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In 1886 the statue of Liberty Enlightening the World a gift from the people of France was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland Set at the entrance to New York the statue was just in time to greet the biggest migration in global history The inscription on the Statue of Liberty written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 invites the rest of the world to give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to breathe free the wretched refuse of your teeming shore Send these the homeless tempest-tossed to me I lift my lamp beside the golden door In the late 1800s and early 1900s a time period known as the Progressive era there were massive waves of immigration to America More than a million immigrants arrived in each of the years 1905 1906 1907 1910 1913 and 1914 Totaling over 23 million immigrants to America between the years 1880 and 1921 These new immigrants were largely Italians Hungarians Jews Serbians Irish and Slovaks Other small but notable groups included French Canadians Chinese and Japanese This so called new immigration was different in many other ways from previous immigration Until 1897 90 percent of all overseas immigrants had come from Protestant northern and western Europe But for the first time Catholic and Jewish immigrants outnumbered Protestants and still other arrivals were Muslims Buddhists or Greek or Russian Orthodox church members Fleeing such hardships as poverty religious persecution and political unrest in their homelands immigrants journeyed to the United States in search of freedom and opportunity The immigrants came partly because Europe seemed to be running out of room The population of the Old World more than doubled in the nineteenth century and Europe began to generate a seething pool of apparently Surplus people They were displaced and footloose in their homelands before they felt the tug of the American magnet However most of the immigrants came to the United States for economic reasons
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