Immigrants came to America for many reasons, but most came for the possibilities of a free society which would allow them to better their lives and to practice their religion freely. The initial American immigrants, known as the Pilgrims, came because they did not want to be persecuted for their religious beliefs.Continue Reading
The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock and originally came from Europe. The English created the first permanent settlements at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony. From there, dissidents came to America so that they could continue to speak out when they were silenced in their own countries. Then new immigrants came to better their lives and that of their families. Of course, the original inhabitants of America were those who crossed the land bridge that used to exist between Asia and North America.
Since World War II, more than four million refugees have come to America in order to find safety and freedom. They flourish in the creative openness that the United States has to offer. However, since the early 1850s when a large number of Asian immigrants arrived, seduced by the California gold rush, the anti-immigrant sentiment has grown. Many native-born Americans were concerned that immigrants would become unwanted competition for jobs. Immigration policy was primarily handled by the states, but the federal government stepped in during 1890.Learn more about Population & Demography
According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the number of Chinese people who live in America is 3.79 million as of 2013. Of this figure, more than half (2.2 million) were born in China.Full Answer >
Most of the German immigrants who moved to America settled in the upper Midwest. However, there were also concentrations of German speaking people in New York City and Texas. Many moved to America following periods of economic decline at home, and were enticed by the idea of new opportunities.Full Answer >
Russian immigrants to America brought their culture with them, including their literature, politics, folklore and cuisine. They also brought Russian Orthodox Christianity, and many of their churches still stand and are broadly attended within the United States.Full Answer >
French immigrants came to America first as individuals seeking the freedom of the new United States, then following the Gold Rush, and later fleeing late 19th-century hardships in France. There was never a mass migration of French immigrants, but rather influxes of small groups and individuals.Full Answer >