Irish, German, Scandinavian immigration during the century of immigration Irish
Most Irish Americans believe that the reason why most of their forefathers immigrated to America was because of the devastating effects that the ‘potato hunger’ or Ireland’s Potato Blight brought. In 1845, Ireland’s potato fields were plagued with a potato fungus, which led to famine killing approximately one million people. This influenced half a million Irish people to move to America believing that they would have the same fate as the others if they did not go. However, the way of living in Ireland had been inadequate even before the famine took place.
Most Irish people were unskilled and inexperienced at that time and were considered as the poorest group in Europe. This shows that the people who migrated to the United States during that period were impoverished and lacked any resources to depend on. Many of these Irish peasants lived in shanties in places where different fatal communicable diseases including cholera were common and had a great chance of spreading. They went to the United States believing that they could start new lives and experience better living conditions. These dreams of an improved life did not come to life when they arrived in the United States.
They were considered foreigners and their presence was not warmly welcomed. The worst thing was that jobs were not readily available, which made it hard for them to start their “new lives. ” A lot of employers demonstrated their lack of interest in the immigrants by indicating that they did not need Irish people to apply for them in their wanted advertisements. In total, almost 3. 5 million Irish immigrants were in the United States between the years 1820 and 1880. Most of them were influenced to come to America through letters from friends and relatives who were already living in the country.
They were compressed into shelters made of “discarded boards and other debris” where they experienced extreme sanitation problems. They had difficulties with the locals citizens who felt threatened with the presence of the new immigrants. These situations triggered the immigrants to resort to violence because they believed that this was the only way they could get the government to pay attention to them. Through these hard times, they stayed together believing that their unity made them more powerful. The United States experienced economic growth during the Canal Age.
It was during this period that the government saw what use can be made out from the Irish immigrants, thus hiring them as workers and laborers. The Irish people contributed a lot especially to the development of the construction industry and thus played a major role in the industrialization of America. Irish immigrants turned out to be the largest group of immigrants in the United States making up 15. 7 percent of the total number. Germans The immigration of the Germans to the United States started in the eighteenth century when America was still a colony of Britain.
The major reason behind their decision to immigrate was to be free from the bonds of their religion. Also, between 1796 and 1815, during the Napoleonic wars, the Germans sought freedom from political oppression and from being absorbed in the military. Compared to other decades, the number of Germans immigrating to the United States was greatly increased during the 1860s to the 1870s. They migrated particularly to the State of Minnesota. During the 1850s, the mechanization phenomenon took place, which led to the development of merchandised manufacturing and eventually led to industrialization.
Immigration of the Germans to the United States also influenced the complete eradication of slavery in America. Scandinavians Between 1830 and 1930, approximately 2-1/2 million [Scandinavian] immigrants moved to America. The immigration, although it started in the early 1820s, increased rapidly in the 1840s because of the Irish immigration. Similar to the cases of the Irish and German immigrants, the population explosion in urban centers caused by industrialization drove the Scandinavians to immigrate in the United States.
The scarcity of land in the rural areas and the mechanization of manufacturing processes led to such industrial revolution across Europe. These immigrants looked and hoped for better opportunities in the United States. Their migration was made possible by powerful steamers that made transport across the sea faster and easier. When the Scandinavians stepped on American soil, they also wrote back to their relatives and friends informing them about the new opportunities in the new found land. This action further increased the number of immigrants in the United States.
b). The eastern Europeans made up the millions of immigrants in the United States providing laborers and workers for factories and companies at that time. However, these immigrants experienced restrictions from the immigration law imposed by the American government. The increase in the number of immigrants caused the United States to oppose to immigration between the 1820s and the 1880s. It should be noted that these immigrants migrated because the cities in their respective countries have become overcrowded and jobs became quite scarce.
People opted to either go back to the rural areas where population was small and there were little job opportunities, or migrate to the United States and improve their way of life. Obviously, the latter option was the better choice for the immigrants at that time. They were encouraged to migrate to America through advertisements. In 1856, Eugene Burnand was chosen to be the commissioner of emigration and his main task was to promote the territory of Minnesota to immigrants. Personal letters from the immigrants to their families and relatives equally played a key role in bringing more immigrants to the United States.
