New immigrants

From the 1890s onwards a new wave of immigrants began to arrive in the USA from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.

These new immigrants came from countries such as Italy, Poland, Russia and Lithuania.

These immigrants were generally poorer and less well educated than the more established old immigrants.

Many found it difficult to obtain well-paying jobs, and instead had to accept lower wages. They were also often used to break strikes. Slum housing was another problem faced by this group.

Young boys on a sidewalk of Little Italy in New York 1900
Little Italy became a neighbourhood for new immigrants

Many new immigrants lived in communities with people from their native country.

Neighbourhoods with names such as ‘Little Italy’ and ‘Irish Town’ started to appear in American cities.

New immigrants faced many obstacles in their pursuit of the American Dream. These obstacles included:

  • the language barrier
  • poverty and slum housing
  • racial prejudice
  • religious conflict