German Immigration to America

Push Factors, Journey and Treatment, and Contributions

Push Factors

There were many push factors in the German Immigration to America including, Wars, and Religious freedom, and protests. An example is in 1848 where German rebels who wanted all the German states to be unified under one Democracy created uprisings and faced persecution and arrest. Upon this around 10 thousand Germans fled to America to escape the punishment. The biggest push factor is the war and fighting were Catholic rulers tried to reinforce Catholicism, Germans began to protest because they wanted more religious freedom, like the United States where any citizen can pick what ever religion they want. As protests became more common, the Catholic rulers armed themselves for war. German states began to form alliances and the small states feared of attack and wanted to escape for more religious freedom so many fled, around 65 thousand fled to America. This is the biggest push factor because 65 thousand compared to 10 thousand is a lot more people to emigrate from one country.

Below is a picture of German Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, an island that used to handle new Immigrants

Big image

Journey and Treatment

The trip to America was not the best for the German Immigrants. Many of the immigrants did not have a lot of money, or could not afford to get good seats on the boat for the long travel. Many of them had to take cargo ships, actually crammed down where the cargo made for goods, and trade usually were. The journey was treacherous with disease and head lice spread quickly. The Germans were accepted into America without much discrimination, they were actually encouraged. When Americans began to give free land to those whom would be willing to settle in the Great plains, they set up European offices to help Germans with the process of being able to get land. Even with being welcomed with open arms, the Germans did not assimilate as quickly as many immigrants would, because they settled in what is known as “The German Belt” which was around Wisconsin and Michigan. The German Belt included many German towns that since the first German settlers (1608, Jamestown) had been building up, so not much interaction had to be done with natives. With every new group/immigrants there will be stereotypes, the German stereotype not being as bad or hurtful as other groups. The Americans stereotyped all Germans to wear full lederhosen and dirndl, which is worn only in one small German state, Bavaria.

Contributions to America

Germans had a very big impact on American culture including food, drinks and institutions. Germans were known for the fondness of beer, which was brought to America and impacted many lives. A very important educational system to America which included physical education classes and vocational classes. Before Germans came, there were no physical education classes, this impacted America because without it today there would not be programs like Play 60! and other physical/exercise programs at school. It also teaches the importance of being physically active. The vocational classes help students get ready for the future, by training them for future occupations by informing them. We can really thank the German immigrants for physical education and vocational classes.


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