New Economic Opportunities as Factories and Businesses Come into Existence
As factories became more and more prominent, their owners needed more and more workers. Workers worked long hours for little pay. When immigration rose, factory owners hired immigrants because they worked for cheaper than the American workers. They used machines to mass produce goods and sold them for profit, making a much larger profit than they would have made prior to the Industrial Age.
People of the upper class worked office jobs as bankers, political office managers, and more where they worked more manageable hours and their lives were in no way at risk. Also, the pay was much better. The main cause for this difference in jobs is the fact that upper class people were educated and skilled in their trade. Because of technological advancements, mass production of goods was made possible. This being said, factory owners became even wealthier.
Because of this new wealth, upper class people were able to build huge mansions, collect fine art, and create new libraries and universities. An example of this would be the gospel of wealth. Andrew Carnegie built Carnegie Hall to give back to the community, per say. Upper class children spent their time either going to school or being educated by their tutors. They were educated in academics and subjects that were considered important to society. Unlike the working class, upper class children did not have to take jobs. The women stayed in the homes.
Lower Working class
Lower class workers were given the more dangerous and undesirable jobs such as climbing the skyscrapers to help build where their lives were constantly at risk and they were underpaid. They also took the factory jobs with horrible working conditions. This shows the desperation of immigrants to find work no matter the conditions.
The slums were less than ideal living conditions, to say the least. Sanitation was horrendous. There was originally no established sewage system. So, they lived surrounded by human waste, general uncleanliness, and disease. They would also live in overcrowded tenements with no plumbing.
Working class families were moving to cities and they were afraid they would not be able to support themselves if the children weren't employed. Injuries were very common among child workers. In 1900 18% of all American workers were under the age of 16. Over time laws were passed to restrict the ages and hours of child laborers. Women were also usually forced to take jobs because of their financial situations.
Racial, Ethnic, Cultural Divisions
As immigrants migrated around, different ethnic groups settled in distinctly divided areas which each began to be shaped by that group's culture. For example, Italians all settling in a certain region results in more Catholic Churches and clubs that appealed to Italian culture and an impact of the Italian Language. Immigrants were unskilled and willing to work any job for any amount of money.
"12 million immigrants had passed through the gates at Ellis Island nestled in the New York Harbor between 1842 and 1954. As millions of immigrants settled in New York City, the race for employment began. Immigrants replaced African-Americans and Native Americans, thus creating tension between the groups and a more profitable deal for manufacturers." -Ann Novonty
Nativism had been a problem for a very long time. While this is true, it became even more of an issue when European immigrants would take the jobs of the Native American lower class.