Reasons for Immigration in the Early 1900s

Immigrants flocked to the New World in hopes of finding religious, social and economic freedom.

In the early 1900s, oppressive activities forced immigrants to move to a land of safety, where available information presented this new land as “Land of Opportunity.” The New World became a beacon for those experiencing oppression or searching for wealth. Some who traveled were entrepreneurs, with stores of their own, and some were professionals, including lawyers and doctors. Others were farmers, miners or skilled laborers. They sought a new life in the New World and established themselves in America.

1 Invitation

While the U.S. government sought to limit “undesirables” from entering the U.S., private employers encouraged the influx of immigrant workers, depicting a tale of abundant jobs and economic opportunities. In hopes of finding cheap labor, these employers sought workers from foreign soils to meet production demands during and after World War One. For example, Chinese workers, followed by Japanese and eventually Mexican workers traveled to areas such as Texas and California where work in agriculture and on railways was plentiful and American workers scarce.

2 Economic Prosperity

The prime consideration for migration in the 1900s was economic opportunities and opportunities to provide financial stability for family. The coal mines were the main destination for groups such as the Italians, Bohemians, and Hungarians, while the textile industry found workers among the Greeks, Polish and Russians. The British were people of means and were skilled craftsmen, and with the advent of Industrialization they saw opportunities to exploit their knowledge and skill. Their reasons were different from the economically oppressed people, and they wanted to chance their fortune in the New World with their newly acquired skills and knowledge.

3 Religious Persecution

In some countries fierce anti-religious activities, like the anti-Semitic in Poland, limited religious expression and posed a threat to the lifestyle and even the lives of those who practiced certain religions. Like the Jews in Poland and Russia, other religious groups joined the massive exodus from their homes. For example, Christian residents of Syria and Armenia faced massive massacres and thus emigrated to the New World.

4 Other Reasons

Residents across the globe migrated to the New World in the 1900s for a host of other reasons. Of these reasons, political and social freedoms were prominent motivators. For example, the Cubans wanted to enjoy political freedom and migrated to America to escape Fidel Castro’s authoritarian rule. Also, tyrannical British rule and the exorbitant taxes were too much of a burden for British residents to bear; thus, they sought alternatives and a new life in the New World.