19th Century America (02:31)
America was experiencing an economic revolution in the 1800s. Immigrants were an important part of the labor force, building canals, subways, and skyscrapers.
Mennonite Migrants (06:38)
In 1873, more than 12,000 Eastern European Mennonites moved to America to practice their religious beliefs. The Mennonites introduced a new strain of wheat to Kansas.
Scandinavian Migrants (09:02)
The trans-continental railroad made the west more accessible and increased its population. Scandinavians moved to the Pacific Northwest to work in the logging industry.
Jewish Migrants (08:56)
By 1910, New York City had grown into one of the largest industrialized cities. Jewish migrants moved to New York to escape antisemitism in Europe and Russia. Ellis Island opened in 1892 and became the first stop for millions of migrants.
Chinese Persecution in the West (07:30)
In the middle of the 19th century, many Asian immigrants were arriving at west coast ports. By the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Chinese residents were facing discrimination and being forced out of work and housing.
Polish Migrants (09:45)
The Industrial Revolution created a strong need for labor. Many Polish migrants moved to Chicago to work in the steel industry.
Irish Catholics in Boston (05:52)
Irish Catholics faced discrimination and violence in cities like Boston, where they made up 25% of the population. In the 1880s, the Irish community banded together and worked to get an Irishman elected mayor of Boston.
Italian Migrants (09:28)
A series of natural disasters prompted residents of southern Italy to move to America. Many settled in New York City and worked building subways and bridges.
The Great Migration (10:11)
The 1924 Immigration Act limited the number of immigrants, which created a labor shortage in northern factories. About six million African-Americans moved north for work and to escape repressive laws in the south.
Mexican Migrants (07:03)
During World War II, the Bracero Program brought Mexican workers into America to fill the labor shortage. The program continued for 19 years, but Mexican workers were exploited by the American government. Many Mexicans began taking undocumented jobs outside of the program.
War Brides (05:42)
More than 80,000 women moved to America to be with soldiers they met during World War II. Immigration laws prohibited entry for most women from Asian countries, including Japan.
Operation Pedro Pan (06:45)
America used immigration and the fact that people wanted to move there as a threat to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Thousands of children from Communist Cuba were sent to the America through Operation Pedro Pan.
Vietnamese Migrants (10:18)
In 1965, America ended the quota-based immigration laws and allowed migrants from Asian countries. The end of the Vietnam War caused an influx of Vietnamese people moving to America.
Credits: America: Promised Land - Part 2 (00:04)
Credits: America: Promised Land - Part 2
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