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Immigration had a tremendous impact on many aspects of American life during this era According to our textbook 10 million immigrants came to the United States between 1860 and 1900 and 15 million emigrated from other countries between 1890 and 1920 Immigrants first came from northern and western Europe and later from eastern and southern Europe as well as Asia Martin p607-608 Immigration played a major part in the economic growth and expansion of the United States Many people believed that without immigration industrialization may never have taken place Immigrants worked in coal silver and gold mines They labored in factories mills and packinghouses and they built bridges canals and railroads p609614 James Rusling author of The Chinese in the Far Westwrote that the Central Pacific Railroad would not have been completed had it not been for 10000 Chinamen who labored for a dollar a day to build the railroad Marcus p85 Italians were also recognized for their contribution to the construction of railroad lines by the Industrial Commission in 1905 p609 With the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 trade with the Far East was increased and the United States was now connected from east to west Immigration also impacted the growth of cities By 1900 40 of the population lived in cities or towns Most of this population consisted of immigrants who worked in the factories and mills The authors of our textbook stated that the United States had only 9 large cities in 1860but by 1920 that number had increased to 68 p616 The population increase created an expanding market for consumer goods Lecture notes It also created a huge labor pool Factory owners viewed immigrants as a bottomless pool of dependable inexpensive labor p612 Regarding the woolen mills in California Rusling wrote that the Chinese labored for almost 200 a day less than native-born Americans and displayed great proficiency in their work Marcus p85 As immigrants poured into
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