In the 1800s, more than half of Irish population migrated to the United States as well as Germans. A majority of them fled their countries due to civil wars, mass unemployment, and poor living conditions. They could not meet their daily needs, and struggled to make ends meet, and this forced them to migrate to the US. The influx of immigrants was felt in the states and by every individual in America. Immigrants continued entering American soil, with the numbers increasing every time. Almost half of them came from western and northern Europe and only a third from Germany and Ireland. Industries accommodated those who were searching for work, and they are the ones who built railroads. The United States was accommodating, and this made more people come to the country (Terrazas, 2010). Irish and German immigrants were involved hard labor work, and they are credited for building America for what it is today. In Ireland, nearly half of the citizens lived on their farms and had little to no income. Due to poverty, they relied on potatoes for food, and when it did not sprout, there was a great famine. Dire economic conditions in Ireland led to mass starvation which caused many of them to flee to the US in search of better opportunities. They could not afford houses, so they gathered in the northern cities of America. Since the majority of Irish people migrated to the United States, Ireland has only half of its population since the rest are Irish Americans. Germans also fled their country to escape the economic turmoil (Hing, 2012). They wanted to flee from the political chaos, caused by rebellion, and riots. The German people were caught in the middle of the chaos, and many opted to escape. Unlike the Irish people, Germans had money to buy property and search for work. Many German nationals settled in New York, Cincinnati, and Baltimore. When many Irish and German people entered the US, riots broke out. Americans opposed their religious beliefs, and political affiliations.
Italians were among those who migrated to the United States in the late 1800s. Their migration was the third biggest immigration from Europe and comprised of Jews, slaves, and Italians. Their migration brought significant changes in America and immigration laws. About 3 million Italians migrated to the US in 1915. The immigrants represented all parts of Italy, and were mainly peasants, and artists. A majority of the immigrants came from the south of Italy, and were farm workers (Kasaba, 2012). They were agricultural and did not join industries because they did not have skills needed to handle machines. The few that worked in industries came from textile industries. While many of them were laborers, some were craftsmen, who were privileged than their counterparts. Most of the craftsmen came from the South and could read and write. They comprised of barbers, brick layers, carpenters, and masons. America recorded a high number of Italian immigrants in 1913, and provided the needed labor in American industries. They occupied textiles, mining, and clothing industries. The main reason why Jewish citizens migrated to the United States was that of religious persecution carried out by religious countries in Europe. Other reasons were to escape poverty, famine, and diseases. Political unrest and religious intolerance by powerful people in the society led to the violence, revolutions, and riots. They opted to migrate to America to flee from oppression, and lead normal lives. Europe was ruled by Christian monarchs in the 10th century, and they made Christianity be the only religion in their land. The Monarchs were a bit lenient on Jews people because they worshiped the same God. Christians were not charged any loans except for non-Christians. Things grew worse after the introduction of banking services, which led to persecution and excommunication of Jews. They went to America to start afresh.
The people of China were controlled by the Imperial system of Qing regime, which ensured that the feudal system was in place. During this period, China was the helm of the economy, while America and Europe were struggling to reach trade agreements with the country. The two countries wanted Chinese goods, and went extra miles to convince China to agree to trade agreements. The Chinese population increased tremendously due to prosperity. The ruling dynasty lost powers during the Opium Wars, and this depicted China as weak and incapable compared to super powers. Opium war led to opium addiction in the country. Population increase led to low food production, excess labor force, and idle people. Frequent famines made things worse for the country that was struggling to survive. High taxes were introduced for peasants, and this led to unwavering unrest (Daniels, 2011). People were complaining of corrupt government officials. Chinese wars led to hundreds of deaths of several workers, and many opted to migrate to the US. They were however forced to leave due to chaos and threats of violence where they stayed. This did not deter them from migrating into the country, and in 1852, American witnessed a high number of Chinese immigrants due to crop failure and floods in China. They were hired in American industries for casual labors. Vietnamese population in the United States was significantly low before 1975, but it grew afterward. Vietnamese migrated to the US after Vietnam War. The war destabilized the country, and many people could not make ends meet. The majority Vietnamese immigrants were in the American military and feared persecution from the Vietnamese communist government. Once inside the country, they were put in processing camps in different states.
- Daniels, R. (2011). Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850. University of Washington Press.
- Friedman-Kasaba, K. (2012). Memories of Migration: Gender, ethnicity, and work in the lives of Jewish and Italian women in New York, 1870-1924. SUNY Press.
- Hing, B. O. (2012). Defining America: through immigration policy. Temple University Press.
- Papademetriou, D. G., Sumption, M., Terrazas, A., Burkert, C., Loyal, S., & Ferrero-Turrión, R. (2010). Migration and immigrants two years after the financial collapse: Where do we stand. Migration Policy Institute.