What best accounts for the sharp increase of immigrants during the period 1890-1910?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The period of immigration between 1890 and 1910 marked a startling departure from traditional immigration patterns.  For the first time, southern and eastern Europeans migrated in large numbers.  The primary reason for their arrival on the shores of the United States was economic. Staggering unemployment and poverty were the norm in countries like Poland, Italy, and Greece.  Economic opportunities were very limited.  On the other hand, the United States was experiencing an industrial boom in the years that followed the Civil War.  The demand for labor was high, as people moved to the cities of the northeast to work in urban factories.  Immigrants realized that they could easily secure work in the United States, so they moved by the millions.  While some people moved to escape religious persecution, and others sought to "strike it rich", the majority of immigrants left the comfort of their home country to simply provide for their families.

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