Immigration Inamerica in the 1800s
Submitted By samfaya
Immigration in America
During the Colonial period, the United States experienced successive waves of immigration, particularly from Europe. Many immigrants came to America seeking greater economic opportunity, while others arrived in search of religious freedom.
Starting in 1820, some federal records, including ship passenger lists, were kept for immigration purposes, and a gradual increase in immigration was recorded. At the turn of the 19th century, roughly 1790-1830, the population of the US doubled to 10 million people as a result of an increase in reproduction, as immigration had slowed during this time to about 250,000. Then another major wave of immigration occurred from 1815-1865 just after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. Between 1841 and 1850, immigration nearly tripled again, totaling in 1.7 million immigrants, including at least 781,000 Irish, 435,000 Germans, 267,000 British, and 77,000 French. Bad times and poor conditions in Europe drove people out, while land, relatives, freedom, opportunity, and jobs in the US lured them in.
Approximately one-third came from Ireland, which experienced a massive famine in the mid-19th century resulting in 750,000 people who starved to death. In the 1840s, almost half of America’s immigrants were from Ireland alone. Typically penniless, these Irish immigrants settled near their point of arrival in cities along the East Coast such as Boston and Ney York City. Nearly 2 million Irish migrated to the United States during this period resulting in more Irish living in America than in Ireland.
The Irish were hated for several reasons; they would accept any wage, taking jobs from others and they were Catholic. They lived in crowded, dirty tenant buildings, with high crime rates and alcoholism which stereotyped them as lazy, ignorant, and dirty. Primarily unskilled, the Irish built a majority of the canals...