The African American “Great Migration” and New European Immigration

Review Questions

Why did African Americans consider moving from the rural South to the urban North following the Civil War?

  1. to be able to buy land
  2. to avoid slavery
  3. to find wage-earning work
  4. to further their education



Which of the following is true of late nineteenth-century southern and eastern European immigrants, as opposed to their western and northern European predecessors?

  1. Southern and eastern European immigrants tended to be wealthier.
  2. Southern and eastern European immigrants were, on the whole, more skilled and able to find better paying employment.
  3. Many southern and eastern European immigrants acquired land in the West, while western and northern European immigrants tended to remain in urban centers.
  4. Ellis Island was the first destination for most southern and eastern Europeans.



What made recent European immigrants the ready targets of more established city dwellers? What was the result of this discrimination?


Newer immigrants often had different appearances, spoke unfamiliar languages, and lived their lives—from the religions they practiced to the food they ate—in ways that were alien to many Americans. In all of city life’s more challenging aspects, from competition for jobs to overcrowding in scarce housing, immigrants became easy scapegoats. The Reverend Josiah Strong’s bestselling book, Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis, fueled this discrimination. The American Protective Association, the chief political activist group promoting anti-immigration legislation, formed largely in response to Strong’s call.