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englisch artikel (Interpretation und charakterisierung)

New York

Immigration america

Since the beginning of the 17th century Millions of immigrants from all over the world came and still come to the United States driven by the hope of finding freedom and a better future, how the statue of liberty promises them:

\"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!\"

HOW IT ALL BEGAN....( 1830-1900)

By the early 1830ies up to thousand ships at a time were engaged in carrying cotton from America to Liverpool.
Most of these ships made their return journey empty, until the shipowners found a new cargo: people.
The Atlantic crossing took up to three months, the ships were not intended for passengers and diseases like typhus, which was commonly called shipfever infested the human freight.But people were willing to endure almost every hardship to get to America, if the price was right.
By the mid century a one-way ticket from Liverpool to New York could be had for as little as 12$.
In the decade 1845-55, 3 million immigrants arrived in theUnited States,a country that had a population of only 20 million at that time.
In just 20 years ( 1830-1850) the proportion of foreign born immigrants in America rose from one in a 100, to one in 10.
Between 1815- 1915 America took 35million immigrants.
7 million came from Germany.

5 million each from Italy and Ireland
3,3 million from Russia
2,5 million from Scandinavia and thousands from almost everywhere around the globe.
Especially for small countries this meant a significant drain of human sources.
For example Ireland was the most densley populated country in Europe by 1807.
50 years later it was one of the least.
The immigrants tended naturally to congregate in enclaves.
In the first half of the 19th century the German immigrants dreamed of Pennsylvania becoming an entirely German state, where German would be the official language.
By 1855 one third of New York´s population was Irish born.
Between 1880 and 1900 one-third of the Jewish population of Europe came to America and again almost all of them settled in New York.
By the turn of the century NY had become the most cosmopolitan city the world had ever seen.80% of its population were either foreign born or the children of immigrants.
In 1908 the British Zionist Israel Zangwill wrote a play that gave the Americans a term for that phenomenon.He called it the Melting Pot.

ELLIS ISLAND: Gateway To America

Beginning in 1892, the United States Bureau of Immigration began using Ellis Island to receive and screen immigrants to America. Sitting about a mile from Manhattan, in New York Harbor, Ellis Island has ushered in more than 12 million immigrants.
The bulk of immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924. In 1943, Ellis Island served as a detention center for enemy aliens. In 1954, the facility closed and, in 1965, it became part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Ellis Island began a restoration process in the 1970s that lasted into the early 1990s.
Between 1892 and 1954 about 17 Million people entered the country through Ellis Island. Up to 10000 daily!

Against the common horrorstories, Ellis Island was a beautiful richlydecorated complex with first class health facilities, a roof garden and good food
The immigration officialsprocessed about 5000 arrivals a day, but they performed their duty with efficiency and not a little compassion.
Only about 2 percent of applicants were denied entrance. The list of those who could be denied admission included prostitutes, lunatics, polygamists, anarchists or those with contagious diseases.
Ellis Island was a dazzling display of the wealth, efficiency and respect for the common person of the New World and it made many truly believe that tehy had passed into an earthly paradise.
But once landed on Manhattan they would immediately discover the drawback of Eden.


Only few newly arrived immigrants were not fleeced in some way within their first days.
In the 1860ies 1,2 million people- three quarter´s of NYC´s population were packed into just 37,000 tenements.As many as 25 people were sharing a single windowless room!

Crime, prostitution, begging, disease and almost every other indicator of social deprivation existed at levels taht are all but inconceivable now.On average an Irish immigrant around the mid century survived only 14 years in America.In 1888 in the Italian quarter one third of the babies did not survive the first year.
Gangs roamed the streets, robbing and mugging.
Although NY had a police force since 1845, it was thoroughly corrupt and ineffectual.

Against such a background it is hardly surprising that many immigrants fled back to Europe.
Perhaps as many as one third of all immigrants eventually returned to their native countries.

None the less the trend was relentlessly upward.


During the forties and fifties of the last century it was mainly German and Irish people who immigrated.Around 1900 most of the immigrants were Russians Jews and Italians.

When the Irish abandoned their traditional stronghold their place was immediately taken by Italians.The old German neighbourhoods were taken over by the Russian and Polish Jews.

