…” Immigrants came from vastly different economic, political and religious backgrounds, expressing these differences upon arrival in the United States: “Some individuals pursued modern forms of life and livelihood while others valued more traditional patterns.
Workers existed who championed socialism and others died for their attachment to Catholicism.
The psychology of emigration from one's ancient homeland is complex: decisions may be based upon a mixture of fact and fiction.
One fact was that the cost of travel to the US decreased significantly during the period of the Great Migration.
What the autobiography and bildungsroman clearly have in common is a focus upon life-experience, education (either formal or through more subjective means), character formation and a sense of identity.
One form (autobiography) purports to be factual, documenting actual life experiences, the other form (bildungsroman) purports to be fictional, but may have some basis in the author's own life.
that is the central fact about housing in the industrial areas: not that the houses are poky and ugly, and insanitary and comfortless, or that they are distributed in incredibly filthy slums around belching foundries and stinking canals and slag-heaps that deluge them with sulphurous smoke …
but simply that there are not enough houses to go round.” Industrialization in European countries may have lead to higher wages, but not necessarily an improved standard of living; in Britain, for example, the various Enclosures Acts meant that many people were forced from the land into the cities and it was this loss of lifestyle that lead to deprivation; even in the previous poverty of rural life, access to freshly grown food or illegally hunted game, for example, was sometimes to be had.
At the same time, it would be incorrect to idealize the rural past, where opportunities for change within rigidly hierarchical societies were virtually nil.
But once in the new cities, opportunity could be stifled by other demands, such as the heavy taxes that were a continual burden, often leading to a ‘catch 22’ situation where an increase in income could be quickly lost as governments took taxes for military expansion, among other things.