The Struggle to and in America

Crowded ship

The S.S. Batavia carried 2,584 immigrants to Ellis Island on June 8, 1903. This ship set a record for the greatest number of passengers to arrive at New York City at one time.


Chinese immigrants

Although America was said to be the land of great opportunity, many immigrants had to endure many hardships. For example the Chinese immigrants in the photo above had to cramp into small rooms and call it home.

The first photo gives a clear image of how crowded immigrant ships were during the early 1900s. Lucky for these people, they were able to pass inspections and literacy exams that ultimately allowed them access to American. However, their struggles for a better life didn’t end there. In the second photo, chinese immigrants who were lucky enough to pass through Ellis Island had to live in cramped spaces. Often times immigrants of all ethnicity came to American with little to no money, which forced immigrants to share small tenements with others. The tenements were often dirty and crowded making it very difficult to even find a place to sleep. By comparing the two images, it is clear the different struggles immigrants had to live through coming to and living in America.

2 thoughts on “The Struggle to and in America

  1. The first picture is astounding. I’ve never seen anything like this. And to think that we complain about a train ride lasting 30 minutes because we have to stand in arms reach of another human. The things people put up with, in order to give themselves and their families a better life is inspiring.

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