Early Immigration Research Paper

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1608-1749 – Early Immigration Years
Heavy taxation and German inheritance laws of primogeniture, a system of inheritance in which land passes exclusively to the eldest son prompted countless young German males to leave their native German states and immigrate to different countries, such as America. These individuals were driven by ideas of landownership and prosperity with marginal government interference. The first German immigrants to the British American Colonies occurred at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 nearly seventy-six years prior to the founding of the first permanent German settlement at Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1683. After which German immigration to Pennsylvania grew precipitously. Located in the North and Mid-Atlantic region
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government legally detained more than ten thousand German Americans during the war. German businesses suffered vandalism and many Germans were attacked by American mobs.
Despite early twentieth century anti-German movements, many traces of German culture have survived into the twenty-first century.
In addition to foods and beers, German culture has provided the American educational system with the concept of kindergarten, which was regularly practiced in Germany following the increased immigration during the early nineteenth century. Other German contributions to American culture include two-day weekends, gymnasiums, Christmas trees.
Further Reading
Brancaforte, Charlotte L., ed. The German Fortyeighters in the United States. New York: Peter Lang, 1990. Eighteen essays covering a wide range of topics, including a reappraisal that many of the immigrants were not radicals or revolutionaries.
Creighton, M. The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg’s Forgotten History: Immigrants, Women, and African Americans in the Civil War’s Defining Battle. New York: Basic Books, 2006. Depicts the forgotten heroism of Germans and other immigrant peoples.

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