The 19th century brought despair to families all over the world. Famine, job shortage, political and religious persecutions made people search for better life. Nearly 12 million people immigrated to the US between the 1870s and 1900s hoping to make a new beginning there. They were mostly Europeans, British, Irish, and Scandinavian immigrants, as well as new immigrants from Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America. After the success of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and other wealthy industrialists, foreigners rushed for the opportunities the United States could give them.
Immigrants came both to the East and West coasts. The majority of newcomers came to New York City that was later called the “Golden Door”. To facilitate migration, the federal government organized a new processing center on Ellis Island. The US was greatly interested in migrants back then. They provided cheap workforce and were the major reason why Northern states did so well without slaves. Employers typically took advantage of the immigrants paying low salaries to men and even lower wages to women. Coming through the “golden door”, all these people did not quite realize what kind of life was waiting ahead.
Besides low wages and unsatisfactory living conditions, immigrants have taken a pack full of bullying and discrimination. While Asian and Latino people just looked different to Europeans, the latter (Irish and English immigrants) did not get a hospitable welcome either. The workplaces were never enough, and Americans felt as if immigrants have come to take away their places. Nevertheless, immigrants joined in communities, which helped them to stay strong in this new land.