . . . [W]e belong to a Lithuanian society that gives two picnics in summer and two balls in winter. . . . I go one night a week to the Lithuanian Concertina Club. . . . The union is doing another good thing. . . . I help the movement by being an interpreter for the other Lithuanians
who come in. . . .”
—Antanas Kaztauskis, “From Lithuania to the Chicago Stockyards,” Independent, Aug. 4, 1904
“Upon taking control of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the American Party proposed and passed legislation aimed at restricting the strength of the growing Irish community in Boston. The most drastic measure proposed was a constitutional amendment requiring that immigrants wait 21 years after naturalization before they could become voting citizens of the Commonwealth. . . . The Know-Nothing General Court also proposed a legislative redistricting that would reduce
the number of seats in predominantly immigrant Boston. This benefited the rural areas, which were predominantly populated by ‘Yankee’ descendents of English settlers.”
—Steven Taylor, “Progressive Nativism: The Know-Nothing Party in Massachusetts,” Historical Journal of Massachusetts, 2000
1. According to Document A, which occupation employed the highest percentage of immigrants?’
2. The caption for the cartoon in Document B reads “Uncle Sam is a man of strong features.” What does that mean?
3. What can you conclude about the goal of the American Party in Massachusetts?
4. Writing Task How did immigrants change American society? What impact did immigrants have on the United States economy? Use your knowledge of the chapter content and specific evidence from the primary sources above to support your opinion.