Terms in this set (195)

There was a huge increase in the number of immigrants, Irish & German, between 1840 and 1860 entering the US. Most went to northern states for jobs. The increase in the number of immigrants was attributed to the modernization of agriculture and the industrial revolution in Europe, which interrupted the life and work patterns for many peasants and craftsmen. Innovations in transportation, such as the steamship and the railroad made travel much more manageable and affordable to immigrants. Many Irish immigrants came to America seeking refuge from disaster, specifically the Great Famine of 1845-51 that destroyed the potato crop. Most of the Irish immigrants took on the low wage, unskilled jobs that other Americans did not want to fill. The male Irish filled manual labor jobs in construction and infrastructure, while the women often worked in domestic service as servants. The women also replaced American born women in the Lowell system (textile factory work). Less Germans immigrated than the Irish. The German immigrants had more skilled craftsmen among them and settled into their own little communities with schools, newspapers, and churches. German immigrants came to the US seeking freedom from an oppressive government and a strict hierarchical society. The large number of immigrants coming to the US was significant because they filled a number of jobs previously filled by native-born Americans who became wary of the immigration and that led to conflicts over how many immigrants should be let in.