Essay on The Effects of Immigration In The U.S. Economy

3296 Words 14 Pages
Introduction
Throughout history, countless millions of people left their native land and moved to a strange country where no one knows what kind of faith lies ahead for them. The heaviest immigration worldwide took place from the early 1800’s to the Great Depression. Most of the immigrants came from Europe and half of them immigrated to the United States. Whatever prompted the immigrants, they were brave, bold, and courageous men and women. They left familiar communities for a new land and a new people.

The Four Waves of Immigrants
The United States has always been a nation of immigrants. English, Dutch, and French men and women settled it in its earliest days, the first decade of the seventeenth century. Groups from other
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Some colonists came from Denmark, Finland, and what is now Ukraine. Some colonists sought adventure in America. Others fled religious persecutions. Many are convicts transported from English jails. But most immigrants by far hoped for economic opportunity. Many could not afford to come to America and came as indentured servants. Such a servant signed a contract to work for a master for four to seven years to repay the cost of the ticket. Blacks from West Africa came to the colonies involuntarily. The first Africans were brought as indentured servants, but most blacks arrived as slaves. West African blacks captured most of the slaves in wars and traded them for European goods. Wars in Europe and America slowed immigration during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Newcomers included Irish fleeing English rule and French escaping revolution. Congress made it illegal to bring in slaves as of 1808. From 1830 through 1874 several states passed their own immigration laws, since the federal government did not regulate immigration in any way until 18754. During the early 1800’s, New York City began to replace Philadelphia as the nation’s chief port of entry for immigrants. The country’s first immigration station, Castle Garden, opened in New York City in 1855. Ellis Island the world’s most famous station, operated in New York Harbor from 1892 to 19543.

The second wave of immigrants arrived in 1820 to 1870, almost seven and a half new comers entered the United