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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/230

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

fields hitherto inaccessible to agricultural home-seekers. Of late years, most of the desirable, arable land, profitable and fertile without irrigation, has been taken up, and the advantages offered the agricultural type of immigrant in the west have been materially lessened, but our wonderful industrial growth still demands and attracts the strong willing unskilled laborer, and this demand will probably last for many years to come.

The development of our great manufacturing industries also attracted great numbers of skilled artisans and mechanics. At first these skilled laborers were necessary. The necessity for their coming has now disappeared, and not only are they unnecessary for development or progress along industrial lines, but they enter into direct competition with American mechanics and artisans. These may be classed as competitive immigrants.

The rapid growth of our large cities, the establishment of great centers of population, most marked in the past twenty-five years, attracted another class of immigrants, who can only live in such environment, who are simply human parasites unable to exist by their own effort.

Thus immigrants of to-day can be grouped under four heads, (1) agricultural, (2) industrial, (3) competitive, (4) parasitic. The agricultural class includes farm laborers and those desiring to take up land for settlement. The industrial class includes the great army of unskilled laborers, who seek employment in the mines, mills, great works of construction and manufacturing concerns. These two classes are valuable and necessary for the development and industrial progress of the country. The competitive class takes in the skilled laborers, mechanics, artisans and others who come here and enter into competition, in their respective callings, with Americans. This class is not necessary for our advancement and may or may not be of value to the country. The fourth or parasitic class is, as its name implies, not only valueless, but decidedly detrimental to the body politic. In this class are included the peddlers, fakirs, paupers, etc., who congregate and will live only in the large centers of population and who can not or will not do hard physical labor. This class constitutes a load to be carried, and their deleterious influence on the vigor of the nation is in direct proportion to their numbers.

Social and political conditions in Europe determine to a large extent both the quantity and the quality of our immigration. A country well and justly governed and which is in a prosperous condition is not likely to send us many good immigrants. The type of Englishman who would be welcome here as an immigrant, the sturdy Anglo-Saxon yeoman, of whom we delight to form a mental picture, finds conditions of life so suited to him in England that we rarely see him as an