The Amish and German Immigration

Germans had been present in America from the early colonial times- by 1683 they had formed their own community, Germantown, near Philadelphia- but teh bulk of their immigration came in two relatively short bursts.
The first, numbering some 90,000 happened mostly in the five years from 1749 to 1754 and was completed by the time of the American revolution.
From 1830-50 there was a second larger wave.

With war waging in Europe, Germans flocked to America around 1710, many of them settling in Pennsylvania, where William Penn had established a colony with religious tolerance. Calling themselves \"Deutsch,\" German for \"German,\" the name was shortened to \"Dutch\" and they became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch. They worked hard and developed a reputation as being great farmers.
In the 1720s, Swiss religious leader Jakob Ammann brought his people to Pennsylvania. They became known as the Amish, after Ammann. Believing that plain living brings people closer to God, the Amish today do not drive cars, have television, or wear modern clothes.
In the 1830s and between 1860 and 1892, there were two more large waves of German immigration. These Germans left home due to overpopulation, the desire to own their own land, and a search for political freedom. Many of this second and third wave of Germans had enough money to travel to the Midwest and buy land. They settled near Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. Some also settled in farming regions of Texas.
The 1980 Census listed Germans as the second largest ethnic group in America.

The Irish Immigration

The Irish began coming to America in the 1820s, when the lack of jobs and poverty motivated them to seek better opportunities abroad.
Then between 1845 and 1847, a terrible disease struck Ireland\'s potato crop, upon which many people depended for food. Potato crops died, causing a terrible famine and about 750,000 starved to death. This lack of food caused huge numbers of people to leave Ireland. As a result, about one-and-a-half million Irish came to America during the 1840s and 1850s.
Many of the Irish who came to America were poor. They remained in areas where they disembarked from the boats, such as New York and Boston. Later, a sizable Irish-American population developed in Chicago. Today, these three cities still have huge Irish-American populations, in which they established solid political bases. According to the 1980 census, the Irish and their descendants form the third-largest ethnic group in America today.

Italian Immigration

Many Italians who came to America settled in East Coast cities, like Philadelphia and New York. Here they opened stores and restaurants featuring foods from home. An Italian neighborhood was often called \"Little Italy.\" These neighborhoods still exist in many cities today.
In 1905, Gennaro Lombardi owned an Italian restaurant in New York\'s Little Italy. He started to serve a food from Naples, Italy, and people loved it. Made from a flat, yeast bread baked with melted cheeses and tomatoes, the dish was called \"pizza.\" Today, pizza is delivered to the doors of American homes throughout the country, but back then it was a way for immigrants to have a slice of home in their new country.
The first Italian immigrant to America was Christopher Columbus. Columbus has been credited with discovering America, although he actually never set foot on mainland America. It is unknown if he ever ate pizza.
Italy never colonized parts of America as did their neighbors Spain, France, and England. Instead, many Italians started coming to America in the 1880s to escape from the poverty at home. Besides pizza, Italians introduced America to opera and pasta.

Russian Immigration

Most people\'s image of Russian immigrants is probably of women wearing babushkas arriving at Ellis Island in the late 1800s. While this picture is accurate of a huge wave of Russian immigration, the first Russians to venture to America did so on the other side of the continent almost 100 years earlier.

Russian expansion into northwest America began in 1725, as part of that country\'s search for new areas in which to trap furs, a profitable Russian business.

The next wave of Russian immigrants came through New York in the late 1800s, when government pogroms attacked Jewish villages and the 1891 famine sent native Russians to America.
The Russian Revolution in 1917 also sent people running for shelter in America, as did the subsequent establishment of the Communist Party in Russia. Soon it became difficult to get permission to leave Russia. Many yearned for political, artistic, and intellectual freedom

World Wars I and II added to the desire to immigrate as standards of living in Russia lagged far behind those of America. Still, dreaming of leaving Russia for America has always been easier than doing it. Leaving one\'s homeland, family, and friends -- perhaps never to see them again -- is a difficult choice to make, as is getting the money and necessary papers for leaving Russia.

