Progressive Reform Research Paper
Ethnic Issues VS. POVERTY
In this research paper I will talk about the turn of century issues and problems, by writing about corruption and ethnic issues, and how they affect each other. I will also analyze document to support my argument, and this will reflect how was the life on the turn of the century, and what people thought about the government and the issues of the time.
In the first document is called “The Poor in Summer” and it was written by Robert Alston Stevenson, and he wrote the document to give the poor dimension beyond stereotypes and to offer examples of charitable measures that seemed successful in defeating privation to other people. At the time, the poor in New York, in the summer had no privacy, and they were restricted of cleanliness by the other classes. They had no shower or places to clean themselves, so may of them went to the river or to parks, to clean themselves, and the people from the other classes looked down upon them. The author wrote this article to warn the middle and upper class that the poor were suffering, and that something had to be done. It shows the horrible life of the poor class, and that people should do something about it. The document speaks of poverty and what happens in the summer with the poor people, and that they were suffering in the turn of the century, because the government didn’t help them, by not constructing better tenement houses, and better sewers, and people didn’t have a place to clean themselves during the summer time. According to the document, “130,000 people paid five cents for soap and towel and the privilege of using the People’s Baths at Center Market Place” and the author also wrote that “The hot days are uncomfortable, but bearable incidents; managed easily with the aid of vacations, air-space, and bathtubs, but without them–there are a great many people who hardly know what they mean”. This happened a lot because people had nowhere to bath, so in the next document, I will talk about the causes of poverty.
In the document “The Causes of Poverty” written by Lilian Brandt, she writes about how poverty is accepted in the society and she thinks that as long as people think poverty is desirable, there will always be poverty, and that the rich consider it a necessity. It was written to show the rich people, that as long as they think it is a necessity, it will always exist, and that, both rich and poor need to recognize poverty as undesirable, to end it. At the time, lots of people were dying and having a horrible life because of poverty, lots of them were obligated to steal from other people, in order to survive. This document was directed to both rich and poor classes, and it was supposed to change people’s minds and make them not want any more poverty. This document tells people how were poor people’s lives in the turn of the century, and that people should change their attitude about it and help end poverty. According to the document, “As soon as poverty is recognized to be undesirable, from the point of view of both rich and poor, the question arises whether it is necessary”, and the author also wrote “The variations in the amount of poverty in different cities attributed to any one of these causes can be accounted for more rationally on the basis of differences in method and judgment of those who fill out the blanks than upon the basis of differences in the conditions of the population.” People of the time in the majority were poor, because of the ethnic issues of the time, and the next document shows how poverty relates to ethnic issues in many aspects of peoples lives in the turn of the century.
In the document “An East-Side Ramble” written by William Dean Howells, he describes a tour he took through the tenements of the East Side in 1896. He draws interesting contrasts between the American, Irish, and Hebrew quarters, depicts the poverty, and reports on some of the attitudes, institutions, and practices that characterized the area. It was written to show that people had prejudice and that caused lots of trouble to immigrants because of their ethnicity and that’s why they were so poor. At the time, more and more immigrants were arriving in the United States, and that made Americans believe that those man and woman were there to take the jobs from hard working Americans, so a huge prejudice was developed and that caused people not hiring immigrants. This was the reason why the majority of immigrants were so poor, and that theory was called Social Darwinism. The document was directed to people that believed in Social Darwinism. It was written to encourage those people to accept that the immigrants were not trying to take their jobs, and to show the poverty it was causing. The document shows other people the horrible life of the immigrants because of the ethnic issues at the time, and what people should do about it. The discussion in the document is supporting the immigrants, and disfavoring the Social Darwinists, by showing the immigrants lives. The author wrote “I have tried to report simply and honestly what I saw of the life of our poorest people that day”, and said that “If it is tolerable, it must endure; if it is intolerable, still it must endure” but what he was really showing, was the injustice with the immigrants in America in that time. The next document says that the Russian Jews were seen as the worst kind of immigrants, but they weren’t.
In the document “Russian Jews as Desirable Immigrants” written by Ida M. Van Etten, the people think that Russian Jews were the worst kind of immigrants, just because they were Jews, and they weren’t bad immigrants at all. The author thinks that the Russian Jews as immigrants should be respected and that they are one of the best kind of immigrants, because they are educated, and they were a good working force in the industries, but they still have the Jew stereotype, because they were always repressed. This document was written to show people that Russian Jews were not bad immigrants, but decent and people should respect them. At the time people were oppressing the Russian Jews because they thought that the Russian Jews were really bad immigrants, but they should be among the most desirable immigrants, because of their knowledge. This document was directed to those people that thought Russian Jews were the worst kind of immigrants, and it was written to try to change the mind of those people. The document talks about the oppression that the Russian Jews were receiving, and how they should be on of the most desirable kinds of immigrants. The document also points the history of Jews among the world, and that Jews were always oppressed and persecuted. The author cites that “The great influx of Russian and Polish Jews to the United States was result from the rigorous religious persecution by the Russian government” and that “During the years 1881 to 1888 wages in the trades principally filled by the Russian Jews rarely rose above five or six dollars a week, while the hours ranged from sixteen to eighteen, and in the busy season often much longer”, meaning that the Russian Jews were also poor, but they were still Jews, and that they worked long days for almost nothing.
The ethnic issues, like ethnic persecution and prejudice led lots of immigrants to a life of poverty, and that poverty was also looked down upon, so even if a person was looked as a good kind of immigrant, they would always be seen as bad at the same time, because of its ethnicity or economic situation, the poverty led to ethnic issues, and ethnic issues led to poverty. Poverty also led to health issues, and sickness, so that’s why lots of immigrants died in the tenement houses and in the crowded cities, like New York and Chicago.
In conclusion, poverty should be looked in a different way, and people should try to end it, by helping each other and not being a person with prejudice, because prejudice always make problems worse, and in that time, not only immigrants were suffering with the prejudice, but poor Americans were suffering too, just because they were poor and didn’t have the money to clean themselves, and they had to take a bath on the river so they didn’t get any disease. I think that the tenement houses should be destroyed and the government of the time should stop immigrants from coming, just for a while, for the government to prepare the country better for the great immigrant fluxes that will come, and then open the country for immigration again.