SamplesExploratoryMigration of Eastern JewsBuy essay
← Adult LiteracyWomen and Depression →

Free Example of Migration of Eastern Jews Essay

Towards the end of the 19th century, many Jews migrated from Eastern Europe to different parts of the world, including the United States, where they settled in large numbers. This migration was in part referred to as the great second wave of the American immigrants whereby twenty-seven million people settled in the Land of Liberty. The Eastern Europeans arrived first in the Connecticut River valley around 1890 and increased their presence throughout the following decades. Statistics indicate that in 1890, 90 people lived in the Franklin nation (Hasia et al., 2006). In the early twentieth century, the number had increased to 716 people who came from German Poland, Austrian Poland and Russian Poland. The number continued increasing and during 1920, around two thousand and six people who were born in Poland were living in the United States, which made up almost four percent of the total population of the region (Hasia et al., 2006).

Immigrants who came from Poland, Russia, Germany or Prussia and Austria, together with other immigrants from Eastern European regions mainly were landless with an impoverished lifestyle and dislocated by land redistribution soon after the elimination of serfdom. While suffering from problems relating to overpopulation and poverty, most of the peasants faced cultural and religious oppressions in some other occasions, through legal frameworks or violence. Most of the peasants migrated from rural regions to urban areas in the continental Europe or neighboring Germany. They managed to work in the mines or factories before shifting to the United States. The high hopes of getting decent wages and financial security led them into the harbor of New York and Baltimore (Hasia et al., 2006). 

Since many of the Eastern Europeans who migrated to the United States were peasants, they were grouped among the poorest ethnic communities entering the nation. Inadequate funds made many Eastern Europeans fail to get out of the ports or areas where they landed after leaving their motherland. Most of them got employment in industries in the regions where they settled, although history reveals that they eventually found themselves in the rural areas of Franklin nation. In rural areas, they found manual labor jobs on the farms and worked as laborers in agricultural farms. It is recorded that ten point nine percent of poles worked in agriculture, which is contrast to Deerfield town, which had 83.6% on their farms (Hasia et al., 2006).

The immigration of Eastern Europe to Franklin was met with resistance, which managed to close down traditions. People came from a Catholic, non-English speaking world and represented itself as a poor nation. Furthermore, they belonged to agrarian origin. Some works, for example, the history of Deerfield by George Sheldon, made clear that people worked toward opposing their entrance into the nation. Their presence in this case was of immense importance. It helped in preserving the pure American past together with idyllic, while at the same time constructing national and local history. This also helped in stressing the Protestants’ importance and the progress of Anglo-America (Hasia et al., 2006).

Nativism took over across the entire country forming various events of terror and violence, which indicated that indigenous people had refused to hire or work with the Eastern European immigrants. After their arrival at Ellis Island or Baltimore, most of the Eastern Europeans settled in towns to work in the industries or moved to work in the mines, which had extremely dangerous positions. They managed to get opportunities for making some money at least for their upkeep. This was a considerable improvement for them since they could not make similar amount when they lived in their home country (Hasia, 2006). On the other hand, it was a hard work that lasted all day long and had a meager pay. Hence, the living standards of the immigrants were below the decent living standards. Getting benefit from the additional forms of employment, they made efforts to save some amount of money for future use. Additionally, they saved some money to send to their homes, since they intended to get better sources of income in the United States, and then move back to the motherland to live a better life (Hasia et al., 2006).

The Eastern Jews who worked at Deerfield also had a chance of working in New York City or another Eastern industrial region. They also could find plenty of job opportunities in Pennsylvania just before arriving to their current destination. The first settlers from the Eastern Europe were recruited by brokers who were seeking help on farms in the Connecticut River Valley. After the problematic civil fight and the foundation of new cities, the farms managed to reduce the population in favor of towns. They moved to work in labor-intensive tobacco and onion grounds. Crops that were planted in the area of the Midwest were replaced with wheat and corn production, which rendered England small scale reduction becoming unprofitable. Recruitment of labor started as early as 1880 and went on throughout the entire century. According to the studies, two labor agents have claimed that they managed to bring over 9000 people in the New England States to work in mills or agricultural fields in a period of sixteen years up to 1895. After that they left their recruitment business because of the reduction in the demand for the labor, while the immigrants had the possibility of getting their own routes to the Western nations (Hasia et al., 2006).  

In the cities, the majority of immigrants were mostly single men, although single women migrated, as well. Men saved the cash they got from agricultural labor. They lived in rental houses that belonged to one of the immigrants who had the capability of buying a house in the foreign country. Probably, it has become possible to give out small rooms to their fellow Eastern Jews after working for a certain period on farms or in the industries. Single women normally dealt with domestic work while at the same time learning English language and the American style of housekeeping, as well as getting the first experience of staying together with families, which they served. The immigrants who came into the region without their couples married one of their origins in the region (Hasia et al. 2006). The work of both of the couples contributed to the success of the financial status of the family. Some brave youth managed to save enough to make a transition from being tenants to becoming real owners of the land, which also changed agriculture in one way or another. According to them, the new wife could stop working as a domestic employee and take care of family issues, as it grew larger. She could work on their farm, look after livestock and take care of the kitchen matters. They were influenced by the Catholic beliefs and the economic importance of the large family and numerous children. This meant that they could get many people to help in dealing with the farm activities. This also encouraged Americans to emulate bringing up large families.

Since the family was at the core of economic and social organization of people from Eastern Europe, it provided agricultural laborers in the Western parts of Massachusetts. Another organization that formed a centre of immigrants is the church. Most of the immigrants attended an established Roman Catholic Church in the regions where they settled. For instance, by the year 1890, they founded churches in Greenfield, Turners Falls and Deerfield that had their own buildings together with priests (Hasia et al., 2006). At the beginning of the twentieth century or around 1910, the already established Turners Falls and Greenfield churches started providing mass in Polish for meeting the requirements of the incoming population. The increasing Polish Catholic society in all the towns, together with Deerfield, tried to sort more than a single mass in their own language. Because of fundraising and efforts in building and construction, the Polish Catholic Churches started appearing on the Franklin’s landscape. In early 1912, St, Stanislaus had already been completed in the southern part of Deerfield. Another one in Turners was established in 1914 by the name of Our Lady of Czestochewa. The rest of the churches followed the same trend increasing the number of Polish Catholic churches in the land of immigration in 1920 and 1930 (Hasia et al., 2006).

Worship places served as the key areas of socialization through the native language and other informal measures such as holiday traditions, meals to enable the transmission and preservation of the native culture to all immigrants (Hasia et al., 2006). It is from their history that the woman followed the husband to his church after marriage. One woman had to move from her own Ukrainian Catholic Church to join the Polish Catholic Church after marrying a man from the Polish Catholic. It is possible that other individuals who were not Polish immigrants joined some of the Polish Catholic Churches, which provided them with a closer feeling of home through sharing immigration experiences (Hasia et al., 2006).

Code: Sample20

Related essays

  1. Women and Depression
  2. Children's Rights
  3. Adult Literacy
  4. Environmental Factors
View all
Live chat