than that of the "social set." In this latter case, a desire
for luxurious ease and comfort often militates against
large families. In addition to selfishness, there are many
other causes, beside the economic, which help to explain
the declining birth rate of native white Americans.
From the following table we may observe a falling death
rate in three leading European countries:
England and Wales
This fact of a falling death rate is also true of our own
country. Thus the death rate in Massachusetts fell, in
ten years, from nineteen and three-tenths to . falline:
seventeen and seven-tenths. In the same decade death rate :
the death rate in the state of New York fell
from nineteen and six-tenths to seventeen and nine-tenths.
The stage of civilization attained by a people may be read
in the death rate of a nation, for enlightened countries
attempt to prolong human life and to lessen preventable
diseases. Modern medical science has done much in this
direction. In the last century the death rate of cities has
been cut in half by a knowledge of public hygiene and
sanitation. One by one the causes and carriers of disease
are being discovered and conquered. The elimination of
typhoid by a more careful disposal of sewage, of yellow
fever by the extermination of the mosquito, and of small-
pox by compulsory vaccination are the triumphs of medical
science. The crusade against tuberculosis is still being
154 Problems of American Democracy
waged. However, infant mortality, although decreasing,
is still high. Baby-saving campaigns have resulted in
popular education upon this subject. Clean milk and
flyless homes will accomplish marvels. At the present
time, however, one-half of all infants born die before the
age of five years. As recently as 1900, in the registered
area of the United States, sixteen and two-tenths per cent
of all children born died within the first year.
War is an obivously important factor affecting the death
rate. Again, economic depression raises the price of food
other and with it the death rate. Industrial accidents
influences. yjj t h ousan( } s annually in the United States
alone, and occupational diseases take a terrible toll.
Climate and season are two other important factors
influencing the death rate. In cold climates winter is
often fatal, while in warm lands summer brings the dreaded
fever. It would seem that sex and conjugal condition are
also factors in longevity, for apparently males are shorter-
lived than females, and bachelors do not live as long as
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1 . Why do you think the population of Europe during the Middle
Ages was stationary?
2. Show the great increase during the 19th century.
3. Give reasons for it.
4. State the theory of Malthus.
5. Criticize it and show the falsity of his fears.
6. Compare the countries of Europe in respect to their rates of
7. Show the enormous rate of increase of population in the United
8. To what is this due?
9. What continents are most densely populated?
Our Increasing Population 155
10. What countries of Europe are the most and least densely
11. What is the average density of population in the United States?
12. How does it vary from East to West?
13. How does it compare with Europe?
14. Show how the center of population has moved westward.
15. Show how our population is distributed by race; by nativity.
16. Distribute population according to sex; according to age.
17. What are vital statistics?
18. Compare the birth rates in France and Germany.
19. Compare the birth rates in America of the native and foreign
20. What will be the result if this difference continues?
21. Give reason for our falling native birth rate.
22. Where is it most, and where least, apparent?
23. Show the falling death rate in Europe. In America. State
24. Describe some other influences that affect the death rate.
TOPICS FOR SPECIAL REPORT
1. Effects upon population of scientific farming.
2. Pressure of population upon food supply in China and India.
3. Thomas Mai thus â€” his writings and their effects.
4. The Law of Diminishing Returns from land.
5. Relation between the above law and the Malthusian theory
6. The causes for the increase in Germany's population from
7. Medical science and the lowering of the death rate.
8. Infant mortality â€” causes, effects, remedies.
9. Relation between occupation and density of population.
Bailey. Modern Social Conditions. Chapters III to VI inclusive.
Bonar. Malthus and His Work.
Ellwood, C. A. Sociology and Modern Social Problems. Chapter
156 Problems of American Democracy
Mangold, G. B. Problems of Child Welfare. Chapters Iâ€” III.
Mill, J. S. Principles of Political Economy. Book 1.
Newsholme, T. The Declining Birth Rate.
Quick, H. The Good Ship Earth.
