United States Immigration

United States Immigration

The immigration phenomenon therefore occupies a place of the highest order among the causes of the population of the Union. It has taken on multiple aspects and intensities over the course of the centuries. How far since the time of the first white colonizations, points lost in the immensity of the virgin land, because the nuclei of the aborigines were very scattered and scattered, who must fatally be submerged by the inexorable march of the invaders! The first stable settlement by the Whites dates back to 1607, when 107 English planted the first seed of future greatness on the banks of the James in the Chesapeake Bay; over the course of the 17th-18th centuries the call of Anglo-Saxon elements became more and more intense, from the coasts of New England to those of Georgia; the first cities are founded, which will have to become the metropolises of the future Union, the first colonies are founded and defined: at the end of the century. XVII in the immense strip looked to the East. from the Atlantic and to the W. by the wild Appalachians, already 225,000 individuals lived in nuclei, still far from presenting any continuity. And in the course of the following decades the human tide begins its march towards the west, crosses the obstacle of the chains, faces the Mississippi basin, giving rise to a stable colonization. The first census of the Union (1790), after the victorious conquest of independence, already gives a total of 3,929,214 residents But in the course of the century. In the nineteenth and early decades of the twentieth, the political borders expanded enormously to reach the Gulf of Mexico to the south and the Pacific to the west, the immigration current assumes gigantic proportions, accompanying itself hand in hand with the progress of colonization and industrial development. The statistics in this regard speak a truly significant language: from 1821 to 1930 there are 38 million individuals, who landed on American soil from all over the world.

From the 143,439 immigrants in the decade 1821-30 in the period 1851-60 it jumped to 2,598,214, to 5,246,613 in the years 1881-90 and reached the maximum, no longer reached, of 8,795,386 in 1901-10. In the following decade it drops to 5,735,811; in the period 1921-1930 to 4.107.209. Over this mass, Europe has the absolute prevail, since 85% of the immigrants on American soil in the period 1841-1930 came from the European states; only in the last decades of this period did Europe’s participation drop below this figure (60% in the decade 1921-31).

Some states emerge due to the large mass of emigrants on American soil: out of a European total of 31,674,150 individuals, who left for the new world in the period 1841-1930, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Poland, Austria-Hungary pre-war (and the successor states of the monarchy), Italy, compete with a mass of almost 27 million (84%). The phenomenon is very varied in intensity and duration. The United Kingdom occupies first place with 8,439,645 emigrated individuals: English emigration reaches its highest values ​​during the century. XIX, from 1841 to 1890, with almost 5.9 million parties. In the century XX UK participation becomes much less sensitive. But it is not Great Britain that offers the largest contingent, but the small and much less populated Ireland, which sees its demographic stratum thinner, halve due to the very sad economic conditions of the homeland, oppressed by English arrogance: in the period 1841-1930 about 4.3 million Irish left the mother island, equal to 50% of the total English emigrated. Next to the emigration of the United Kingdom is that of Germany with a complex of 5,747,710 individuals: as for the previous one, so also for the German one there is a clear prevailing of the century. XIX, with the maximum values ​​in the thirty years 1860-90. At the end of the nineteenth century and the opening of the twentieth, a profound transformation took place: the emigration of the Anglo-Saxon states was greatly overwhelmed by that of the Slavic and neo-Latin states. Eastern Danube-Carpathian and Mediterranean Europe overthrows a huge mass of workers on American soil: in the decade 1901-1910 alone, over 2 million people come from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, 2 million from Italy (in a very clear prevalence from the southern and island provinces), 1,600,000 from Russia, including Poland. And this vast movement still continues in the period 1911-1915. In recent decades, the rest of America has also appeared as a continent of large emigration to the United States. The location of the immigrant elements is on the whole simple and obeys strict geographical and economic laws. In 1930 the English and Irish element born abroad was 75% concentrated in the states of New England, Mid-Atlantic and Central NE.; about 70% of homeland-born Germans are located in Central NE. and in the Middle Atlantic; equal distribution have Poles and Russians, while about 60% of Italians live concentrated in the states of the Middle Atlantic, especially in the state of New York; the Canadians, on the other hand, for over 60% are in the states of New England and Central NE., therefore in contact with the homeland of origin.

