Essay on Immigration Groups Experiences

Submitted By kaleegrant
Words: 1336
Pages: 6

Immigration Groups’ Experiences
By: Dahlia Smith

American Studies II B
June 5, 2014

“Oh, how long the days, how cheerless and fatiguing the nights since I parted with my Fanny and my little angel. Sea Sickness, nor the toilets of the ocean, nor the starvation which I suffered… to come to this strange country, which is the grave of reputations, the morals, and of the lives of so many of our countrymen and countrywomen…”1

John Doyle, a man who came to the United States during the great wave of Irish immigrants because of the awaken of the 1840 potato famine, said this in a letter to his wife while on his journey to America. The letter to his wife was written in 1818; during this time period immigration was its peek. Immigration from Europe to the United States overwhelmingly increased in the mid 1800’s. The population recorded in the census of 1860 was 31,500,000; fifteen percent of that population was foreign.2 Migrators came from all over the world, but the three main factions were the Germans, Chinese and Irish. These three diversely contrasting groups all faced extreme diversity to allow them into the United States. The Germans’, Chinese, and Irish immigrated to America for all different reasons, they all faced similar challenges, but all had the same goals, freedom, and success.
The first cluster of immigrants to settle in America was the Germans. The mass immigration also referred to as the “old immigration” began after the 1830s. “Although the political turbulence and religious repression in Europe triggered small waves of German migration to the United states, most historians note that the mass migration were mainly motivated by the desire for economic opportunity and prosperity”3 The German states faced development and industrialization, it changed from a farm based economy to an economic system based on the manufacturing of goods and spreading of services on an organized and mass produced basis, this rural way of living was becoming scarce. With these conditions Germans were forced to move to new cities and learn new skills, which resulted in the unemployment rate rising. Germans emigrated to seek new opportunities, for over a century, Germans immigrated by the hundreds of thousands. Germans began their journey by finding their way to a city with a shipping port. During the high peaks of emigration there was a rush of traffic on the roads to the ports made up of families pushing carts loaded with their possessions. Most emigrants left from Bremerhaven or Hamburg. They were often robbed when they arrived to ports. Many could not afford first or second class tickets, so they traveled in steerage, third class, in the lower levels of the boat that were intended to transfer freight. Other struggles were minimum space, limited clean water and toilet/washing services. Rats, lice, and bed bugs were common, and disease spread quickly, throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth century, many immigrants faced misery and even death to get to the United States. New York became the destination for many of these settlers; most decided to stay on the east coast, but others traveled to the Erie Canal through buffalo and out to Ohio. The availability of free or cheap land attracted them. Once they settled, they brought with them a diverse range of craftsmanship, professional skills, and the German settlers of the south used their farming dexterities. The Germans were successful. They began to set up communities, schools, churches, and newspapers. This group of people faced adversity to travel, and be accepted into the states, but they did become extremely successful.
The next party of immigrants that trekked to America was the Irish. Their main crop, the potato, had ultimately failed to grow. An estimated one million Irish starved when this vital crop, their sole source of food, rotted in the ground; over one million Irish came to America. Even though the conditions improved after the “Great…