How did the immigrants in the late 1800s cope with conditions in America's brimming cities?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The immigrants coped with these conditions in two major ways.

First, and less importantly, they often became connected to the political machines that dominated cities in those days.  The machines helped to ease the conditions by giving immigrants some amount of material help.  In return, the immigrants voted for the machines.

Second, and more importantly, the immigrants created their own communities and organizations.  Since they were under stress from the physical conditions and the psychological strains of living in a new country, they went for self-help.  They had plays and other entertainment in their own languages.  They had little enclaves where everyone spoke their language and had similar customs.  They had newspapers printed in their native languages.  In all of these ways, they tried to create communities that would help support them psychologically and allow them to cope with the conditions they encountered.

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maranyeli | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

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Many immigrants came to america to escape poverty and find a new life.  Many suffered hardships.  There living conditions were poor and dangerouse because they lived in self-contained communities (slums). In order to cope with the stress of being over worked and the psychological strain of every day life, they created their own communites.  In these communities they had the freedom of speaking their own language and were able to follow their own customs.  They also created organizations such as churches, synagogues and temples.Through these organizations they helped each other and gave them purpose and a sense of identity.

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