The mid-19th century wave of immigration brought significant changes to the American economy, society, and political life. Between 1841 and 1860, more than 4 million immigrants traveled to America, significantly increasing the population of America. Ireland, Germany, and England were the three countries that migrated the greatest amount of people to the united States, making up about three-fourths of Immigrants. As they arrived, they were too poor to move westward so they congregated in large cities on the east coast.
The Irish made up over half of the populations of both Boston and New York City by 1850. Immigrants contributed to major changes to the economy, society, and political life because of such a large population increase along with several other factors. The economy had such a great change after the millions of Immigrants flooded the united States during the mild-19th century. In the north, where factories were common and slavery was abolished, the immigrants became a prime source of cheap labor in the factories. During this time, factories were being industrialized and factory owners were looking for workers.
Factory owners hired immigrants because of how little they needed to pay them. This greatly increased the production of goods, which in the long run Increased Income. However, citizens of America were angered with the Immigrants. They were able to easily get Jobs while people who were living In America for years were still unemployed. This led to tension between the citizens and the immigrants. Citizens of the united States believed the immigrants from Europe should be hired as teachers or lawyers, Jobs that needed higher levels of education, because Europeans were given the opportunity of education.
Instead, the immigrants were taking factory jobs that did not need any education whatsoever. The American society also greatly changed because of the mass of Immigrants. Much like the African Americans, immigrants were set at the bottom of the occupational scale due to their manual labor. They do work the most cheaply, therefore they are set at the bottom of the scale. Foreigners were seen as inferior in American society, being compared to the slaves. Immigrants faced similar hardships, much like the slaves. Abraham Lincoln said about the American society, ;all men are created equal, except Negroes.
As the immigrants migrated to America h said, “all men are created equal, except Negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics. ” What Lincoln claimed was very true. American society was no longer following “all men are created equal,” but only whites were treated fairly. Immigrants were stereotyped as lazy and dirty and lived in crowded, dirty tenement buildings that had a high crime rates along with diseases and alcoholism. Immigrants were neglected and treated as if they were inferior, therefore, in a political aspect, immigrants were told what to do. When the foreigners came to
America, they were forced to never betray America, as well as never tell secrets or release information to other countries, which could be used against the United States. Immigrants were to obey laws and to be loyal to their new country. They also needed to comply with the majority of any public dispute. Immigrants were expected to fit into society by obeying the citizens of America, hardships being included. African Americans were not the only ones who had to be considered by the government when making decisions, but now the foreigners had to be put into perspective as well.
Immigrants contributed to dramatic changes of the American economy, society, and political aspects during the mid-19th century. The economy particularly was affected the most. Immigrants were a huge part of the labor source of the booming economy, taking advantage of the Job opportunities in the factories. However, immigrants faced many hardships and were viewed as antagonists even though they had shaped the economy for the better. The foreigners shaped the economy as to how it is today. In the end, immigrants may not have been viewed as superior, but they played a key role in changing the United States society, economy, and politics.