History Immigration Project. A comparison between the Gilded Age and individuals whom I interviewed.

Essay by krdixon83High School, 11th grade January 2009

download word file, 11 pages 5.0

To the 12 million immigrants who came to America from 1875 to 1910, the Gilded Age meant living in a country that brought lavish dreams of vast wealth and great fortune. However, their utopia was not at all what it seemed and for some it became a nightmare. The immigrants found crop failures, persecution, shortages of land and rising taxes. Their life in America was worsened even further by the racism, ill-treatment, and poor conditions they found. Jobs were scarce and for those who were able to get one usually found that they were dirty, dangerous, and very low-paying, leaving them impoverished as they had been in their country of origin. Whether it was a mass arrival of Asian immigrants from the west or the vast numbers of Europeans from the east, the existing Americans, who themselves had immigrated to the great country, were less than friendly to their new neighbors.

However, immigration back then was not the same as it is today. After the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, signifying the end of World War II, people from all over the world came to recognize America's power and its strong democratic government. People could see that America was the leading nation of the time and that great prosperity was soon to come after the war. Many people wanted to become Americans so that they can live the American Dream. Although the Gilded Age was seen as a dystopia, immigrants today will see that their life is much better and far different than those of the immigrants back in the early 1900's. However, despite the differences, the sacrifices that immigrants make to reach the land of the free and the intentions of coming to America are the same as now as it was back then.

By interviewing three people...