Jewish Immigration

The first Jews arrived in New Amsterdam, present-day New York, in 1654 from Brazil, where the Catholic Church\'s Inquisition was underway.
The first large wave of Jewish immigration, however, began in 1882, when Russians blamed the assassination of their czar, Alexander II, on Jews. This was the start of many pogroms, planned persecutions, against the Jews.
Jews throughout Russia tried to escape to Europe and America. Many arrived in New York and settled there, finding work in the garment industry.
The second large wave of Jewish immigration came during and after World War II. At the start of the war, many German and Austrian Jews who felt Hitler\'s threat, escaped to America. Some of these people were the top thinkers and scientists of Europe. Among them were scientist Albert Einstein and psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. Their leaving Europe was called a \"Brain Drain,\" because so much intellectual power was leaving the country.
During the war, American laws limiting Jewish immigration prevented many from escaping Europe and emphasized the need for Israel. Later, the Displaced Person Act of 1948 and the Refugee Relief Act of 1953, opened America to the Jews who had managed to survive the war and the concentration camps.
The third big wave of Jewish immigration came in 1989 when Russia relaxed its laws prohibiting Jews from leaving the country. These people came to America and to Israel.

Chinese Immigration: Looking For Gold Mountain

About the same time gold was discovered in California, famine hit the Guangdong Province in southeast China. Hearing about California\'s Gim San, Gold Mountain, many Chinese men left for America hoping to make a fortune and return home a few years later to their loved ones. Few struck it rich and the rest fought to survive.
The Gold Rush in California and the Pacific Northwest increased the demand for railroads to connect these remote parts of America. Building railroads required lots of low-paid labor, which hungry immigrant Chinese provided. By 1880, there were about 300,000 Chinese in America, but few were warmly welcomed by Americans once the railroads were completed. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first time in American history that immigration restrictions were aimed at one ethnic group.
In the mid-1880s, America was in a post-Civil War depression and the Chinese became a target for American frustrations. In some Western towns, mobs attacked Chinese. In 1885, 28 Chinese were killed in Rock Springs; in 1887, seven white men killed 31 Chinese miners in northeast Oregon.
Some Chinese were forced onto boats returning to China and some left on their own. America\'s racist frenzy then subsided and the remaining Chinese settled into towns and cities to become productive citizens.
Discriminatory practices by real estate agents and homeowners prompted strong Chinatowns to develop, especially in San Francisco, New York, and Seattle. While most Chinese provided the base labor for fishing, canning, and laundry businesses, a few became doctors, entrepreneurs, clergy, and other higher-status professionals.
In 1943, immigration law changed and the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed. Now, resident Chinese-American men could bring their women from home; their population until this time had been mostly male.
Wartime alliances in World War II benefited the Chinese. The Walter-McCarran Act, passed in 1952, allowed first-generation Asian-Americans to apply for U.S. citizenship. More Chinese entered fields that had been closed to them: medicine, corporate business, and politics. In 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act eliminated blatant anti-Asian bias in U.S. immigration.
Authoritarian political crackdowns in contemporary China and political uncertainty in Taiwan and Hong Kong have increased Chinese immigration to America. Today, strong Chinese communities exist in the West, especially in Los Angeles, which has become a contemporary Ellis Island for the Pacific Rim. Descendants of the first wave of Chinese immigrants now excel in such fields as engineering, fields from which their forebears were barred.

Mexican Immigration

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 brought political and economic instability to Mexico, prompting about 700,000 people to migrate to America over the next 20 years. Most recently, another wave of immigration from Mexico has occurred, beginning in the 1950s and continuing today. During this time, millions of Mexicans left poverty and high unemployment in Mexico in hopes of better jobs and wages in America.
Finally, there is the issue of America\'s shared border with Mexico, a border that invites much illegal crossing by Mexican day laborers and those seeking to permanently resettle in America. In border cities like San Diego, California and El Paso, Texas, customs officers and the Border Patrol work to stem the tide of illegal immigration.
This is a large issue in the Southwest as illegal immigrants, who are undocumented, often drive without license or insurance, work for very low wages leaving employers to make huge illegal profits, and sometimes seek health care and other services from publicly funded agencies.
Today much of the Southwest has a large Mexican population, which is forming an important political group as they wield their votes. So large is this population that many Southwest cities like Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and Phoenix offer bilingual services at government agencies and bilingual education in public schools.
Many people believe that Mexican immigrants and their offspring are still subject to discrimination in America. This results in difficulty getting good jobs. But this is changing, as Mexican descendants gain political office and create legislation that benefit their people.


