From: Kristy Ortenzi
Time: 9:02:11 PM
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
Describe and explain the relationships between immigration and industrialization in the United States in the twenty years before the Civil War.
The first reason to mechanize the northern industry and agriculture was do to a shortage of cheap labor. The economy in the United States compared to other countries, at this time, was industrialized at all. Many times women and children were used to work in the factories for low pay because they could not find men that would work for these low wages. In 1840 and the 1850s even the new industrialized operations were hiring unskilled workers to fill the positions. The factories and railroad builders were in a high demand for workers and this attracted many European immigrants during the twenty years prior the Civil War. In the 1840s almost 4.2 million immigrants came to America. This was the highest rise in population that the nation has ever had. Many of the immigrants came from the countries of Ireland and Germany plus many others. The large abundance of immigrants caused problems for America’s fast growing cities. In the past, rich people and poor people lived very close to each other but due to the invention of railroads and other ways of transportation the rich could move into the suburbs. And the areas near commercial and industrial centers became the neighborhoods for the people coming from Europe. The conditions such as overcrowding, poverty, disease, and crime that were common in the cities were causing danger for the whole population. Some progress was made in the few years before the Civil War, however, many of the poor people, mostly immigrants, were not making much progress. Although there were many differences between the immigrants and the middle class society at this time they all came together at times such as parades and public celebrations. The industrialization before the Civil War not only modernized the nation it also cultured the society. The different cultures and religions of the people created strong bonds and lasting friendships. “Antebellum cities showed the dark side of urbanization in their crowded slums and growing poverty, but they also became cauldrons of democracy in which different elements of nineteenth-century America met face-to-face to create a wider definition of what it meant to be an American.” (page 374)