Discuss immigration in the 1840s. Why did nativists oppose some groups of immigration?
America is an immigrant country because it was founded by immigrants. The people of America are all immigrants. Throughout history, immigration has had its ups and downs in the United States. The most significant increase immigration came in the 1840s when the Irish and German peoples came into America. These two populations came to America because of hardships in their home country.
In the 1840s, the size and nature of Irish immigration changed drastically. The potato blight which destroyed the staple of the Irish diet produced famine. Hundreds of thousands of Irish peasants were driven from their cottages and forced to immigrate to the United States. Most of these people had no skills, no previous experience in adapting to a new country. They had no money, few clothes, and very little hope and most had no education. Irish immigrants were part of the Catholic faith and when they moved to the United States, they moved into protestant territory which hurt their new life in America.
In the 1840s, more than one and one half million Germans immigrated to United States. They immigrated because of revolutions going on in their country and that they could not rebel against their government. German immigrants in America were typically struggling farmers, political refugees, religious refugees, or men avoiding conscription in the German military. These German immigrants settled throughout the United States, in both urban and rural communities; however, the majority settled in the mid- western states. German immigrants acquired a reputation for being hardworking, thrifty, and law-abiding people. Germans made numerous contributions to American culture, including inventions, traditions, sports and food. The flooding of German immigrants to America was the result of long-term social, religious, and economic changes.
As immigration from Europe increased, citizens who had been born...