General Question

jazzjeppe's avatar

I am wondering about the immigrants who came to America in the 19th century?

Asked by jazzjeppe (2598points) March 23rd, 2010

I have been wondering a couple of things as of lately:

1) During the 19th century when billions of Europeans came to North America, did they have some kind of quota to “fill” as of how many immigrants that could enter the country?

2) Were all the immigrants allowed to travel freely in the country after Ellis Island?

3) When and how did the new immigrants receive citizenship?

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11 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

The combined population of North America and Europe in 1900 was 500 million, so I doubt that ”billions of Europeans came to North America

grumpyfish's avatar

@ragingloli The billions of immigrants died in the great Oregon Plague ~~

PandoraBoxx's avatar

There were other ports than Ellis Island where immigrants came through from Europe, including New Orleans, Philadelphia, Boston, Nova Scotia, and Detroit. During the later part of the 1800’s an immigrant had to have a destination and sponsor, a certain amount of money, and pass a health exam. Benevolent societies sprung up in various cities to assist immigrants from certain countries, and as a result, you see cities with pocketed settlements—Irish Hill, Little Italy, Germantown, etc. Land development also took place through these settlement groups. For example, Tell City, Indiana was a planned community for Swiss settlers who came through Cincinnati, Ohio.

My great-grandfather came to the US through Ellis Island in 1904, but was sent back to Poland for health reasons. He went to Galveston TX in 1908, returned to Poland in 1912 to get the family, was drafted into the Polish cavalry in WWI, and was killed. Somewhere in Texas is property that was eventually sold for unpaid taxes.

Strauss's avatar

My grandparents on both sides came through Ellis Island in the 1870’s. My paternals came over independently from Slovenia, then part of Austria, and met each other here. My maternals came from Ireland, also independently, and met and married here. Many of the European immigrants came to the Chicago area for work in the steel or rail industry.

thriftymaid's avatar

No. Yes. Not sure, but my guess is that you’ll get a couple of good essays here. Or, you could do your own research.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

To answer the rest of your question, once immigrants came over, they were allowed to travel freely, and there was not the equivalent of the Immigration and Naturalization Service until 1870. Prior to that time, most petitions for naturalization happened in the chancery or police courts, and were managed at the state level. Residency requirements were 3 -5 years, and you had to renounce your allegiance to foreign powers, just like now. Generally, only men were naturalized; their wives gained citizen status because their husbands became citizens.

adrian1bored's avatar

what are the five settlers that came in America from long ago

Private777's avatar

Prior to entering through Ellis Island, every immigrant had to walk through a type of infirmary to ensure their health. There was a set of steps which each immigrant ha to climb. Above the steps were terraces where medical personnel observed each immigrant. Were they walking ok, were they coughing, how did their eyes look. One of the main tests was the stairs. This allowed the medical personnel to see if they were healthy enough. If given a green light they went through Ellis Island. If not they were kept in an infirmary for a specific period of time. If they were well by then they entered the U.S. If not they were semt back overseas.

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