United States Census Reports.
Americans â€” Old and New
I. Early immigration of the nineteenth century
i . Waves of immigration :
2. Nationalities represented :
II. Later sources
i. The change
4. Russian Jews
5. Other groups
Early Immigration of the Nineteenth Century. â€”
The increase in our national population, as already indi-
cated, was partially the result of successive
waves of immigration that came to America immigra-
from Europe. This immigration has affected n^\
our racial and social heredity. The new element
has influenced and, in turn, been influenced by our social
environment. These newly transplanted Europeans repre-
158 Problems of American Democracy
sent various strange nationalities of the Old World and
present a serious problem of adjustment in the New World,
As water seeks its level, so population moves from dense to
sparsely settled regions. The countries principally con-
tributing to our early immigration were Great Britain
and Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. Between 1820,
the first year for which we have statistics, and the
present time over thirty million immigrants have come
to America. Half of this number has arrived since 1890,
which date marks the beginning of immigration on a
large scale. During this period, the sources of immi-
gration have steadily shifted from northern Europe to
the Mediterranean lands. For this reason we speak of
the early, and of the later, immigration of the nineteenth
In 1820 the number of immigrants was eight thousand.
This group increased slowly, not passing the one hundred
thousand mark until the 'forties were reached.
Causes. . .
Two significant dates are 1846 and 1848. The
former marked the failure of the potato crop in Ireland, while
the latter ushered in the political revolutions of Central
Europe. Both events sent large numbers of immigrants to
America, but the increase of numbers was checked by the
outbreak of the Civil War. In the 'seventies the numbers
rose again, growing still larger in the 'eighties. The propor-
tion declined, however, during the 'nineties. With the open-
ing of the twentieth century and up until the outbreak of
the World War, immigration to the United States assumed
enormous proportions, passing the mark of one million
annually. It is interesting to note how the fluctuations in
immigration have corresponded to economic conditions in
the United States. The curve of migration corresponds
Americans â€” Old and New 159
almost exactly with the rise and fall of national prosperity
in this country.
Because our institutions are modeled largely upon those
of Great Britain, American history has its beginnings in
England. Her contribution to the early colonists â€ž . ..
was numerically the greatest â€” English, Scotch, ties:
and Welsh immigration to this country continu-
ing long after the war for independence. Ireland, however,
has occupied a unique position in American history.
From 1820 to 1850 the Irish made up two-fifths, and,
during the 'fifties, one-third of our total immigration. The
population of the island was reduced one-half by famine
and emigration. There are probably now more Irish in
America than in Ireland itself, and the people have
decidedly colored our national character. At first the
Irish immigrant was received into the "pick and shovel
caste," but he has risen rapidly from the ranks of unskilled
labor to positions of honor and trust in the community.
Many Americans prominent in public life are of Irish
descent, for they have shown rare capacity in executive
positions. v Many, however, have not advanced, because
the Irish-American, as compared with the German-
American, seems to fall into extremes of conduct.
The German-American element in our population is of
equal importance. Over five millions of Germans came to
this country during the last century. At first, The
this migration was due to religious oppression, Germans -
but later it was the result of political oppression. As com-
pared with the Irish, this group of immigrants was steady,
thrifty, and provident. Because of different language and
customs, the German element in this country has been more
difficult to assimilate than the Irish. Germans tend to
160 Problems of American Democracy
settle in communities, like those in Pennsylvania, Mis-
souri, Illinois, and Wisconsin. They have become skilled
artisans, and small tradesmen and they have also attached
themselves to the soil. The Irish have been fond of com-
petitive sports and athletic games, but the German-
American has found interest in gymnastic societies, festi-
vals, and choruses requiring cooperation rather than
competition. The Irish policeman and the German band
were typical of opposing racial characteristics.
