Essay About Immigration In The Late 19th Century
In addition, the poor plumbing and inadequate heat and light in the tenemnents increased the spread of infectious diseases to epidemic levels. Contagious diseases, such as cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, and tuberculosis plagued these overcrowded city dwellings. Sadly, “almost a quarter of children born in American cities in 1890 never lived to see their first birthday.” iv. Americans – associated the spread of these diseases with the influx of new immigrants.
Futhermore, a wave of nativism occurred as a result of the influx of immigration, “Americans blamed their economic woes on foreigners…[they] attacked Catholics and foreign born for subverting democracy, taking jobs, and polarizing society.” (page 540)
New immigrants were seen as a threat to the wages and employment of American citizens, and as such, were deeply resented. Americans wanted to stop immigrants from entering the United States. The federal government decided it was time to take some action. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which “provided an absolute 10-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration. For the first time, Federal law proscribed entry of an ethnic working group on the premise that it endangered the good order of certain