Immigrants and the Gilded Age

1619 Words7 Pages
Immigrants in the Gilded Age When it comes to the Gilded Age of the United States of America, there are many things that stand out during that time. One of these things was the division of labor and class, primarily between the natural born citizens and the thousands of immigrants that came to the United States during that time. The natural born citizens were used to certain rights granted to them in the beginning of the era, such as getting a good wage in the many factories that had spread across the country and being more secure in their job. The immigrants that came over, however, were willing to do the same jobs the Americans were doing only at a lower wage since they usually came to the States with little more then a suitcase and the clothes on their backs. This drove most, if not outright all, factory owners and employers to lower the wages for everybody and thus unsettle the citizens who had the job in the first place. However, this is only one of the things that happened to labor and class during the Gilded Age thanks to the many immigrants coming from all over. 1880 is an important time for the Gilded Age when it comes to labor and class. It was during that time that the Census Bureau found that the majority of the work force had moved to non-farming jobs despite the country being a mostly agricultural place before hand (Foner, Ch. 16, 634). By the 1890’s, over two-thirds of the working Americans were in a factory working the floors and machinery rather than running/owning a farm, business or craft shop. In the fifty years from 1870 to 1920, eleven million Americans had moved to factory jobs. During those same fifty years, twenty-five million immigrants had arrived from overseas to land in the United States to seek their fortunes and to live a better life. Most of these immigrants found work in the factories or as servants for the families who
Open Document