Such letters painted America as a “a land full of milk and honey” endowed with handful of great opportunities. For the Germans, political instability, scarcity, and expensive land become the major reasons for them to immigrate to the United States. The German administration in 1848 which was run by authoritarian government caused majority of the people to move out of the country and escape the oppression happening inside their countries. Certain laws in Germany also played a big role. The Inheritance Law in the 1850s placed restrictions to the person who was supposed to inherit land.
The first born sons were bequeathed this privilege and were not allowed to subdivide the land; women also were deprived from owning properties. The Americans felt the competition in work opportunities and were threatened by the large number of immigrants in their home land. Because of this, they greatly opposed the immigrants coming into their country. Such opposition was labeled nativism, which was directed mainly to the “first generation” immigrants. Nativism was directed to people who were not born in the United States, and would include their culture and religion.
The opposition was also only targeted to the first generation immigrants who were never regarded as American citizens. As per the American laws, the offspring of the immigrants were the ones regarded as Americans and were not opposed as much. Although East European cultures aggravated the situation of nativism, this was not the only factor that led to this form of opposition. Employment Immigrants were seen as a great threat to the availability of employment opportunities. The local Americans believed that the immigrants were taking the jobs that should have been for them.
However, most of these immigrants from Europe were unskilled and inexperienced and could only get menial jobs that did not require any form of skill. This lessened their chances to get the high-paying jobs and positions making it impossible to take away the better jobs from the Americans. Most of the Irish women were employed as maids while the men were employed as laborers in the construction and railing industry. Their skills were found to be helpful in the digging of canals and other common jobs. The jobs taken by the immigrants were too common and too low-paying that even the Americans would not have agreed to take them.
Religion Religion was also a driving force of nativism. Most of the Irish immigrants chose to support the Roman Catholic church and became loyal to the Pope. They opposed the American ideals and beliefs, which led to the formation of “anti-Catholic” nativism in the early part of the nineteenth century. Religion was used as a scape-goat to cover up the fears that the local Americans had on the immigrants. The nativists were too focused on the negative side of immigration that they were not able to see the other benefits that immigrants brought to their country. Overpopulation
Overpopulation in the urban cities was also seen as another factor for nativism. Overcrowding led to social conflicts and other issues as well. Population growth was a phenomenon that could not be avoided especially during the industrialization of America. The country could not be what it is today without the immense contribution that the immigrants provided. It also led to the increase in the demand of settlement and housing, which helped promote the real estate industry. By working in the United States, the immigrants not only provided labor but also contributed to the country through their taxed wages.
The taxes went to the government providing the money needed to build roads, hospitals, schools and other important social infrastructures that would improve the whole country. c). “By 1976, the image that the American society had of itself wished to perpetuate had significantly changed. ” The American culture and society could not remain unchanged with the ongoing industrialization. Immigrants flocked in large numbers to the urban cities. This was bound to increase social tensions within such cities and contribute even more to nativism.
These tensions resulted in verbal and physical abuse from the natives who viewed the immigrants as a cultural threat. However, the American society was transformed over time and every individual united no matter what their citizenship were. When the economic effects of immigration started to show, the views of the local Americans started to change. They saw that the economic status of the country was improving and they realized that this was caused by the millions of immigrants who worked as laborers and workers in their country. (i) History of America Immigration to the United States formed the basis of the American history.
During the mid-nineteenth century, the German and Scandinavian immigrants were a major source of labor workers in America. Immigrants in the northern states also offered an added advantage to the Union Forces during the civil war. (ii) Politics The immigrants continued to play significant roles in politics. In the 1930s and 1960s, they contributed to the formation of the Roosevelt coalition and election of John F. Kennedy respectively. After the second World War, the majority of the Republican Party was mainly composed of middle class white Protestants. However, the Democratic Party consisted mainly of Jewish and Catholic voters.