At the present time there are probably over a million
people in the United States who were born in Norway,
Sweden, or Denmark. Norway has given to us
Scandi- a greater percentage of her people than any
other country except Ireland. I he home of the
Scandinavian immigrant has been the Northwest, including
the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, North and
South Dakota, and Iowa. The Irish immigrants were
almost entirely Catholic, but the Scandinavians were
Protestant. This group has recruited the rural farming
population of our country and has also played an important
part in the lumbering and transportation industries. In
point of literacy this group leads. Like the German and
the Irish migration, the Scandinavian immigration to this
country has about ceased.
Later Sources. â€” In the last two decades of the nine-
teenth century a remarkable change began to take place in
The the character of American immigration. Pre-
change. viously, the source of supply had been drawn
from northern Europe in the Teutonic and Celtic countries
of Scandinavia, Germany, Great Britain, and Ireland.
Now the source of supply began to shift to the Southeast,
including the countries of Italy, Austria, Hungary, and
Americans â€” Old and New 161
Russia. This change is easily perceived by a study of the
following table, which gives* the percentage of immigration
for six groups:
Great Britain and Ireland .... 22.8% 8.8%
Germany 3*-7% 2.9%
Scandinavia 13-3% 3-9%
Total 67.8% 15.6%
Italy 4.1% 22.2%
Austria-Hungary 3-7% 26.3%
Russia . 2.7% 20.1%
Total 10.5% 68.6%
This table shows that, during recent times, the per-
centages of immigration from the countries of northern
and souther Europe have been practically reversed. The
change in the character of our immigration is likewise
significant. A line drawn diagonally across Europe from
northeast to southwest separates two distinct civilizations.
The northern area (except France, from which we receive
few immigrants, and Ireland) is Protestant and, generally
speaking, has been accustomed to some degree of political
freedom. The southern area is Catholic in religion and, as
yet, not altogether accustomed to free institutions. Such
a geographical line would also separate literacy from
illiteracy, and the intelligent artisan and farmer from a
backward peasantry scarcely removed from serfdom.
Finally, it would separate the Teutonic races from the
Latin and the Slav. The European type north of this
imaginary line is similar to our colonial stock and is
capable of adjusting itself to American institutions. The
races to the Southeast, however, present a more difficult
problem of amalgamation. Whereas in earlier times the
Problems of American Democracy
immigrants to America often sought a refuge from
religious and political persecution, the cause of the
more recent immigration is largely economic.
Americans oe the Future â€” Waiting at Ellis Island
Before the World War, Italy was sending to our shores
between one quarter and one half a million immigrants
The annually. The reason for this Italian immigra-
itaiians. ^ on j g en ^ re ]_y economic, for in the native land
living has become precarious. The rich resources of
America call the Italian from his impoverished and over-
populated land. The Italian immigration has settled
largely in the North Atlantic states, showing a great
tendency to congest in cities. Often an entire village has
been transplanted to one street in the ghetto of a great
city. Only one-fifth of the immigrants are women, and
Americans â€” Old and New 163
the absence of family ties encourages a migratory life.
Hence many shift from place to place, borne along with
the tide of a fluctuating labor market. After acquiring
a little of the world's wealth, they often seek to return to
their native Italian village. A distinction, however, should
be made between the North and the South Italian stocks,
which are fundamentally different. This racial distinction
may be read in different physical characteristics, while
traits of character are also divergent. The better class of
north Italian stock often seeks Argentina and other South
American lands, where it becomes an important factor in
industrial enterprises. The occupations of the Italian in
America include construction work, trading, and farming,
as well as many forms of unskilled labor.
At the present time there are nearly two million Slavs in
the United States, half of whom are Poles. So great is the
number of the various Slavic groups that their
r The Slavs.
European habitat is a Babel of tongues and a
mass of confusion. In numerical proportion we find, after
the Poles, the following groups, â€” Bohemians, Moravians,
Slovaks from the Carpathian Mountains, Slovenes from
the head of the Adriatic, Croatians, Dalmations, Russians
(exclusive of the Hebrews), Bulgarians, Servians, Monte-
negrins, Slavonians, Ruthenians, Lithuanians, and Letts.
