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North Dakota, Minnesota, and Illinois. During the same decade, out of a total increase of 1,092,000 in the foreign-born population, all but 152,000 of this increase was in the six states of New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois—that is to say, the most highly industrialized states, with the exception of Illinois, in the Union. The meaning of this is clear; it means that in the twenty years before 1910 the great mass of the immigrant population, instead of being widely distributed over large areas and among the agricultural communities, was concentrated in the great industrial centers-New York, Pittsburg, the coal-mining regions of Pennsylvania, and the manufacturing towns of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

A second characteristic of recent immigration is that the immigrants who come in such large numbers to work in the Bethlehem steelplant or the New England cotton-mills are less likely to be English-speaking people, less likely to be German. In the decade ending 1880 the immigration from Italy, AustriaHungary, Russia, and the Balkans was not more than 3 per cent. of the total; in the decade ending 1910 it was about 36 per cent. of the total. In 1870 the number of Slavs and Italian laborers in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania was 306, while the number of English-speaking laborers was 105,000; in 1910 the number of Slavs and Italians was 177,803, while the number of Englishspeaking laborers was only 82,000. In the decade ending 1910 only about 28 per cent. of the total immigration was of English-speaking stocks, and in the same period the number of illiterates had risen to nearly 40 per cent.

The ignorant peasant or laborer or vagabond of any country, particularly of southeastern Europe, may well imagine America to be the land where life is bright and wealth easily obtained. The ignorant are certainly those who can be most easily made to think so by those who are interested in getting them to come. Undoubtedly the hopeless lot of many people in such countries as Russia and Italy, in parts of Austria-Hungary, in Greece and Bulgaria and Rumania, predispose them, at all hazards, to try their fortunes in the New World. But it is also true that much of the present-day immigration is “induced” or “stimulated” by those who have their own interests to serve. This has always been true to some extent. In the earlier period land companies desiring to sell their land, state governments wishing to populate their empty stretches of territory, and European governments willing to rid their countries of

useless

or vicious classes, have all contributed to swell the tide of immigration.

Yet this sort of activity was probably never so notable, or so bad in its results, as now. On this point the United States CommissionerGeneral of Immigration, referring to the enormous increase of immigration from southern and southeastern Europe, has this to say in his report for 1910:

It is, to a very large extent, induced, stimulated, artificial immigration; and hand in hand with it (as a part, indeed, of the machinations of the promoters, steerers, runners, sub-agents, and usurers, more or less directly connected with steamship lines, the great beneficiaries of immigration) run plans for the exploitation of the ignorant classes which often place upon our shores large numbers of aliens, who, if the facts were only known at the time, are worse than destitute, are burdened with obligations in which they and all their relatives are parties, debts secured with mortgages on such small holdings as they and their relatives possess, and on which usurious interest must be paid. Pitiable indeed is their condition, and pitiable it must remain unless good fortune accompanies the alien while he is struggling to exist and is denying himself the necessaries of decent living in order to clear himself of the incubus of accumulated debt.

These helpless people, encumbered with debt, ignorant of English, many of them unable to read or write any language, ready to be herded into the first job that offers, are precisely the human material which many of the great manufacturing establishments are looking for. The competitive system of industry forces employers to look at labor as a commodity to be purchased as cheaply as possible and to be thrown aside when it is no longer worth the cost. Outside of business hours the average American employer is a humane and generous man; but he cannot afford, or thinks that he cannot afford, to bring sentiment, not even perhaps the sentiment of humanity, into his business; and he has not even the interest or the pride of ownership which would induce the master of a slave gang to see that his chattels were well fed and comfortable. His responsibility to the laborers ends when he has paid them the stipulated wage, and he somehow persuades himself that while the plant and the product belong to him, and must accordingly be the objects of his constant solicitude, the laborer does not belong to him and is therefore no concern of his; it is with the labor only, and with its price, that he has anything to do. Noblesse oblige, that sentiment which so often induces the wealthy American to bestow his wealth upon public institutions devoted to the welfare of humanity, is singularly absent in his dealings with the actual men and women who contribute to the production of that wealth.

The intelligent English-speaking American laborer understands this; and since the employer considers that his business is to buy labor as cheaply as possible, the laborer considers that he must sell his labor as dearly as possible. The long history of the labor-unions in the United States is the story of how intelligent labor has tried to organize so that the individual laborer may deal with the individual capitalist on equal terms and force him to pay a decent living wage. For many kinds of skilled labor the labor-union has been an effective means of keeping wages at a reasonably high level. But the more successful the unions are the more interested (falsely, no doubt) the employers are in obtaining a supply of labor that is not controlled by the unions. Nothing is therefore so well suited to the purposes of those great industries which require a great deal of unskilled labor as a continuous influx of ignorant, destitute, and helpless foreigners. It is this class of immigrants, coming largely from southeastern Europe, that they welcome; and these newcomers are steadily driving native American labor, as well as English-speaking immigrant labor, out of one industry after another. Slavs and Italians are replacing Irish, Scotch, Welsh, German, and English workers in the anthracite coal-mining industry; Poles and Armenians

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