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This study focuses on the experiences of the foreign-born residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 1880 to 1920. Its primary aim is to determine how immigrants in one southwestern urban area fit into the history of American immigration. Topics considered include economic and geographic mobility, marriage and family patterns, and degree of assimilation. The economy of Albuquerque was based on three major sources of employment: agriculture, merchandising, and the railroad. Many immigrants were employed as skilled laborers for the railroad. A significant number owned retail or wholesale dry goods enterprises. In general, immigrants experienced a high rate of upward economic mobility, being especially successful in accumulating property. Although the rate of out-migration was high for all groups, a smaller percentage of immigrants left Albuquerque between 1900 and 1920 than did other groups. Of the foreign-born residents who remained in town, most had moved, from one residence to another within ten or twenty years. For most immigrants, other than Chinese, the high degree of geographic mobility within the city to all neighborhoods indicated that little prejudice existed against foreign-born residents in housing. In their marriage and family patterns, immigrants often resembled native-born Anglos rather than Hispanic groups, especially in their later age at marriage and the number of children in each household. However, immigrant women tended to have high fertility rates as did Hispanic women. Structural assimilation of immigrants within the city was apparently easy for most groups. On the other hand, the degree of acculturation varied from group to group. Germans and Italians were the most visible groups to retain much of their ethnic heritage through religious institutions and cultural clubs. This study of Albuquerque immigrants demonstrates that some experiences were similar to the experiences of immigrants in other parts of the United States. Yet foreign-born residents of Albuquerque appear to have been more upwardly mobile and more easily assimilated than immigrants in previous studies. These results indicate a need for further works in other southwestern cities in order to discover whether or not Albuquerque immigrants were unique.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Etulain, Richard

Second Committee Member

Biebel, Charles

Third Committee Member

Szasz, Ferenc

Fourth Committee Member

Boylan, Anne



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