Next Stop: The Land of Opportunity
Imagine that you and your family move to a whole new country. For whatever reason, your family is willing to leave their culture, family and friends, lifestyle, and even their language all for the "land of opportunity." Your family is ready to leave their home and all but few possessions behind for what they hope as a better life for them and generations to come. Would you be willing to give up everything that is familiar to you in your life? Many people from different countries all over the world in the 1840s on were faced with this tough question. They were to change either their life drastically by moving overseas to a land unknown, or maintain their poverty stricken life, leaving them with no opportunities whatsoever. Although they were leaving everything they ever knew, millions upon millions of people immigrated overseas to America.
The highest number of immigration came from Germany, which came to a booming number of 4 million during the 1840-1880s. Some of the reasons why so many Germans immigrated to America are due to the fact of severe economic depression and unemployment; political unrest and religious freedom, but by far the largest number of Germans migrated to America in search of improved standard living.
Out of the three main waves that came though America, the second wave was the major wave for the Germans (one third of the emigrants were from Germany). Generally speaking, most of European immigrants came over by steamboat. They mainly landed at Ellis Island (a chief U.S. reception center for immigrants from 1892 to 1924) in New York Harbor.
Even as the boat was docking, these immigrants discovered that life in America was going to be a battle for survival. Hundreds of runners, typically large greedy...