Daily Life in Immigrant America, 1820-1870

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008 - History - 306 pages
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Early nineteenth century America saw the first wave of post-Independence immigration. Germans, Irish, Englishmen, Scandinavians, and even Chinese on the west coast began to arrive in significant numbers, profoundly impacting national developments like westward expansion, urban growth, industrialization, city and national politics, and the Civil War. This volume explores the early immigrants' experience, detailing where they came from, what their journey to America was like, where they entered their new nation, and where they eventually settled. Life in immigrant communities is examined, particularly those areas of life unsettled by the clash of cultures and adjustment to a new society. Immigrant contributions to American society are also highlighted, as are the battles fought to gain wider acceptance by mainstream culture.

Engaging narrative chapters explore the experience from the viewpoint of the individua, the catalysts for leaving one's homeland, new immigrant settlements and the differences among them, social, religious, and familial structures within the immigrant communities, and the effects of the Civil War and the beginning of the new immigrant wave of the 1870s.

Images and a selected bibliography supplement this thorough reference source, making it ideal for students of American history and culture.


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Immigration by the Numbers 18201870
2 Leaving Home 18201845
3 Across the Atlantic and into America 18201845
4 Immigration at High Tide 18451854
5 Developing Immigrant Communities 18201855
6 Changing Immigrant Cultures 18201855
7 Political Turmoil and War 18501865
8 Into a New Era 18651870

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About the author (2008)

JAMES M. BERGQUIST is Professor Emeritus of History, Villanova University. He has published dozens of book chapters, journal articles, and encyclopedia entries dealing with immigration and immigration issues in the United States. He is also editor of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society newsletter.