Littell's Living Age/Volume 154/Issue 1996/Immigration into the United States
The immigration returns of the United States Bureau of Statistics for the fiscal year ending the 30th June last show an enormous increase in the influx of foreign emigrants. In each of the past ten years the number of arrivals has been: —
Compared with the previous year, there was in 1881-2 an increase in the arrivals of 119,572, or about eighteen per cent., and the sources whence this increase were derived are shown in the following table: —
|England and Wales||85,175||66,204||18,971|
|Dominion of Canada||98,308||125,391|| 27,083|
|All other countries||110,590||74,377||36,213|
The increasing flow of emigrants from Germany is a significant indication of the effects of Prince Bismarck's fiscal policy. To the enormous burdens imposed by the German military system have now been added the pressure of a protective tariff, which enhances the cost of living, while it has not had the anticipated effect of increasing wages; and it is no wonder, therefore, that large numbers of the people are finding life at home so little tolerable that they are eager to flock elsewhere. Whether the United States can continue to absorb such large masses of population is another question. So far as the influx is made up of persons following agricultural pursuits, it probably need excite no apprehension. For such persons there is a practically unlimited field. It is very different, however, with the industrial portion of the immigrants. The effect of the American tariff, it is to be remembered, is to restrict home producers to the home markets, and there are already indications of those markets becoming overstocked. It may be doubted, therefore, whether there is scope for an expansion of industrial activity sufficient to accommodate the great influx of new workers, so long, at least, as the present fiscal arrangements are maintained. This, however, only time will show.
- ^ Decrease.