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ally, as the immigrants themselves become assimilated with the older population; and the process of change must be a gradual one and slow. The imposing of new institutions from outside by a horde of new immigrants could hardly fail to be detrimental, however good such institutions might have been in the home country.
Any student of immigration into a country therefore needs to consider carefully not only the extent of the new immigration, but also the character of the immigrants themselves, and the effect that they have upon a country's institutions.
Countries of Origin and Character of the Early and Late Immigration
A study of the immigration into the United States, from the time that our immigration records begin in 1819 to date, shows, as already pointed out, a change in the character of the immigration as well as in its extent. During the last twenty-five to thirty years so marked has been the change in the type of immigrants that it is convenient to classify our immigration as the old, that is, the immigrants of those races and countries which furnished the bulk of immigration prior to 1883, and the new, namely, the races coming since that date. The former class includes primarily immigrants from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. These countries furnished some 95 per cent. of the total number of immigrants coming into this country before 1883. In 1907, 81 per cent. of the total number of European immigrants, including Syrians, came from Aus
tria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Roumania, Russia, Servia, Spain, Syria and Turkey. The brief table for the years 1882. and 1907 puts the matter tersely.
TOTAL EUROPEAN IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES In years specified, by class of immigrants
The change in the character of the immigration is especially marked by the fact that during the last few years more immigrants have come from any one of' the three countries of Austria-Hungary, Italy or Russia than from all of the North European countries taken together that formerly furnished the bulk of European immigrants.
The figures for 1914 are very striking. In that year only 10 per cent. of the entire immigration came from northern and western Europe. From Italy alone came 23 per cent. of the entire immigration, a similar percentage from Austria-Hungary, while from Russia, including Finnland, came 21 per cent.
Certain marked characteristics of the immigrants also emphasize strongly the fact that the new immigration differs much more radically in type from the earlier American residents than did the old immigration, and that in consequence the problem of assimila
tion would have become much more difficult, even tho the numbers had remained the same, while the very great actual growth in the number of immigrants has vastly increased this difficulty, the significance of which should be borne in mind. The complexities of this problem require most careful consideration, and steadily magnify its importance.
CITY VERSUS COUNTRY DWELLERS
The immigrants of the earlier day came to this country primarily with the purpose of becoming permarrent dwellers; and a very large proportion of them, agriculturists abroad, went to our rural districts, took up land and became farmers here. Circumstances have so changed that the newer immigrants follow to a very great extent a different course. With the exception of the Hebrews, primarily from Russia, who are by compulsion in that country largely city dwellers, the present-day immigrants likewise come from country districts where they have formed the rural peasantry and unskilled laboring class. Coming to this country, however, they find that our supply of free agricultural land is practically taken up, and that there is a strong demand for their labor, especially in our mining and manufacturing centers, at wages much higher than any that they have known in their own country, altho they may be low when compared with the American standard. In consequence, these rural peasants have flocked into our industrial centers and have entered upon occupations for which they have had no previous training, and for which in many cases, they are ill adapted.
In the early days there was no careful inspection of the immigrants. Many came to this country feeble or diseased, with the result that comparatively soon they became a burden upon our charities, and beyond a doubt, in many instances, affected unfavorably, through the contagious diseases that they brought, the health of the community. Our later immigration laws, forbidding the entrance of those afflicted with any loathsome or contagious disease, or of those in such a condition of health that they are likely to become a public charge, together with the holding of the steamship companies responsible, to the extent of compelling them to return, free, passengers rejected by our immigration officials here, and, in the case of the insane or diseased, fining them in addition $100 for each case, have brought about a very great change in this regard. The careful inspection abroad, sometimes by representatives of the United States Government, otherwise by inspectors of the steamship companies, and the final examination at the port of entry, have brought about the result that with very rare exceptions every immigrant admitted to this country is now in good health, and is not bringing with him the germs of any disease that might prove detrimental.
Owing to the principle of international comity and the immemorial custom of treating seamen as members of a privileged class, there has been a loophole in connection with the alien seamen which has admitted into the country many immigrants who are very undesirable, either because they are diseased or
criminal or otherwise ineligible, altho these seamen, of course, form a very small percentage of the entire number of immigrants coming. Nevertheless, doubtless a very large proportion of the alien seamen who enter would not be admitted if regularly examined, as are other immigrants. Unfortunately, coming as members of the crews or as stowaways, they are allowed shore leave and desert, thus escaping inspection. It is to be hoped and expected that a modification of the law will in the near future stop this practise.
SEX AND FAMILY LIFE
Perhaps the most fundamental of the institutions of modern times is that of the family. With, of course, notable individual exceptions, the men and women who promote best the highest civilization are gathered into families, and have the benefit of a home life. The members of the old immigration, as a rule, came much more generally in families, with the evident purpose of making America their permanent home, than do the members of the new immigration. If we classify our European emigration (including Syrian), to the United States by class and sex, in the fiscal years 1899-1909, inclusive, we note that of the old immigration 41.5 per cent. were females, while of the new immigration only 27 per cent. are females. This indicates most clearly that the members of the new immigration are much less likely to remain and become thoroughly assimilated to American institutions than those coming from countries of the old immigration.