Immigrants in New York City, late 1800s.
Between 1860-1900, one third of the population
increase in America was due to new immigrants; correspondingly,
by 1870 one third of industrial workers were immigrants.
(20) In the larger
cities the majority of the population consisted of immigrants
and their children. Crowded into slums, working dirty, backbreaking
jobs (when immigrants could find them), mocked by the press
and brutalized by more settled, earlier immigrants, this group
formed the new working class.
One reaction against the "great unwashed
masses" was to give rise to social distinctions that decried
against the "vulgarity" of the lower class (lest the
middle class be confused for them). (22)
Tellingly, Currier and Ives only included immigrants in their
Back to The Great West