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of recent immigrants, which has been brought into existence because of the erection of a large steel plant within the past few years. Whiting, Indiana, is likewise a small city, recently established in connection with the oil refining industry; its population is composed principally of southern and eastern European immigrants.
Charleroi, Kensington, Tarentum, and Arnold, in western Pennsylvania, and Crystal City near St. Louis, Missouri, furnish examples of glass manufacturing communities of this description. Charleroi has at present a population of about 10,500, composed chiefly of French and French-Belgians, with an admixture of Poles, Slovaks, North and South Italians, and other races from the South and East of Europe. This community was established about 1890, when its first glass factory was erected, and has grown in size and importance as the glass industry within its borders has been extended.
Another illustration is the recently established iron and steel manufacturing community at Granite City and Madison, Illinois, which under normal working conditions has the distinction of being the largest Bulgarian colony in the United States. These two cities immediately join each other, and for practical purposes are one industrial community, the distinction between them being one of legal rather than industrial organization. In 1892 its site was an unbroken stretch of cornfields. During the past seven years it has had an extraordinary expansion in business and population, due to the extension of its industrial activities. The original wage-earners were English, Irish, Germans, Welsh and Poles. By 1900 the demand for unskilled labor, because
of the erection of new steel foundries and a carbuilding plant, could no longer be supplied by English-speaking people. Consequently, in that year, Slovaks from St. Louis were employed by the local industries. In 1902 came the Magyars, followed by a few Croatians. Mixed groups of Rumanians, Greeks and Servians followed. In the years 1904 and 1905 began the swarming of the Bulgarians to the community, and by the autumn of the latter year fully 1,500 had arrived. Two years later Bulgarian immigration reached its high-water mark with 8,000 of this race. In addition to the Bulgarians there are about 4,000 recent immigrants-Armenians, Servians, Lithuanians, Slovaks, Magyars and Poles being the principal races represented. The total population of the community is estimated under normal industrial conditions to be about 20,000. The Bulgarians and other foreign races have built up, at a short distance from the American section of the two cities, practically an exclusively immigrant town which has come to be called in popular parlance "Hungary Hollow." Here Bulgarians, Servians, Rumanians, and a few Magyars and Armenians live together entirely apart from any American influence.
Segregation of the Immigrant Population
Between the immigrant colonies which have affixt themselves to industrial cities, such as the New England textile manufacturing cities or the iron and steel manufacturing localities of Pennsylvania, and the older native-born portion of the towns or cities, there is little contact or association beyond that rendered necessary by business or working relations. Immigrant workmen and their households not only live in sec
tions or colonies according to race, but, as has already been stated, attend and support their own churches, maintain their own business institutions and places of recreation, and have their own fraternal and beneficial organizations. Even in the mines and manufacturing plants, there is a sharp line of division in the occupations or the departments in which recent immigrants and persons of native birth are engaged, and in the case of unskilled labor the immigrant workmen are, as a rule, brought together in gangs composed of one race or closely related races.
In those industrial localities which are strongly unionized, the affiliation of immigrant workmen with native Americans is small. A considerable proportion of the children of foreign-born parents are also segregated in the parochial schools. Women of recent immigrant races, beyond the small degree of contact which they obtain in factories or as domestic servants, practically live entirely removed from Americanizing influences. As a consequence of this general isolation of immigrant colonies, the tendencies toward assimilation exhibited by the recent immigrant population are slight, and the maintenance of old customs and standards leads to congestion and unsanitary housing and living conditions.
The native-born element in the population of industrial communities of the type under discussion is in most cases ignorant of conditions which prevail in immigrant sections; but even when acquainted with them, natives are usually indifferent so long as they do not become too pronounced a menace to the public health and welfare. Under normal conditions there is no antipathy to the immigrant population, beyond the feeling uniformly met with in all sections, that a
certain stigma or reproach attaches to working with recent arrivals or in the same occupations. This aversion of the native American, which is psychological in its nature and arises from race prejudice or ignorance, is nevertheless one of the most effective forces in racial segregation and displacement.
The immigrant industrial communities which have recently come into existence through industrial development are almost entirely composed of foreignborn elements. They are alien colonies established on American soil, often composed of a large number of races, living according to their own standards, largely under their own systems of control, and practically isolated from all direct contact with American life and institutions. The Americanization of such communities, as compared with the immigrant colonies of oldestablished industrial towns and cities, must necessarily be slow. It is also to be expected that before these communities are assimilated they will have a pronounced effect upon American life, for the reason that the slowness of the process will result in the establishment, perhaps in a modified form, of many Old World standards and institutions.
The Significance of Immigrant Communities
It can hardly be doubted that the low standard of living, the illiteracy, the absence of industrial training, and the tractability and lack of aggressiveness of the southern and eastern Europeans in our industrial communities, constitute a menace to the native Americans and wage-earners from Great Britain and northern Europe. As regards the recent immigrants themselves, their general, as well as their industrial, progress and assimilation are retarded by segregation in
colonies and communities where they have little contact with American life and small opportunity to acquire the English language. The sudden transplanting of such an agricultural class of the old world to the conditions and environments of American industrial communities renders the recent immigrant liable to serious physical and moral deterioration.
On the other hand, the existence of colonies of immigrants with low standards of living, and ignorant of proper measures for securing health and sanitation, constitutes a serious danger to the native-born portion of our industrial communities. The possible political and social manipulation of the recent immigrant population by unscrupulous leaders is also not without serious import in its bearing upon American institutions.
Probably the most significant feature of the entire situation is the almost complete ignorance and indifference of the native American population to the recent immigrant colonies and their condition. This attitude extends even to the native churches, and very few agencies have been established for the Americanization and assimilation of southern and eastern European wage-earners. Not only is a great field open for social and religious work, but vast possibilities are offered for patriotic service in improving these serious conditions which confront a self-governing republic.