Immigrant groups had their own theatres, newspapers, libraries, schools, clubs, taverns and places of worship.Germans alone could choose betwenn 133 German-language newspapers by 1850.
It was possible indeed to live an entire liefe in the USA and never speak English.
Thus the linguistic legacy of some immigrant groups on the American English spoken today is immense.
Americans freely appropriated some Dutch terms like stoop, boss, cookie, waffle or the distinctive American interrogative how come?
Two particulary durable Americanisms that emanate from Dutch are

Santa Claus , Yankee or dope.
A group´s linguistic influence bears scant relation to the numbers of people who spoke it.
The Irish hardly supplied any words as well as teh Scandinavians.
The Italians enrichened the American language mainly with food words like
Spaghetti, pasta, macaroni, ravioli or pizza.

Far more productive were the German immigrants.
Words like sauerkraut , pretzel, dumb, kindergarten,nix, delicatessen, kaput, kaffeeklatsch or foodfest naturalized into American English.
Also an American custom to say Gesundheit! after a sneeze.
Many words underwent some mdoifications in spelling.
Autsch became ouch, krank became kranky, schmierkäse, smearcase and leberwurst, liverwurst.

Some terms that have been credited with African roots include bogus, banana, gorilla, funky, phoney and jazz.
Jazz is one of the mostly disputed terms in American etymology.
In any case, it´s first use, among both southern blacks and whites, was to describe sexual intercourse.It wasn´t until after WW1 that it entered the wider world conveying the idea of a type of music.Quite a number of Afro- American terms contain some forgotton sexual association.
Boogie Woogie appears originally to have signified syphilis.
Blues also originally had a strong sexual significance.So too did rock´n Roll.
Food terms often had a distinctly sexual conotation, especially in songs.

Although most urban, non native speakers of English could get by without English, most choose not to.
The adoption of American clothes,speech, and interests often accompanied by the shedding of an exotic surname, were all part of a process whereby antecedents were denied as a mean of improving status.


Until the closing years of the 19th century America preserved most of its official racist animus for blacks and Indians, but in 1882 it added a new category when Chinese were expressly denied entry to the United States, and those already in the country were forbidden the rights and protections of citizenship.
In 1907 the exclusion was extended to the Japanese.
Beginning in the 1890ies, as the flood of immigrants from the poorer parts of Europe turned into a deluge, racism became more sweeping, more rabid and less focused.
Anti-immigrant fraternities were founded and books like Madison Grant´s Passing of the Great Race ( which argued " scientifcally" that unrestricted immigration was leading to the dilution and degenaration of the national character) became bestsellers.
Early nicknames that were only mildly abusive (likecalling the Germans cabbage heads or Krauts( from their liking of sauerkraut) grew uglier and more barbed ( chink, kike, dago, polack, spic,hebe)
Never before nor since have intolerance and prejudice been more visible, fashionable or universal among all levels of American society.

In 1907 the Congress established a panel called the Dillingham Commision, that concluded that immigration before 1880 had been no bad thing-the immigrants primarily from nothern Europe were industrious, largely protestant and had assimilated well-while immigration after 1880 had been marked by the entrance into America of uneducated non-protestant masses from southern and eastern Europe.
But in fact all evidence points in the opposite direction.
It was because America had a base of low wage, adaptable,unskilled labour that it was able to become an industrial powerhouse.
For over half a century American business had freely exploited its foreign born workers, and now it was blaming them for being poor and alienated.
Also great intolerance and prejudice was shown towards the eastern European Jews, that found themselves accused of working too hard, but even the prejudice the Jews experienced paled when compared to the black Americans.

African-Americans: Unwilling Immigrants

Slavery was common during the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson had slaves on his plantation. In 1808, the importation of slaves from Africa was outlawed, but trading in slaves within America remained brisk. The South\'s agricultural economy was based on slavery and in 1860 there were 3.5 million slaves in America, and their numbers continued to grow.
The end of the Civil War gave African-Americans the first chance to freely move around America
But still unable to find the social acceptance and financial opportunities that other immigrant groups found in America, African-Americans remained second-class citizens for many years. Unable to vote and often untaught in reading and writing, they were at the bottom of America\'s social system.
The civil-rights and black-power movements of the 1950s and 1960s gave African-Americans new rights and a sense of identity. Some took African names of their ancestral lands from which their relatives had been taken as slaves. Some chose to return to Africa.
The racial riots of the 1960s -- and, more recently, of 1992 -- show that many African-Americans still do not feel they belong, or are wanted, in America. Nevertheless, more African-Americans are running for public office and winning government positions. Listed as America\'s fourth largest ethnic group in the 1980 census, African-Americans plan to make a difference.


