Ellis Island: Questions

Why did people leave Southern and Eastern Europe?

The immigration history i American can be viewed as four epochs: the colonial period, the mid-19th century, the start of the 20th century, and post-1965. The biggest immigration period was in the start of the 20th century. Most of them were from southern and eastern Europe, some from northern Europe, but not as many. The reason for the high influx of people, was because of poverty and unemployment in Europe. Some immigrated to America because of persecution for political reasons, being a minority group, being gay or other reasons

What were conditions like in steerage?

The word steerage means the lowest part of a ship deck, but it can also be used to describe the cheapest deck where people stayed. It was especially used in the immigration period in the early 20th century. People who had little money and wanted to travel to America usually ended up here. The conditions in the steerage was bad. A bunch of people were flocked up together in a place with almost no space. When you could afford to travel in the steerage you would also get pretty bad and litte food.

Why did the steamship companies crowd so many people into steerage?

The reasoning for people being flocked up in a little space is because money. The steamship owners only cared about money and did not care about the people. So they proceeded to fill the steerage almost to the point where there was no air left. They were basically treated like animals.

Why was Ellis Island so frightening?

Ellis Island was frightening to a lot of people because you would not know, if you would make it to the land of dreams or that you would be sent back to you’re country. You also had the feeling of “Yet so close, yet so far” you were so close to realizing you’re dreams, but the Island stopped you. Poor people the traveled to America usually sold everything they owned to be able to travel and if you were to be sent back, you would literally have nothing left.

Why did people have to have money?

People needed to have money to be able to get on the steamboat, but America did not want people that had no money or could contribute to the society there, so money was an important thing for traveling to the country. It was also an important thing thing to the people that went there, the whole reason for them to travel a cross the Atlantic Ocean was to get more money.

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