Uprooted 2nd Edition by Oscar Handlin

Essay by DrowkiCollege, UndergraduateA, December 2004

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Urban America History


Oscar Handlin. The Uprooted. 2nd Edition

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

Oscar Handlin, the author of the Uprooted, reveals common experiences of the millions of European immigrants who came to America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries-their fears, their hopes, their expectations. Which the author explains, and what was happening prior before and after the massive immigration into the United States in a literary narrative unencumbered with notations and academic jargon; of what the immigrants were going through and how the ideology, philosophy, and customs were not going to be transplanted in the shores of America. Instead, the immigrants were as the author explains "Uprooted" and having to learn new values and customs and become Americanized.

Foreshadows, and background information was mentioned in the first chapter, which would help explain the reasons why immigrants were leaving their homeland to find a new place to call home.

"For a thousand years, the number of people on the continent had remained constant..."

"Between 1750 and 1850 the population of the continent leaped from about one hundred and forty million to about two hundred and sixty,..."

There was a massive population increase that was caused from a gradual decline in death rate, particularly in that of children under the age of two. This decline put a major burden on various communities throughout Europe, and because of that the European values and customs made difficulty for families to move out from their own home and start a living for themselves. This was mainly because most of Europe was overcrowded already.

Once the immigrant has decided to make the sojourn to America to make a better life for himself and for his family, he found himself with a new problem, a new fear. How is...