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Immigration, Industrialization, Big Business and Urbanization

Databases and E-books

Library Databases
Discovering Collection

ABC-CLIO Databases

U.S. Immigration and Migration Reference Library

The Jungle
Unabridged e-text of the Upton Sinclair novel.

Urbanization and Industrialization
Traces the growth of urban U.S. centers and industry in the 19th century. (from U.S. Immigration and Migration Reference Library e-book. Get password from teacher or library staff if accessing off campus).


Immigration Urban Life
New Technologies Industry
Steel Oil
Railroad Banking
Labor .
The search engine here searches only the sites listed below and does NOT search pages from our databases.


  • The Era of "New" Immigration
    Summary of the reasons for immigration, issues faced, and the impact of immigration on the U.S.
  • America for Americans
    Describes the anti-immigrant attitudes that existed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the U.S.
  • Ellis Island Museum:
    History, accounts of immigrant experiences.
  • Immgration Restriction:
    "Immigration restriction became a favored method for nativists and special interests in the "clash of cultures" at the turn of the century. "
  • Immigration Restriction
    Another overview of government efforts to restrict immigration in the late 19th and early 20th century.
  • Responses to Immigration
    "Since the 1880s, immigration patterns have changed in a number of ways, but what about American responses to immigration? This video examines the various reactions to newcomers around the turn of the century and during the world wars. It also urges the viewer to compare present-day responses to those of earlier times."
  • The Changing Character of Immigration:
    Text and images from The World's Work: Scribners monthly, an illustrated magazine for the people, volume 1 (Scribner Son, New York, 1900-01), this article offers one reporter's perspective on immigrants and immigration. See especially her discussion of tenements and the challenges they present.
  • Land Loss in California
    This article from Hutching's Magazine in 1857 describes the plight of Mexican and Native American inhabitants of California during the Gold Rush years and beyond.
  • Land Loss in Trying Times
    Additional information about Mexican loss of territory during the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Take a Journey Through Ellis Island
    " Most Americans have at least one immigrant ancestor, and many of those came to the United States through Ellis Island. Family Tree Magazine editor David Fryxell fleshes out that basic fact with detailed experiences of actual people who arrived there, and what happened to them afterward."
  • On the Trail of the Immigrant
    "This photo album is based upon text and pictures from a book, On the Trail of the Immigrant, by Edward A. Steiner published in 1906."
  • Chinese Exclusion Act
    Describes the Chinese Exclusion Act, the nation's first law to ban immigration by race or nationality.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act:
    Describes the reasons for the act and its consequences, as well as a complete copy of the act (from U.S. Immigration and Migration Reference Library e-book. Get password from teacher or library staff if accessing off campus).
  • E Pluribus Unum (Except the Chinese)
    This web site is designed to shed light on otherwise ignored elements of Chinese life in Nineteenth Century America, including: reasons for emigration to California, myths surrounding the indentured servant (i.e. "coolie") after the Civil War, organizations designed to assist Chinese laborers in California, tensions between white and Chinese workers, political posturing that allowed the Exclusion Act to become law, and a collection of articles and suggested sources for further study.
  • Racial Politics and the Chinese Exclusion Act
    Discusses the political climate that led to the passing of this legislation.
  • Japanese Immigration
    An overview of Japanese immigration from the mid-1800's to the beginning of World War II.
  • Racial Tensions: Italian immigrants and African-Americans
    The economic and social conditions that led to conflicts between these groups.
  • Jewish Immigration: The New Radicals
    Describes the wave of Jewish immigration beginning in the 1870s and the challenges this group faced. See also The Politics of Ethnicity.


Urban Life


New Technologies



  • The Rise of Big Business
    Describes the growth in American manufacturing and industry in the 19th century.
  • The Corporate Revolution
    Describes the radical shift in the way businesses were structured and operated in the late 19th century.
  • Why Business Grew:
    Explores major reasons for growth in business at the end of the 19th century.
  • Big Business: Good or Bad?
    Explores these topics of debate that were raised during the time:
    • whether wealth came from exploitation or from patience, frugality, and virtue;
    • whether bigness was the result of conspiracy or of pressures of blind economic forces;
    • whether men of wealth and power were free to use their riches as they wish or whether they should be taxed to support the public good.
  • Monopolies
    Overview of this issue in the 19th century(from the Discovering Collection. Get password from teacher or library staff if accessing off campus).
  • Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890
    Overview, analysis of this legislation (from the Discovering Collection. Get password from teacher or library staff if accessing off campus).
  • Sherman Antitrust Act:
    Original text of the act and an overview from










Labor Unions

  • American Federation of Labor
    Overview of the early history of this organization (from the Discovering Collection. Get password from teacher or library staff if accessing off campus).
  • Samuel Gompers
    Biography from the Discovering Collection.
  • Industrial Workers of the World
    Overview of the "Wobblies."
  • Knights of Labor
    Early history of this organization (from the Discovering Collection. Get password from teacher or library staff if accessing off campus).
  • The Trade Union Woman
    "Excerpt from the Preface to Alice Henry's book, The Trade Union Woman (1915). Henry was a member of the Office Employees' Association of Chicago (a trade union) and former editor of the journal Life and Labor. Discusses some of the major issues concerning working women and the need to regulate their hours, wages, and working conditions.
  • Yellow Dog Contracts
    Description of labor contracts preventing workers from joining a union.

Strikes, Conflicts

  • Haymarket Affair
    This timeline provides an overview of all the events related to this case.
  • The Dramas of Haymarket
    This extensive site chronicles the events surrounding the Haymarket Affair, including its causes and effects.
  • The Pullman Strike
    Overview of this important strike from Ohio State's history department.
  • The Shirtwaist Maker's Strike:
    "This article from The Survey, a reform magazine dedicated to popular education and investigative journalism, was published in the midst of the 1909 shirtwaist strike. Providing a general survey of the shirtwaist industry--including information about wages and hours and how the system of subcontracting operated--the article also describes the incidents leading up to the strike and the strikers' demands."
  • Shirtwaist Strikers: In their own eyes
    Perspectives of these strikes from the workers themselves. See also Moving On, about lessons learned.
  • Shirtwaist Strikers: As seen by the employers
    Perspectives of factory owners on these strikes.


    Suggested Searches in ABC-CLIO:


    Topic Database
    Transportation Revolution of the 19th Century American History
    Urbanization American History
    Second Industrial Revolution American History
    Public transportation American History
    Machine Politics and Bossism American History
    Industrial Workers of the World American Government
    Anti-trust laws American Government
    Tweed Ring American Government

    last updated September 30, 2009