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From the data presented in the preceding table it appears that 38.4 per cent of the total number of 2,679 foreign-born male employees for whom information was secured are fully naturalized, while 13.5 per cent have first papers only. Of the foreign-born races the Irish, Welsh, English, and Swedes, in the order mentioned, have the largest proportion of fully naturalized individuals and the Magyars, Slovenians, and Germans have the largest proportion of individuals who have first papers only.
The increasing interest in political affairs and the growing tendency of the foreign-born employees to become permanently identified with this country after designated periods of residence is exhibited by the following table, which shows, by race and by years in the United States, the present political condition of foreign-born male iron and steel workers who were 21 years of age or over at time of coming to the United States:
TABLE 578.-Present political condition of foreign-born male employees who were 21 years of age or over at time of coming to the United States, by years in the United States and race.
(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.)
[By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. This table includes only races with 100 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.]
The data in the preceding table show that, in the case of each of the races for which information was secured, a larger proportion of employees who have been in the United States ten years or over than of employees who have been here from five to nine years are fully naturalized. Upon the other hand, there is a decrease with length of residence in the United States in the proportion of all individuals having first papers only due to the greater number of citizens among the races of long residence. This decrease is particularly noticeable in the case of the English, Germans, and Swedes. Of all employees who have been in the United States five years or over the English and Swedes, in the order mentioned, have the largest and the Slovenians and Croatians the smallest proportion of fully naturalized individuals, and the Slovenians and Germans have the largest and the Croatians the smallest proportion of individuals having the first papers only.
ABILITY TO SPEAK ENGLISH.
The table next presented shows, by race, the per cent of foreignborn male employees of non-English-speaking races who have acquired the ability to speak English.
TABLE 579.-Per cent of foreign-born male employees who speak English, by race.
(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.)
[This table includes only non-English-speaking races with 40 or more males reporting. The total, how. ever, is for all non-English-speaking races.]
Of 7,747 male employees reporting complete data in the preceding table, 51.6 per cent are able to speak English. The Norwegians, followed by the Swedes, Germans, and Bohemians and Moravians, have the largest proportions, while the Greeks, Herzegovinians, Slovenians, and Macedonians in the order named show the smallest proportions able to speak the English language.
The greater progress of younger than of older immigrants in acquiring the use of the English language is shown by the following table which sets forth, by age at time of coming to the United States and race, the per cent of foreign-born male employees who now speak English:
TABLE 580.-Per cent of foreign-born male employees who speak English, by age at time of coming to the United States and race.
(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.)
[This table includes only non-English-speaking races with 100 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all non-English-speaking races.]
The preceding table includes 7,747 male employees. Of this number 98.1 per cent of those who were under 14 years of age at time of coming to the United States, as compared with 48.2 per cent of those who were 14 years of age or over, speak English at the present time. That ability to speak English is more readily acquired by those who are younger at the time of coming to the United States, is evinced by the fact that, while the proportion of those who were under 14 years of age ranges from 100 per cent, as shown by the Germans, Slovaks, and Swedes each, to 83.3 per cent, as shown by the Magyars, the proportion of those who were 14 years of age or over when they came to the United States ranges from 97.7 per cent, of the Swedes to 11.3 per cent of the Macedonians.
The relation between period of residence and ability to speak English is exhibited by the following table, which shows by years in the United States and race, the per cent of foreign-born male employees who speak English:
TABLE 581.—Per cent of foreign-born male employees who speak English, by years in the United States and race.
(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.)
[By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. This table includes only non-English-speaking races with 100 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all nonEnglish-speaking races.]
From the data presented in the above table it appears that 24.7 per cent of the foreign-born male employees who have been in the United States under five years, 52.9 per cent of those who have been here from five to nine years, and 86.8 per cent of those who have been here ten years or over speak English. The proportion of employees who have been in the United States under five years who speak English is very much larger for the Swedes than for the individuals of any other race and is smallest for the Macedonians, Slovenians, and Poles. The Swedes, North Italians, Germans, and Slovaks have the largest and the Slovenians the smallest proportions of individuals who have been here from five to nine years who speak English, while, of the employees who have been here ten years or over, all the Swedes and North Italians and a larger proportion of the Germans and Slovaks than of the individuals of any other race speak that language.
