Daily Life in Immigrant America, 1820-1870 [NOOK Book]

Overview

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, ...

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Daily Life in Immigrant America, 1820-1870

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Overview

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:

  • A focus on the experience from the viewpoint of the individual
  • the catalysts for leaving one's homeland
  • new immigrant settlements and the differences among them
  • social, religious, and familial structures within the immigrant communities
  • 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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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

With calm authority and unfaltering clarity, Bergquist has written the best history ever of his subject: immigration into the United States after its colonial settlement and before the great surge through Ellis Island. What marks this book is its mix of the necessary facts (laws, policies and numbers) with deftly-told stories of individual immigrants, whose experiences offer glimpses into the struggles that most new Americans faced. The book covers the entire nation, taking into account Chinese laborers as well as Europeans. At the story's center, Bergquist brings to light the Germans-a group as prominent as the Irish yet whose diversity and divisions often relegate it to the shadows. While none of this is new, Bergquist, professor emeritus of history at Villanova, conveys it with an uncommonly easy touch. The necessary analyses don't overwhelm the story, while relevant tales of hardship, adaptation, and triumph give appealing texture to the larger picture. The perfect history for those who want to learn more about the peopling of the US. (An accompanying volume, by June Granatir Alexander, covering the years 1870-1920, is being published simultaneously.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up- This well-written title examines the impact of immigration on the broad path of history while also presenting its effect on families and individuals through firsthand accounts that convey experiences and varied degrees of success and failure. The opening chapter presents an overview of the era, introducing the "pushes" and "pulls" that affected immigration, supported by relevant statistics. It is followed by chapters such as "Leaving Home, 1820-1845" and "Changing Immigrant Cultures, 1820-1855" in which Bergquist discusses the economic, religious, and social factors that influenced emigration, highlighting differences in countries and conditions while also pointing out common themes. The tightly structured narrative moves deftly over time and across oceans, making it easy for students to keep track of the complex subject matter. Fairly extensive passages of historical background provide useful context. Practical details involving everything from lodging conditions to the relative sizes of ships also help make the historical experiences tangible. Occasional illustrations from the period, mostly from magazines, provide some visual context. There are no charts or tables, but a seven-page chronology shows some statistical trends effectively. This is a thorough, balanced, and well-organized presentation, offering useful specifics as well as broader, far-reaching concepts.-Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR

From the Publisher

"This well-written title examines the impact of immigration on the broad path of history while also presenting its effects on families and individuals through firsthand accounts that convey experiences and varied degrees of success and failure….The tightly structured narrative moves deftly over time and across oceans, making it easy for students to keep track of the complex subject matter. Fairly extensive passages of historical background provide useful context. Practical details involving everything from lodging conditions to the relative sizes of ships also help make the historical experiences tangible….This is a thorough, balanced, and well-organized presentation offering useful specifics as well as broader, far-reaching concepts."

-

School Library Journal

"This series provides high school and college students and the general reader with detailed information about people in the United States from the pre-colonial up to the present. Daily Life in Immigrant America, 1820-1870, recreates the world of immigrants from Northern and Western Europe. This volume contains a comprehensive chronology with almost six dozen entries that begins in 1815 and ends in 1871."

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MultiCultural Review

"This book is a well-written, encyclopedic guide to the daily life of ordinary immigrants into the United States during the nineteenth century…Bergquist skillfully looks at the small and routine features of daily life that appear to change little over generations. He examines the social, religious, and family structures within the various immigrant communities… The author is sensitive to regional, ethnic, racial, cultural, and gender differences when making generalizations about the time period; for that reason, this is a valuable work that can be recommended for all libraries."

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ARBA

"The best parts of this book are those that personalize the story with first-person accounts. . . . Bergquist does a fine job of constructing out of disparate materials composite images of life among the immigrants. One comes away with an enhanced understanding that not all immigrant stories are ones of success."

-

American Catholic Studies

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Product Details

Meet the Author

James M. Bergquist is professor emeritus of history at Villanova University and has written widely on American immigration. He is also editor of the Immigration and Ethnic Society newsletter. He lives in Philadelphia.
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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Chronology xi

1 Overview: Immigration by the Numbers, 1820-1870 3

2 Leaving Home, 1820-1845 22

3 Across the Atlantic and into America, 1820-1845 60

4 Immigration at High Tide, 1845-1854 101

5 Developing Immigrant Communities, 1820-1855 142

6 Changing Immigrant Cultures, 1820-1855 186

7 Political Turmoil and War, 1850-1865 220

8 Into a New Era, 1865-1870 268

Notes 291

Glossary 301

For Further Reading 307

Index 323

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