How did the Industrial Revolution impact immigration to the US?  

Expert Answers
mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Industrial Revolution had a tremendous impact on immigration to the United States. Many Europeans were suffering from poverty. Others were trying to escape religious and/or political persecution. When the Industrial Revolution began in the United States, this provided an opportunity for these people to come to our country.

The Industrial Revolution led to the need for many workers. Since factories could produce many more products than an individual could produce by hand, we needed people to work in the factories. Some of these workers came from the rural areas of the United States. Others came from other countries, especially European countries. These people who came to the United States heard there was tremendous economic opportunity in our country. They heard the streets were paved with gold, and there was a lot of opportunity in the United States. Thus, they left the poverty and persecution of Europe to come to the land of opportunity in the United States.

There were two major waves of European immigration. This first wave came from 1820-1860 from North and West Europe. People came from Germany, France, Ireland, and Great Britain to name a few countries. Between 1880-1920, another wave of immigrants came from South and East Europe. They came from Italy, Greece, and other Eastern European countries. 

The Industrial Revolution had a huge impact on immigration to the United States.

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the industrial revolution era, rapid changes took place that transformed America’s economic situation a great deal. The discovery of the mineral wealth, technological innovation, and the construction of a nationwide railroad transport network among others breathed a new life to the economy. The above changes paved the way for the establishment of manufacturing factories. Unlike in the past when skilled artisans played a key role in manufacturing in artisan shops, factories required an intensive unskilled labor workforce which was insufficient in America.

With the world aware of the rapid economic changes happening in America and the need for unskilled laborers, immigrants flocked to America for employment opportunities that offered a decent wage. Indeed, the labor force supplied by the immigrants played a key role in the increase of factories and the economic wellbeing of America.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Industrial Revolution in the US helped to attract many more immigrants to the country.  Immigrants tended to leave their home countries because they hoped that there would be more economic opportunity in the US.  The fact that there was more opportunity in the US was due largely to industrialization.

Most of the immigrants who came to the United States ended up staying in big cities.  Most of those who did so worked in industry.  Because the US was industrializing rapidly, there were lots of factory jobs for these immigrants.  Their relative success, economically speaking, inspired still more immigrants to come.