Three-fourths of these immigrants are males, and their
illiteracy is extremely high. The Slavs belong almost
entirely to the class of unskilled labor which find occupa-
tion in the mines and in the great manufacturing industries
where brawn, not brain, is essential. They have settled
mainly in the mining and industrial region which has its
central point in western Pennsylvania. An exception is
found in the case of Poles and Bohemians who settle upon
164 Problems of American Democracy
farms. The Slavs are remarkable for their fecundity.
Large families and high birth rate are the rule. They are
slow in assimilation, and many of their different groups
seek to found in the New World a nationalism difficult
of attainment in the old. The future of Slav immigration
is of vital importance, for immigration has scarcely touched
the millions of Slavs in Russia. So far most of this
immgiration from Russia has been largely Hebrew in
At the present time there are over two million Hebrew
immigrants in America, so that one-fifth of all the Jews in
Russian the world reside in the United States. America
jews. - g m( j eec [ t^g " Promised Land." As compared
with other groups, the Hebrew seeks to bring over his
entire family and to make America his permanent home.
The Jews have settled almost entirely in the cities, pre-
ferring commerce and trading to manual labor. Garment
and cigar making are more attractive to them than ordinary
unskilled labor. The sweat shop industries are good
examples of the exploitation of the Jewish immigrant.
There are comparatively few Jews in prison or in the alms-
houses. Intellectually, they rank higher than other immi-
grants, as may be readily seen by the records of school
children in foreign districts. Out of the six million Jews
in the Russian pale, nearly two million have been forced to
America by the fire of persecution. A background of
centuries of race prejudice has so cemented this group that
religious and other traditions at first prevent their
quick absorption into American civilization. However,
they later assume many American characteristics, and
the rise of the Hebrew in wealth and social position is
Americans â€” Old and New 165
The attempted Russiiication of Finland drove many-
thousands of these people to America. Like the Swedes,
the Finns have become farmers in our great other
Northwest. The Magyars, or Hungarians, are groups -
partly Mongul in blood and descended from the Asiatic
invaders who settled in the plains of the Danube River.
There are a quarter of a million of these Hungarians in
our land and, like the Slavs, they may be found in the
mining and industrial regions of America. â– Many return
to Europe with their American earnings, leaving behind,
not infrequently, an undesirable record. During the last
twenty years, about one hundred and fifty thousand
Greeks have come to us from the land of Homer. Among
this people, as well as the Italians, the padrone system of
labor flourishes. Many boys live under a master, by whom
and for whose benefit their labor is exploited. From
Asiatic Turkey come not only the Turks, but also the
Armenians and Syrians who peddle anything from olive
oil to costly rugs. These people are subject to rigid immi-
gration inspection, for the disease of trachoma or granulated
eyelid is common among them.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. What European countries formerly sent us the greatest
number of immigrants?
2. What nations now lead in the number sent us?
3. Show this change from statistics.
4. When did it begin to take place?
5. Compare the civilizations of Northern and Southern Europe
with respect to the type of immigrant each sends us.
6. Compare the causes of the earlier and later immigration.
7. Give the causes of the Italian immigration.
8. Compare the North Italian and the South Italian type.
1 66 Problems of American Democracy
0. Give the characteristics of the Slav group and compare it
with the Italian.
10. Give the characteristics of the Hebrew immigrants from South
11. Name and describe the other lesser groups.
12. Where geographically, and in what particular industries, does
each immigrant group tend to settle?
13. Try to trace back your own descent.
14. What elements came into our population about the middle of
the nineteenth century? Describe each.
15. What has been the nature of immigration to this country
16. Give some general characteristics of these later groups.
17. What great problem has this change in immigration given
rise to? Explain.
