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Immigration to the U.S. 1820-1850
Transcript of Immigration to the U.S. 1820-1850
Catastrophic Potato Famine of 1845-1850
Many Irish people starved and died during this time.
The starving, desperate "Famine Irish" were America's first large refugee group.
Political unrest and poor economic conditions in Germany
More opportunities in America
Industries needed willing workers
Western states were eager for settlers
Wisconsin appointed a commissioner of emigration to attract Europeans to the state
Iowa and Minnesota soon followed with similar measures
Steerage Act of 1819
Gave federal government information on immigration
Required that all vessels deliver passenger lists to custom officials
The task of receiving immigrants fell on cities and states, not the federal government.
Immigration By The Numbers
Proportion of immigrants in population jumped from 1.6% in the 1820's to 11.2% in 1860.
By 1860, nearly half of New York's population (48%) was foreign-born.
From an annual figure of about 20,000 in 1831, immigration rose to a record 430,000 in 1854.
Poorest of the Population: most Irish arrived destitute
Most Irish and Germans were Catholic
Spoke different languages and dialects
A New Home
Germans: agricultural communities in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Texas
Irish: major cities
Life in U.S. was often difficult and unpleasant
Common response was to build ethnic neighborhoods and communities
New York City's rapid growth as a manufacturing center was due to labor of Irish and German workers: 65% of workforce by 1855
Germans clustered in skilled trades
Irish performed most of low-paid labor
86% of day laborers were Irishmen
74% of domestic servants were Irishwomen
Irish contract workers were essential to completion of the Erie Canal in 1825
Many Irish men and women worked in the Lowell mills and other factories
Germans settled in "Little Germanies" in New Orleans, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore
Irish built large communities in Boston and New York
By: Victoria Murray
Limited the number of passengers on ships
Unwelcome in America
Most of the Irish and half of the Germans were Catholics
Unwelcome to Protestant Americans
Native-born Americans were unprepared for "foreignness" and poverty of new immigrants
Reacted with hostility
Irish met with violent anti-Catholicism
Boston was extremely anti-Irish
"No Irish Need Apply" signs went up
Irish were able to get only the worst and poorest-paying jobs
Many Irish neighborhoods were attacked
Impact on America
More diversity in America
Contributed greatly to urban growth
Immigrant labor fueled the nation's expanding economy
Helped turn wilderness into farmland
Many of the changes in industry and transportation would have been impossible without immigrants
Bankston, Carl. "History of U.S. immigration, 1783-1891." salempress.com. Salem Press, Mar. 2010. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Faragher, John Mack, Mari Jo Buhle, Daniel Czitrom, and Susan H. Armitage. "Out of Many". New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2002. Print.