The Side Effects of Urbanization and Immigration
In the times of urbanization, changes and improvements occurred hand-in-hand with the arrival of immigrants. Anti-immigration acts, problems that resulted from overcrowded cities, political machines, and the Civil Service Commission, are just some of the side affects that urbanization and immigration has brought about to the United States in 1850 to 1940.
Twenty million Europeans immigrants, two hundred thousand Chinese immigrants, two hundred sixty thousand Caribbean immigrants, and a million Mexican immigrants migrated to United States between 1850 and 1940. Fleeing from religious persecutions, economic hardships, and political freedom, the immigrants were willing to work for lower wages than the native-born Americans were. Thus, Congress placed anti-immigration boundaries. To stop the migration of the Chinese, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, banning all but a few Chinese immigrants. To ban the Japanese, United States signed the Gentlemen s Agreement with Japan in 1907.
Even though the migration of foreigners were minimized, more than enough immigrants had already settled in the cities of United States, they had made up more than half of the population of eighteen different cities by 1910. Due to the overcrowdedness, problems such as housing shortages, difficulty obtaining enough clean water, removing waste and garage all became a part of the growing cities. Many owners would convert single-family homes into multi-family apartments in order to accompanying the overpopulated city, however, that solution often just caused more people in a small area. Problems such as not being able to obtain enough water affected the ability of the city to fight fires. Without water, both Chicago in 1871, and San Francisco, in 1906, suffered from terrible fires.
With large populations in the cities, a new political force emerged. The new political force is a political machine that is controlled by a boss; the machine is just a group of people that has the powers to a political party. The boss of the city controlled many important aspects of the city, such as the city government, the jobs in the police, fire, and sanitation departments, the city agencies that granted license to businesses, and the money used to fund large construction projects. Sadly, not all the bosses are righteous, some used illegal methods to win elections, others such as Tweed Ring of New York, become corrupted and abuse their powers.
As corruption travels through some of the cities, the national politic is trying to alternate to the opposite. Jobs were once determined by the status of loyalty of the individual to the president. President Rutherford B. Hayes first challenged this system, the spoils system. However, many people, the Stalwarts, opposed such change. James Garfield, the president after President Hayes, suffered from the violence of favoring the changes the spoils system; he was shot and killed by a Stalwart. Nevertheless, his successor, Chester Arthur, pushed through the Pendleton Act of 1883. This act created the Civil Service Commission. The Civil Service Commission gave out government jobs according to merits not loyalty.
All in all, immigration and urbanization has its advantages and disadvantages, it created anti-immigration acts, problems that resulted from overcrowded cities, political machines, and the Civil Service Commission. Such changes were what United States had to go through in the years between 1850 to 1940 in order to reach the next step of becoming a country.