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Ellis Island Essay

1739 words - 7 pages

On December 31, 1890 a transition in history occured. New York City would start a new era in the history of the United States starting with the opening of Ellis Island as an immigration depo. This attracted many immigrants to the United Stated because of more job opportunities and as means to start a new life. As more immigrants came to America, it began to be known as the "land of opportunities". Immigrants coming in filled work spaces in industries with the hopes of someday becoming successful. These immigrants helped prove to other future immigrants that if you moved to America then you could start a better life for yourself and your families. On the other hand with positives come ...view middle of the document...

However having thousands of immigrants arriving in NYC around the same time caused job opportunities to be limited. With no money, many were left homeless with no place to go but the streets of New York. Having people living on the streets caused overpopulation of the city and left the city dirty and dismantled. Along with the fall of the city the crime rate began to increase dramaticlly due to immigrants going to desperate measures to make money. When an immigrant was lucky enough to find a job they faced the challenge of language barrier, poor working conditions and low wages. These low wages could hardly afford to feed their families let alone provide a decent shelter. This created what would be known as the slums of New York City. The city was being filled with large apartment buildings that were run down and overpopulated with immigrants. Over population began creating conflicts between different ethnic groups throughout New York City. Eventually leading to the divison of the city into sections based on common ethnic backrounds. Nativism however would be a common problem as it increased because of hatred towards immigrants over such issues including the loss of opportunities for already settled natives to the area. To avoid this hatred many immigrants chose to take on other names or alter their own last name. Due to many families not having enough money for their whole families to travel to America caused seperation. This made the already difficult challenge of locating lost family members even greater. Sometimes the families were seperated even before leaving Ellis Island. If a family member was searched and thought to be to ill or with disease they could be taken back to their homeland and seperated immediatly. However some that were diseased were passed through the check points. This would cause the disease rate in the city to also increase. This mixed with the adoption of prostitution caused the spread of disease to increase even further. Many of the immigrants saw the problems of the city and felt that they would have better chances to succeed by moving west. West allowed for more opportunities and less challenges.
It can be seen that there were many challenges that immigrants were faced with but no matter how difficult the challenge, the chances to prosper were always greater. By overcoming the obstacles immigrants were able to start new lives for themselves and their families. Whether they were in search of jobs, freedom from religous boundaries, land, or a chance to be free and escape harsh conditions in their homelands the resolutions to their problems were possible in the United States of America. These immigrants looking for a new start helped the new country develop by filling job spaces where needed in such places as factories, farms, and helped with constuction of many public services such as the Transcontinental railroad which was a main source of jobs for chinese immigrants. The building of the railroad helped immigrant's...

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