Portrait of America.
The first decade of the twentieth-century saw profound change in the makeup of America. According to the twelfth decennial census in 1900, the population was more than seventy-six million, an increase of nearly 21 percent from the 1890 census. The population continued to grow rapidly throughout the decade as nearly nine million immigrants entered the country, with most arrivals coming from Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Russia. The record year for immigrants was 1907, when 1.29 million people entered the United States. By the end of the decade the U.S. population had risen to ninety-one million. One-third of the populace lived in an urban area by the beginning of the century, mostly in the eastern United States, the center of industrialism; New York was the largest city, followed by Chicago and Philadelphia. Agriculture, which had employed the majority of American workers in the nineteenth century, was slowly being replaced by industrial occupations.
Women, Immigrants, and Children.
Men and women rarely competed for jobs, primarily because of the sexual division of labor in the workplace. In the industrial sector, for example, men had various opportunities and could claim the jobs that required physical strength while women were confined to low-paying jobs using light machinery. Although by 1910 one-third of the...
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