Confucian China and Its Modern Fate, Volume 2: The Problem by Joseph R. Levenson

By Joseph R. Levenson

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Born workers resented the influx of immigrants who would work for even less. In the workplace, it was tempting to use poor immigrants as strikebreakers. At first it was the Irish, who were not allowed to join labor unions. Then the Italians arrived. They became the strikebreakers, and the Irish joined unions. In the 1830s cities began to see more strikes and even riots, with workers demanding better wages and conditions. AMERICAN TRADITIONS WITH FOREIGN ROOTS Some of the traditions that are considered most American came from other places: Hamburgers and frankfurters – from Germany Pizza and spaghetti – from Italy Bagels – from Jewish tradition Tacos and enchiladas – from Mexico Chop suey and chow mein – Invented by Chinese immigrants for American tastes 39 SLUM ANGELS Two women established immigrant assistance centers in the slums.

1891 1892 The Office of Immigration is created. Today, this is the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Ellis Island opens. 1900-1910 The peak decade for immigration to the United States. 1921 The Quota Act sets an annual immigration limit at 358,000 and specifies quotas for nationalities. Only three percent of the numbers of any nationality in the United States in 1910 can enter per year. 1952 The Immigration and Naturalization Act combines past laws governing immigration and naturalization.

Working high above the street, immigrants helped build steel-framed skyscrapers. 38 Most immigrants desperately needed work, and their willingness to work for very low wages fueled the backlash against them. When the country passed through a depression between 1837 and 1840, a common laborer’s wages fell from a dollar a day to 75 cents or lower. S. born workers resented the influx of immigrants who would work for even less. In the workplace, it was tempting to use poor immigrants as strikebreakers.

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