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Immigration In America. By Kayla Smith & Mercedes Kragenbrink.

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immigration in america
Immigration In America

By Kayla Smith & Mercedes Kragenbrink


Immigration has been all throughout history ever since man came to America. Over a million immigrants came from different countries around the world, such as Ireland Germany, Italy, Britain, and China. They all came for different reasons, like severe famine, religious conflict, job opportunities, and a few others. Here you will learn what life was like for struggling immigrants in America back in the day.


The Irish immigrate from Ireland

The Irish were divided during most of the 19th century & were consequently helpless in the wake of their dire issues. Due to an overly large population because of the Napoleanic Wars, the Irish soon found themselves impoverished. And because of religious prejudice of the Protestant Masters to the Catholic Irish, many had no choice but to try and emigrate to the U.S. for relief. Attempts to deflect the immigration, such as the British Passenger Acts, made the fare cheaper (15 shilling) compared to the fare (4 or 5 pound) to New York. By 1840, the Irish made up almost half of the immigrants entering the U.S. & also consisted of one fifth of all foreign born in one region.


The Famine

Around 1845, the great potato rot caused a mass migration. It eliminated the main subsistence of millions of peasants, pushing them to the brink of starvation. It remained for 5 years, and the famine conquered the land. Thousands died, and survivors just wanted to get away.


Labor/Work Conditions

Even though peasants arrived without resources, the expansion of the American economy created an incredible demand for “muscle grunt”. Great canals, which were the first links for transportation, were still being built in the 1820s and 1830s. The pick and shovel were the only earth-moving equipment (since bulldozers didn’t exist at the time) & the Irish were the main group that did all the grueling work. Irish workmen didn’t only lay horsecar and streetcar tracks, they were first drivers and conductors as well. By 1900, the Irish made up nearly a third of the plumbers, steamfitters, and boilermakers.



In the decades after 1860, more than 2.6 million Irish came to the U.S. They settled in already existing Irish communities, close to the Catholic churches that had been built. No matter how poor, the Irish were amazingly rich in cultural resources, and it helped them face hardships without despair. Their desire for self-expression showed that they understood their group identity.


The Germans Seek Refuge

Around 1700, countless Germans fled their homeland to other European countries, the Western Hemispheres, and Australia to escape extremely violent conditions. The Germans didn’t migrate for political reasons, unlike most other nationality groups