Thesis - The economic aspect of America was changed drastically due to the wide spread increasse of immigration. Immigration is a form of migration that signifies the intention of a person to settle permanently in a new country. Since the beginning of time, people have been traveling from place to place, looking for the "perfect" home. When people did get to the "perfect" place, they found many good and many bad side effects. During the 1920's, America was coming out of post war depression. Spirits were high, booze flowed freely (whether legal or not) and women shed their conservative garb for newer, more inviting clothing. America was changing in all aspects of life, but none as significant as immigration. During this time America was deciding who was going to be allowed to grab hold of the American dream. With the Immigration Act of 1924, a quota system was established, those coming from the European nations were allowed a 2% increase in net population per year. Since the dramatic uprise of the amount of people coming to the United States, the factor of economics has been changed greatly. The amount of jobs, amount of workers available, amount of people without jobs, and the amount of people, obviosly, increased when people came to the United States looking for oppertunity. Also, many things decreased, such as: the amount of money workers made per hour at their jobs, the health factor, and the quality of man. In this paper, I will discuss both the positive and the negative effects of immigration. Since I think that the effect on immigration for the United States was greatly beneficial, I will mostly discuss that point of view. When the first immigrants arrived in America, they were treated as low as a person could be treated. Most of these immigrants were from Italy, Germany, Portugal and what were also called, "Southern Europeans". They were looked upon as nothing. All they really wanted was to get a job of any kind that pays any amount of money and a place to live. But people thought that these Southern Europeans were bringing down the country; taking jobs, abusing alcohol, and even plotting to destroy the government. Whether or not these claims were true, many Americans wanted this altered immigration to stop and for the United States to ban the immigration of certain regions. All that was needed was a legitimate reason to exclude certain regions and countries. Scientists and scholars looked to all different kinds of areas for this proof. They came to America looking to start over with their lives. They thought they would prosper in the "perfect and new" world. Boy, were they wrong. Groups as big as 20 people lived in a single room house just to survive. In a family, the man was the one who brought all the money in. Many african-americans who came to the United States were treated as slaves even thought they were considered legally "free". Soon, people began to realize that this increase of immigrants would mean an influx of new workers, which meant a great help for national economic growth. In 1883, the Southern Immigration Association was founded to encourage European settlement in the South, as a means of promoting fiscal stability. (America's Guilded Age, pp. 78-79)
Below is the chart of all the sources of immigration to the United States since 1820:Country Amount of people (estimated)Germany 6,752,000Italy 4,981,000Ireland 4,682,000Austria - Hungary 4,277,000Great Britian 3,803,000Canada 3,603,000Russia 3,345,000Sweden 1,251,000Mexico 1,180,000 Also, another great effect the immigrants that came to America brought was the fact that they had numerous skills and ideas that helped develop the industries, resources, and culture of the United States. (World Book, pp. 70) Canadians, who settled at the nothern border, helped mainly with the lumber industry. Also, Canada sent the most people to the U.S. than they did to any other country. Mexican immigrants went into the cattle, citrus fruit, and mining industries. More Mexican immigrants came to the United States than any other Latin American country. All other immigrants from other countries also helped in every aspect of the economy. Blacks helped with cotton, Englishmen helped with government systems, Scotish and Irish helped with horse raising and poineering, Czechs and Germans helped with farming, and the Portuguese helped with fishing. As you can see, immigration had both good and bad effects on the economics of the United States. Since more and more people are coming to America each year, I would guess that immigration is a good thing. If immigration was such a horrible thing and had such bad effects, then I do not think that there would be such a huge amount of immigration, even today.