Industrial significance of the community-Effects of industrial depression-Households studied-Members of households for whom detailed information was secured[Text Tables 582 to 585 and General Tables 325 and 326].
INDUSTRIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE COMMUNITY.
Community E is made up of two adjoining towns which are for all practical purposes one city, the divisions between them being more artificial than real. They are situated in the southwestern part of Illinois along the bank of the Mississippi River, and are connected by steam and electric lines with St. Louis. The towns are of comparatively recent growth, having, during the past five years, experienced an extraordinary expansion in business and population, brought about by the establishment of new industries and the extension of those already established, especially that of steel. The principal industry is the car shops and foundry established in the year 1889. This company has an annual capacity of 400,000 chilled cast-iron freight and passenger car wheels, 15,000 all-steel freight cars, and 2,000 tons of bolts and forgings. Under normal conditions it employs 6,000 men. One steel foundry company, which began operations in 1895, turns out each year 60,000 tons of railway and other large steel castings and has a force of 1,600 employees. Another steel foundry, established in 1902, has an annual capacity of 50,000 steel castings and employs about 1,400 men. Another establishment, founded in 1894, is engaged in the manufacture of steel and granite ware. There is also in the community a company engaged in the manufacture of corn products, which was started in 1904 and which has more than 600 persons on its pay roll.
Part of the community is in an early stage of growth, and as is usually the case with towns of this character in the Middle West, it covers a large area of territory. Its streets are bad and its buildings largely of frame construction and scattered. Another part has reached a more permanent stage, with good streets, stone and brick buildings, and attractive residential sections.
EFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL DEPRESSION.
During five months of 1908 the car shops and steel companies constantly reduced their working forces until only a very small percentage of the number of employees before the panic were at work. On the other hand, the depression brought an increasing volume of business to the corn-products company, through their manufacture of a cheap kind of sirup, and this company employed more labor than ever before.
In the general curtailment of work, as is usually the case, married men with families and Americans were given the preference. As a result, the recent immigrants were the residual sufferers and were largely thrown out of employment. Very few had work, and in a great
many instances the few unskilled places that were open were filled by Americans who were normally skilled workmen, but who at the time of the depression were compelled to take any kind of work they could get.
Being unable to secure work, the recent immigrants who had saved sufficient to pay their passage, or who had been able to secure money from home, returned to their native countries. Only those remained in the community who came to this country during the depression and were unable to secure work and save sufficient to return, or those who were unable to return to their countries of origin because of political offenses or other reasons. The estimate is made that between five and six thousand recent immigrants left the community during the first six months of 1908.
Those that remained were supported in large measure by the mercantile houses. The representative mercantile establishments among the Bulgarians adopted the policy of extending credit to their patrons. They permitted them to retain their rooms on credit and supplied them with clothing, meat, groceries, bread, and all kinds of food on their promises to pay as soon as they were able to secure work. The volume of credit extended may be understood from the fact that on April 1, 1908, one mercantile house had on its books $25,000 and a similar establishment was carrying $15,000 in small accounts.
With very few exceptions, the Bulgarian firms thus carried the accounts of their countrymen and other recent immigrants. As a matter of fact, the merchants were not taking very large risks in that they so completely controlled the alien population, and for the additional reason that although the credits represented in the aggregate large sums, the individual accounts were small and could be paid without inconvenience as soon as work was resumed. This action of the merchants, however, whether brought about by selfish or disinterested motives, had the effect of lessening the amount of charitable and public relief to the unemployed immigrants, which was necessary in other localities. Only a small amount of relief work was necessary, and this was brought about by several Macedonian mercantile houses, with 400 to 500 patrons, which refused any longer to extend credit.
In addition to the statistical data gathered from the records of the local manufacturing plants and their employees, the following table shows, by general nativity and race of head of household, the households studied in the community.
TABLE 582.-Households studied, by general nativity and race of head of household. (STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)