Immigration affected the economy of the United States during the period of the civil war? (1850-1880)

Essay by tamoose October 2006

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The time period in American history before the 1860s, when the Civil War took place was known as the "great expansion". The census below shows a tremendous mass of detailed information about the population of the many regions of the United States and its characteristics and economic activities. I have taken the data of US Historical Statistics, Bi-centennial Edition, to analyze and in this paper I will describe the general demographic trends that occur during the period from 1850 to 1880. In this paper, I will also discuss the many reasons why people decided to migrate within the United States, the economic conditions that were set up. I will also calculate the average age of the individuals that immigrated, the size of the migrating community and the type of occupation they had.

In this chart here, we can clearly see that the majority of the immigrants that migrated to the United States ranged from 15 to 40 years of age.

This number was found by adding up all the number of people that immigrated during that period of time at that particular age. A reason behind such a large population specifically aged 15-40 could be meant to emphasize of a higher survivability rate among them. The huge population of immigrants that range from 15 to 40 could be because this is the age range that allows a higher possibility of survival. Large volumes of young workers in their own countries suffered from condensed job opportunities and thus was encouraged towards immigration. During the trip to the United States, lots of hardships had to be endured as conditions on aboard their ships were never good. Often cramped and diseases filled "wooden coffins" were home to these young people for months at a time. When people immigrate over to the United States...