German Immigration

Essay by creep69College, UndergraduateA+, September 2008

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

Downloaded 34 times

In 1990 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 57,985,595 people in the United States claimed some measure of German ancestry. This makes up almost a quarter of the U.S. population. German immigration started as early as 1607. The first three Germans to migrate to the U.S. were, F.Unger, H. Keffer, and F. Volday who were followers of Captain John Smith who settled in Jamestown, Virginia. They started the first German colony, known as the “Damned Dutch.” From 1820-1970 they estimated about 6.9 million Germans came to the U.S. which were 15% of the total immigrants. The peak years of migration were 1854, when 215,000 people arrived, and 1882, when 250,000 people arrived. Approximately 90 percent of all the people leaving Germany between 1835 and 1910 came to the United States.

World Wars I and II interrupted the immigration of Germans to America. After World War I immigration picked up again from bad economic conditions in Germany.

During World War II there was immigration restrictions placed on Germans. The Germans emigrated to the U.S. for different reasons being that German immigrants were the most diverse in background of all major immigrant groups. The availability of land and the desire for religious freedom drew the first Germans to America. Germans were victims of overpopulation in the wine growing regions. This caused too much competition for land and jobs. Plus the land was not too fertile, and the harsh winter of 1708-1709 forced people to leave. The taxes were high, and the people could not afford to pay. America was often advertised in Germany as in America everything is great! It was true to people looking for a lot of fertile land for not a lot of money. In 1829, a German named Gottfried Duden, who had spent three years living in...