In 1916" The Passing of the Race" by Madison Grant was published, that proposed just to allow the nordic race to immigrate and sterilize the inferior races.
The first official prohibition of immigration was established in 1882.It prohibited the immigration of Chinese, criminals, prostitutes, alcoholics, illiterates, Anarchists, and blind and sick people.

Around 1920 a new law was passed that said that every nation was just allowed to send a certain percentage of immigrants each year. Japanese people weren´t allowed to immigrate at all.This law was abolished in 1965.

Important immigration laws

1790 Naturalization is authorized for \"free white persons\" who have resided in the United States for at least two years and swear loyalty to the U.S. Constitution.

1798 The Alien and Sedition Acts authorize the President to deport any foreigner deemed to be dangerous and make it a crime to speak, write, or publish anything \"of a false, scandalous and malicious nature\" about the President or Congress.

1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act suspends immigration by Chinese laborers for ten years; the measure would be extended and tightened in 1892 and a permanent ban enacted in 1902. This marks the first time the United States has restricted immigration on the basis of race or national origin.

1906 The first language requirement is adopted for naturalization: ability to speak and understand English.

1917 Over President Wilson\'s veto, Congress enacts a literacy requirement for all new immigrants: ability to read 40 words in some language. Most significant in limiting the flow of newcomers, it designates Asia as a \"barred zone\" (excepting Japan and the Philippines) from which immigration will be prohibited.

1921 A new form of immigration restriction is born: the national-origins quota system. Admissions from each European country will be limited to 3% of each foreign-born nationality in the 1910 census. The effect is to favor Northern Europeans at the expense of Southern and Eastern Europeans. Immigration from Western Hemisphere nations remains unrestricted; most Asians will continue to face exclusion.

1924 Restrictionists\' decisive stroke, the Johnson-Reed Act, embodies the principle of preserving America\'s \"racial\" composition.
The new national-origins quota system is even more discriminatory than the 1921 version. \"America must be kept American,\" says President Coolidge as he signs the bill into law. Another provision bans all immigration by persons \"ineligible to citizenship\"-primarily affecting the Japanese.

1950 The Internal Security Act, enacted over President Truman\'s veto, bars admission to any foreigner who might engage in activities \"which would be prejudicial to the public interest, or would endanger the welfare or safety of the United States.\" It excludes or permits deportation of noncitizens who belong to the U.S. Communist Party or whose future activities might be \"subversive to the national security.\"

1952 For the first time Congress sets aside minimum annual quotas for all countries, opening the door to numerous nationalities previously kept out on racial grounds.
Naturalization now requires ability to read and write, as well as speak and understand, English.

1965 The United States finally eliminates racial criteria from its immigration laws. Each country, regardless of ethnicity, will receive an annual quota of 20,000.

1986 - The Immigration Reform and Control Act gives amnesty to millions of undocumented residents.
For the first time, the law punishes employers who hire persons who are here illegally.
The aim of employer sanctions is to make it difficult for the undocumented to find employment. The law has a side effect: employment discrimination against those who look or sound \"foreign.\"

1996 -The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act is passed, toughening border enforcement, closing opportunities for undocumented immigrants to adjust their status, and making it more difficult to gain asylum.
1997 With the Central American Relief Act, Congress restores an opportunity for certain war refugees living in legal limbo to become permanent residents.

1990 - The Immigration Act of 1990, raises the limit for legal immigration to 700,000 people a year.


Today New York is ready to open its doors for 675 000 immigrants per year.

Today the percentage of the "Caucasians", the people with white European origin is only at about 43%.There are about 25% blacks and about as many Hispanics living in New York.
The Asian population grew from 4 to 7 percent within the last 20 years.
Asians and Latin Americans, especially Mexicans, are the immigrants of our decade.
Many people believe that Mexican immigrants and their offspring are still subject to discrimination in America. This results in difficulty getting good jobs. But this is changing, as Mexican descendants gain political office and create legislation that benefit their people.



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