2.12 – Factories, Cities, and Immigrants


Ryan Engelman, “The Second Industrial Revolution”

Library of Congress, “City Life in the Late 19th Century”

Ted Brackemyre, “Immigrants, Cities, and Disease”

PBS, “The First Measured Century”


Newberry Library, Immigration and Citizenship

Use these sources to answer the discussion questions. You are welcome to conduct additional research.

Discussion questions

Section I – Industrialization

1. Identify five major inventions or technological developments that reshaped the American economy during the 19th century.

2. Identify at least two major capitalists and the corporations they led. What strategies did they use to advance their business interests?

Section II – Urbanization

3. What were some of the major characteristics of city life in this era?

Section III – Immigration

4. What were some of the countries of origin of the ‘old’ immigrants and ‘new’ immigrants to the United States?

5. What were some of the “push” factors that led immigrants to leave their home countries and the “pull” factors that made the United States appealing to immigrants?

6. How did supposedly scientific ideas contribute to racism in the United States in this era?

7. What were some of the most significant contributions made by immigrant groups to American life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?

8. What were some of the reasons that some Americans opposed immigration in the late 19th and early 20th century, and which groups did the ‘nativists’ believe should not be allowed to enter the United States?

9. Why did some Americans support immigration?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s