The mass immigration also greatly contributed during the reform periods of the 1930s that later led to the famous Lyndon Johnson Great Society programs. Culture The immigrants and their descendants helped shape the American culture. The initial hostility of nativism was replaced by acceptance when the mindset of the American citizens against immigrants and their descendants was changed. This was because most of these immigrants contributed a lot to the American creative arts, including the production of films. The American culture also changed when they began to adopt the customs and traditions of the immigrants.
The union in marriage with the Americans and immigrants also made way for the cultural change. d). Soviet Jews, Vietnamese, Haitians, Cubans, Soviet Jews. Haitians Haitians occupy Hispaniola; the same island they share with the Dominicans. They are described as “the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. ” As early as 1925, there were about 500 Haitian immigrants recorded in New York’s Harlem. Most of them comprised the middle-class communities who became businessmen and merchants while others chose to become Spanish and French teachers in schools.
In the 1960s, almost half of the Haitians were employed in white collar jobs or in other professions. Miami is the center of the Haitian community in the United States with over 50,000 Haitians. “Unlike the Cubans who were welcomed as refugees from communism, Haitians were unwanted refugees from hunger. ” This meant that they were never readily accepted in the United States as refugees. The American law has provided and described an asylum seeker as “persons running away from persecution” or one “with a well-founded fear of persecution.
” The policy has not adequately been able to distinguish between the two especially towards the Haitians who, at times, “appear discriminated because they are black. ”A good example of such discrimination happened in the 1980s when two boats of illegal immigrants, one containing Cuban “Marielitos” and the other with Haitians, received different treatments. The Cubans were treated better than the Haitians. Often times, such boats carrying Haitians were turned back regardless of the reasons, whether they were legal asylum seekers or not. Despite the challenges and difficulties, the number of illegal Haitians continues to increase by the day.
Soviet Jews The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR, is the home of the largest number of Jews in the world with almost six million Jews compared to Israel with only about 3. 5 million Jews and America with approximately two million. As compared to the Haitians or the Cubans, the Soviet Jews were treated better compared to their Western Europe counter parts. The immigration laws were amended in what was to be known as Jackson Amendments in 1972, which was made in favor of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a trading partner.
The American government sought the Soviet Jews to leave their homeland for America. The Soviet Jews took advantage of this opportunity and started to flock in large numbers to the United States instead of Israel, which was supposed to be their initial choice. The immigration process started when the Soviet Jews indicated that they wished to go to Israel. However, they would not be allowed to migrate to the United States if they came from Israel. This led to a lot of people going to Vienna where they were able to get a refugee status that would enable them to immigrate to the United States easily.
This immigration reached a point where it became a big problem for the United States authorities and, for the first time, most of them were turned away. “Sisters” Amalfi is located in the Salerno province of Campania, Italy. In the year 1900, Italian men emigrated from the town of Amalfi due to the lack of employment opportunities and the economic hardships. They emigrated in large numbers arriving in New York City every day until their number reached 1,500. They came by ships with their journey taking about 30 days. They settled in New Haven where they formed the St.
Andrew Apostle Society, which gave the members opportunity to gather and talk about their heritage. They knew that if they wanted to survive in this foreign land, they had to gather together and support each other. They formed organizations to receive migrants from Amalfi and provide them jobs and places to live. They preferred to live and work together for safety and economic reasons. They also felt more comfortable together because they spoke the same language and shared the same values and beliefs. The inhabitants of Almalfi celebrated the day their leader defeated the Turks.
They walked on the streets and danced. The unique thing about this celebration was that the people in New Haven were also celebrating the victory. They performed the same practices and walked on the streets and went to church. This showed that they had not forgotten where they came from. The people from New Haven visited their relatives in Amalfitana and had vacations in the town. The streets in the town are very narrow, which makes them complain. They would go to the beach and enjoyed talking with the natives in the square area. There were no large flat areas but the residents still had a good time.Sample Essay of StudyFaq.com