American Immigration In The Late 1800s

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Numerous aspects influences Europeans to immigrate to the United States including unemployment, the seeking of refuge from religious prosecution, food shortages, and increasing threats of war. Hope that America would provide a new home with a new start encouraged 6.3 million people to enter the United States between 1877 and 1890. Prior to the 1880’s, most immigrants originated from Germany, Ireland, and England; however, the sources began to shift away from northern and western Europe in the 1880’s. An increase of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe quickly replaced those prior to the 1880’s. “New immigrants” from Italy, Greece, Austria-Hungary, Poland, and Russia practiced Catholicism and Judaism instead of Protestantism. Between…show more content…
In addition to railroads, Congress passed numerous acts and laws to encourage people to move west. One of the first acts was the Homestead Act of 1862. Which “gave 160 acres of land to anyone who would pay a $10 registration fee and pledge to live on it and cultivate it for five year” (Divine, Breen, Fredrickson, and Williams 502). Passing this law forged a “mass migration of land-hungry Europeans” (Divine, Breen, Fredrickson, and Williams 502), amazed that a country would relinquish millions of acres for free. Between 1862 and 1900, close to 600,000 families made their way west from free homesteads. However, the Homestead Act required farmers and labors to have the cash to move, buy equipment, and have patients for their farms to become self-sufficient, which was not always the case. Therefore, in 1873 the Timber Culture Act was passed to adjust the Homestead Act. Each homesteader was inclined to claim another 160 acres if within four years if they planted trees on a quarter of it. Successfully distributing 10 million additional acres, Congress continued to pass laws to encourage more to go west. The Desert Land Act of 1877 aided cattle ranchers by allowing them to obtain 640 acres if they promise to irrigate it. The prospect of finding gold and silver also brought in waves of people to the west. The California Gold Rush of 1849 holds the name of one of the most famous waves of miners to the west. Gold and Silver mines in Deadwood, South Dakota; Leadville and Silverton, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Sutter’s Mill, California; and Virginia City, Nevada attracted hundreds of people. The main motivation to move west included the hope of a better future in farming or
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