19th Century Poland

360 Words2 Pages
Many polish immigrants, emigrated from Poland to America during the late 19th century around 1885. They left in search of a new life, thinking that America was a mythical paradise, a land of opportunity, equality, and wealth. During the 19th century, Poland’s economic and social systems changed; the once rural, agricultural society changed to an extremely large increase in population, expansion of commercial agriculture, and the growth of transportation, and industry in the cities. To get to America, “Poles” as they were called, had to sell off their homes, livestock and personal items for money. Anything that was not sold was usually left behind in Poland. Another problem, faced was that because of the high cost to travel to America, many families could only send one individual; usually the oldest male, and they would send back money so that others could come at a later time. Polish Immigrants had to purchase their tickets from “landsmen” similar to the U.S travel agent. They also had to pay for a physical before leaving. Too add the lines for the tickets, physical and the get on to the ship to America were very long. In 1891, the average earnings in Poland for a farm worker was 12 cents, in America it was 90 cents, just another great reason for “Poles” to make the trip to America. But the actual “trip” was not all so pleasant, very poor conditions on the ships taking “Poles” to America. It was very crowded, dirty, limited food was given, and this of course led to casualties. Most “Poles” arrived in America at Ellis Island outside of New York. But not all came straight to the U.S; some moved into Canada first and then immigrated to America. In America their names were to be changed, to fit the U.S’s language. When “Poles” got here many worked in mines, steel mills, or the meat packing industry. New York and Buffalo were the most popular cities to

More about 19th Century Poland

Open Document