Migration to the us time period of major immigration to us



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U.S. Immigration Waves

Migration to the US

Time period of major immigration to US

Main countries of emigration

Number of immigrants

Reasons immigrants come to the US

Influence immigrants have on US (Culture, laws, politics)

Colonial Immigration

1607 – 1780



Europe & Africa

1 million total



Harsh economic conditions, persecution, slavery

Language, law, religion, culture, art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics

Early immigration

1780 – 1840

Europe (90% from Great Britain) & Africa

1 million total

Opportunity for economic success

See above

1st Peak or Wave of European Immigration

1840s – 1850s

95% from N & W Europe (2/5 from Ireland; 1/3 from Germany)

Approx. 250,000 annually – total of 4.3 million

Economic push including Irish Potato Famine & German political unrest; enclosure movement

See above

2nd Peak or Wave of European Immigration

1870s – 1880s

N & W Europe

(approx. 1/3 Germ., 15% Irish, 13% Scand.)



500,000 annually

Industrial Revolution diffused; entering stage 2 dtm; could not find land to farm

See above

3rd Peak or Wave of European Immigration

1890s – 1915

S & E Europe (approx. ¼ each – Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary)

1 million annually (peak year 1907 – 1.3 mil)

Diffusion of Ind. Rev; Increase in population due to increased technology & health care

Quota Act of 1921, National Origins Act of 1924 (2% based on 1910); later Immigration Act of 1965

Early Asian immigration

1800s – 1950s

China, Turkey, Japan

1 million total

China – recruited to work on Railroad

1882 Chinese Exclusion Act; 1907 Gentlemen’s Agreement

Modern Asian immigration

1960s – 2005

Leading source in 1970s-80s: China, Philippines, India, Vietnam

1960 – 150,000/yr

1970 – 280,000/yr

1980 – 280,000/yr


Poor conditions at home; economic opportunity; land shortages, rapid population increases

Leading source of immigrants in 1970s and 1980s until overtaken by Latin America!

Early Latin American immigration

1820 – 1960




2 million total

Poor conditions at home; economic opportunity; land shortages, rapid population increases




Modern Latin American immigration

1960 – 2005

1st Mexico

2nd Dominican Rep

3rd El Salvador


13 mil total

1960 – 130,000/yr

1970 – 180,000/yr

1980 – 350,000/yr



Poor conditions at home; economic opportunity; land shortages, rapid population increases

1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act

All immigrant groups have influenced culture – food, music, art, clothing styles


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