TOPICS FOR SPECIAL REPORT
1. The old and the new causes of immigration.
2. Immigration and the Revolutions of 1848.
3. Immigration and the Irish famine of 1847.
4. The European background of immigration.
5. Russia's treatment of the Jews.
6. The World War and immigration.
7. A program of Americanization.
8. The steerage passage to America.
Commons, J. R. Races and Immigrants in America.
Falrchild, H. P. Immigration.
Hall, P. F. Immigration.
Reports United States Immigration Commission.
Rus, J. A. Making of an American.
Ross, E. A. The Old World in the New.
Stelner, E. A. On the Trail of the Immigrant.
Steiner, E. A. The Immigrant Tide.
The Problem of Immigration
I. Distribution of immigrants
II. Effects of immigration
i . Economic effect
2. Social effect
3. Political effect
5. Poverty and crime
6. Other social effects
III. Asiatic immigration
1. Its history
2. Its problems
IV. Restrictions on immigration
1 . The usual restrictions
2. The literacy test
3. A temporary check
Distribution of Immigrants. â€” We have just observed
the tendency of immigrants to congest into groups and
have noted the favored spot of each national
group. If, however, the immigrants to this ^Iphicai.
country had distributed themselves evenly
throughout the length and breadth of the land, the problem
of immigration would be easy of solution. But, as a matter
of fact, those who have come to this country from Europe
have settled largely in the great cities, and in the North
Atlantic and Middle states of the East, and in the North
Central states of the Middle West. Only six per cent
1 68 Problems of American Democracy
have settled in the far West and five per cent in the
South. Of course the reason for this geographical con-
centration is to be found in the fact that the West is
agricultural, while the South is not only agricultural but
is also well supplied with negro labor against whom
competition is difficult.
We have already seen the characteristic industries of the
different nationalities of our immigrant population. As a
. , , general conclusion, it is safe to say that four-
Industrial. " , J
fifths of our recent immigrants belong to the
group known as unskilled labor. The important industries
in which they are engaged are mining and manufacturing,
construction work, transportation, and domestic service.
Agriculture does not play an important part in the life of
Effects of Immigration. â€” The economic effect of
immigration is well illustrated by the attitude of organized
Economic labor upon the question of unrestricted immi-
gration. Organized labor asserts, with much
truth, that immigrant labor has lowered wages by its
willingness to submit to a lower standard of living than
that accepted by the American workman. Therefore, just
as the American manufacturer is protected, so should
American labor be safe-guarded, in order that the higher
standards of living of American workmen may not be
lowered by the low wage of immigrant labor. On the
other hand, there may be an economic need for unskilled
immigrant labor to perform the work spurned by American
labor. Hence, there seems to be a real place for immigrant
labor in the United States. For example, great construction
enterprises are carried on by gangs of immigrants, who toil
in our mines and foundries to make America an industrial
The Problem of Immigration 169
leader. Instead of going upon the farm, colonies of
foreigners settle around great industrial centers. As a
result, the exploitation of the immigrant has been great.
He is thrown into the maelstrom of industry with its long
hours of work, dangerous trades, and unhealthy working
conditions. This problem we shall meet again, but it is
\most acute among the ignorant immigrant classes. If the
American worker has been displaced by his lower-waged
rival, he has more often been lifted into the higher plane
of skilled industries. He has left, rather than been forced
out of, the ranks of unskilled labor.
The recent immigrants from southern Europe are racially
different from native born Americans and from the earlier
representatives of northern Europe, who were social
close to us in blood and civilization. Conse- e ect *
quently the newer immigrants are more difficult to assimi-
late. Of course, America is the "melting pot" of nations,
where there is brewing a national character whose exact
nature is difficult to fortell. Whether the new mixture
will be sociologically inferior or superior to the old, it is
impossible to predict. Only its future development in the
new environment can answer that question. The public
schools are doing the wonderful work of Americanizing the
children of the immigrants, and the rapidity of the process
among the second generation is remarkable. Community
centers and night schools are solving the more difficult
problem among the older immigrants, who seek to learn at
least the rudiments of our language. The homes in
the congested immigrant section are frequently un-