The second fundamental ethnic element of the Union’s demographic are the Negroes. Imported as slaves since the century. XVII to work in the plantations of the southern colonies, for obvious reasons of climate and demographic character (scarcity of white labor; the little or no adaptability of the natives to agricultural work), they are increasing in number, so much so that in the second mid-century XVIII already amount to 300,000; and a new and more powerful lure of black labor stems from the rapid spread of cotton cultivation at the end of the century. XVIII with the invention of the ginning machine. It was only in 1865 that slavery was abolished throughout the United States: but few are the Negroes who abandon their homeland, good or bad, acquired; most remain as free workers on American soil. Their number has become conspicuous. The 1870 census gives 5,410,000 Negroes (12.7% of the entire population of the Union), rising to 8,834,000 in 1900 (11.6%), to 10,463,131 in 1920 (9.9%), to 11,891,143 in 1930 (9.7%). Their distribution is very interesting: it is the Southern states that comprise the greatest quantity of Negroes, with the maximum values ​​(1930) of the South Atlantic (28%; South Carolina 45.6%), of the Central SE. (26.9%; Mississippi with the national maximum of 50.2%), of the SO Center. (18.7%; Louisiana 36.9%). But over the years we are witnessing a very interesting phenomenon. While in the Southern states the Negro team is yielding in the face of the increase in the white population, in the North there is a continuous increase in the element of color.

Currently, according to the research of anthropologists, the majority of the black element is made up of blood-blooders and the proportion of white blood tends to increase significantly from generation to generation.

The other ethnic elements have little numerical value: in all, 1.6% of the entire population in 1930, including the Mexican element.

Also represented on American soil is the yellow race with the Chinese and the Japanese, immigrants several times from the opposite shores of the Pacific. Attracted by the discovery of Californian gold, many Chinese came, who planted their home mainly in California; struck by numerous restrictive laws, they have been decreasing in number, from a maximum of 107,488, as the 1890 census counted, to 74,954 in 1930.

Much better organized was the immigration of the Japanese: 148 in 1880, 24,328 in 1900, 111,010 in 1920, 138,834 in 1930. Skilled workers and traders, they immediately represented a serious danger of competition for the white elements of the Pacific states, where they took up permanent residence (97,456 in California, 17,837 in Washington state). The laws of 1924, enacted by the federal government, banned yellow immigration entirely on American soil.

In 1930 the Mexican one was added among the elements of color, with 1,422,533 individuals, scattered mainly in the states bordering the confederation of Mexico, with the highest values ​​in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Texas.

By comparison, the survival of the pre-Columbian bloodlines has disappeared: the census of 1930 gave 332,397 Indians present in the Union, scattered throughout all the states of the confederation, but with a clear prevalence of the Center NO., The Center SO., The Mountain and the Pacific.: the maximum value is held by the state of Oklahoma with 92,725 Indians.

Faced with a similar immigration current, it is natural that in the Union the percentage of foreign-born (both white and black) is always very high. It was 9.7% according to the 1850 census, rising to 14.7% in 1890 and 1910, to gradually decrease to 13.2% in 1920, to 11.6% in 1930. The individual geographical divisions behave in remarkably different way: the intensely agricultural regions of the Mississippi basin, the Lower Atlantic, the Mountain and partly also the Pacific coast experienced the highest percentages of those born abroad in the century. XIX, especially in the forty years of 1860-1900, a period in which the march of colonization wrote its most heroic pages, recalling for agricultural and above all mining reasons (Mountain and Pacific) a huge mass of workers. With the sec. XX this percentage decreases considerably. Opposite these states are those of the Middle Atlantic, of New England. Not only do these geographical divisions have the highest percentage values ​​of foreign elements, therefore a sign of a continuous immigration from abroad, but they are the ones they perceive in the first decades of the century. XX an increase in foreign-born, a fact which coincides with the greater immigration flow from Mediterranean, Danube-Carpathian and Eastern Europe.

The effect of such a large immigrant mass is the extraordinary increase in the population of the United States, as shown by the ten-year census figures, starting from 1790, an increase that for grandeur has no comparison on the surface of the Earth. There were 3.93 million residents in 1790; it rises to 5.3 in 1800: in fifty years it almost quintupled, rising to 23.2 in 1850; it reached 50 million in 1880; almost 76 in 1900; 105.7 in 1920 to reach the strong figure of 122.77 in 1930. The percentage increases are very strong, far higher than those due to the simple surplus of stillbirths over the dead: they range between 30-35% in the 1790 period -1860, then there is a progressive decrease, falling to 25.5% in the decade 1880-90, to 20.7% in the following; it rises to 21% in 1900-1910; it reaches its minimum level in the period 1910-1920 due to the world war, with 14.8%, to go back to 16.1% in the period 1921-30. Naturally, the individual states and geographical divisions behave in profoundly different ways: historical and economic reasons come into play to explain these profound, significant contrasts (see table).

United States Immigration