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cj 95-89 Unit VII 3/22/02

The Rise of Industrial America: 1877-1914, Grade 8 Unit 7


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Appendix VII-4
Push/Pull Factors Promoting Emigration
Secondary Source
Immigration historian Maldwyn Allen Jones wrote that ...European emigration in the period
between 1860 and 1914 was due basically to the widening impact of economic change....
Although a number of European emigrants settled in places other than the United States, the
greatest number of emigrants were bound for the United States. The following are among some
of the factors which encouraged emigration.
ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL FACTORS
Competition of cheap foreign grain:
England, Sweden, and eastern Germany were grain-producing regions which were seriously
affected in the 1860s and 1870s by technological changes in transportation. Railroads and
steam ships reduced the price of transporting grain resulting in cheaper prices for grains
imported from the United States and other countries that could now compete with the
European market. In England during the 1870s cheap American grain from Canada and the
United States caused a depression in agriculture.
Tariffs and trade:
France placed high tariffs on Italian wines which seriously affected wine producing regions
of Italy in the late 19th century causing massive unemployment. U. S. passage of a high
protective tariff (McKinley Tariff) in 1890 reduced or eliminated the market for some goods
which had an affect on industrial production in some European countries causing
unemployment. The development of an important citrus industry in Florida and California
crippled the orange and lemon producing countries of Europe.
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Crop failures and economic depressions:
Floods and crop failures in China in the 1850s stimulated emigration. Many areas of Sweden
in the 1860s faced famine because of crop failures. Ireland, in the 1880s, faced another
famine (the famine a generation earlier resulted in mass emigration in the 1850s). Business
failures and periodic economic depressions in industrialized countries pressured unemployed
workers to emigrate.
Political Unrest:
The Taiping Rebellion beginning in 1848 caused havoc in China. The rebellion crippled
agriculture, business, and trade in southeastern China resulting in widespread famine.
Revolutions in Europe in 1848 and the suppression of nationalist movements in Central,
Southern, and Eastern Europe in following decades resulted in new waves of emigration. The
success of nationalist movements for unification initially had an opposite effect slowing
emigration.
Jobs in the United States:
The construction of the transcontinental railroad created a demand for unskilled labor and
railroad contractors such as Charles Crocker of the Central Pacific sought Chinese laborers
from California Chinatowns and from rural districts in China. Early 1880s the U.S. economy
was booming and businesses sought foreign laborers. American whalers recruited sailors
from the Portuguese Azores. Japanese farm workers sought jobs in Hawaii after 1885 and
many migrated to the continental United States after the annexation of Hawaii in 1897.
Free or inexpensive land in the United States:
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In the 1860s Congress passed the Homestead Act which offered 160 acres of land to the head
of a household. Railroad companies recruited European farmers offering free or reduced
prices for farms along railroad lines in the Plains States and the far west.
RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC FACTORS
Freedom of religion:
Catherine the Great encouraged Mennonites at the end of the eighteenth century to come to
Russia promising religious freedom. In 1870 the Russian government withdrew the guarantee
of religious freedom which resulted in a large number of Mennonites emigrating to the
United States.
Religious and ethnic persecutions:
In 1881 there were anti-Jewish riots in Russia followed by an enforcement of earlier
restrictive legislation on the settlement of Jews in certain regions of the country. In 1882 the
Russian government enacted laws which placed legal restrictions on Jewish worship,
restricted employment, denying Jews the right to hold public office, eliminating educational
opportunities, and virtually forced Jewish farmers off their land. Pogroms, or organized
persecutions, which massacred countless numbers of Jews especially in 1881-82, 1891, and
1905-06 resulted in massive Jewish emigration.
Syrian Christians emigrated from the Muslim Ottoman Empire between 1870 and 1900.
Because of the activities of American Protestant missionaries a large number emigrated to
the United States in the 1890s.
Christian Armenians in Turkey were driven from their homes during a series of persecutions
which are known as the Armenian Genocide. Massacres in 1894-96 set off the first large-
scale wave of Armenian emigration. These were followed by another wave of persecutions
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during World War I in which hundreds of thousands were killed when attacked by mobs or
from starvation and the elements during their long march out of Turkey to other parts of the
Ottoman Empire.