Daily life in immigrant America, 1820-1870 by James M. Bergquist

By James M. Bergquist

Early 19th century the US observed the 1st wave of post-Independence immigration. Germans, Irish, Englishmen, Scandinavians, or even chinese language at the west coast started to arrive in major numbers, profoundly impacting nationwide advancements like westward growth, city development, industrialization, urban and nationwide politics, and the Civil struggle. This quantity explores the early immigrants' adventure, detailing the place they got here from, what their trip to the USA used to be like, the place they entered their new state, and the place they finally settled. existence in immigrant groups is tested, fairly these parts of lifestyles unsettled by means of the conflict of cultures and adjustment to a brand new society. Immigrant contributions to American society also are highlighted, as are the battles fought to achieve wider popularity by means of mainstream culture.Engaging narrative chapters discover the event from the perspective of the individua, the catalysts for leaving one's place of birth, new immigrant settlements and the diversities between them, social, spiritual, and familial buildings in the immigrant groups, and the results of the Civil struggle and the start of the hot immigrant wave of the 1870s.Images and a particular bibliography complement this thorough reference resource, making it excellent for college students of yankee heritage and tradition.

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The usual choices were to work as a laborer on a larger farm, to seek industrial work, to learn a trade, or to emigrate. For a young woman, the choice was to marry if she could, to enter a convent, to become a spinster spinning yarn at home as her contribution to family income, or to emigrate. There were farmers who were somewhat better off; those who held between ten and thirty acres, so-called middling farmers, constituted about one-third of all the farmers in Ireland. While they might enjoy a somewhat higher standard of living than the small farmers, they still were often on the margin of insecurity.

6 Before 1830, the number of recorded arrivals of Germans did not exceed 2,000 annually. In the early 1830s the numbers rose to a high of about 29,000 before the Panic of 1837 discouraged the emigrants. By 1845 the numbers were back at a new high of 36,000, rising again to 58,000 in 1846, to 79,000 in 1850, and reaching a pre-Civil War high of about 215,000 in 1854. This flood of German immigrants, which came at the same time as the Irish famine migration, shared some of the same causes. There were similar famines and crop failures in Germany, which exposed again the long-standing problems of too many people occupying too little land.

For some it was a decision to break ties with an ancestral community of many centuries; for others it was a decision that came after previous wanderings within the European homeland. The decision might be made with hope and optimism or with fear and regret. It might reflect confidence in the future, or it might reflect sheer desperation. Regardless of the emotions involved, those who decided to go to America would recognize this decision as the most crucial one of a whole 21 22 Daily Life in Immigrant America, 1820 –1870 lifetime, one which, given the difficulties of the sea voyage, they did not expect to be easily reversed.

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