Economic expansion in industries, such as steel production and meat packing in Chicago, required more workers than the "native" or American-born population could supply. Workers in Europe were pushed from their homelands by restrictive economies and attracted to America by reports of the "Golden Land" of opportunities. "Newcomers" from many lands crowded into Illinois, especially into Chicago, because of its booming economy. Upon arrival, many immigrants found that the streets were not paved with gold but were paved instead with hard labor and prejudice.
© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96