Immigrants making their way to freedom
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The men were migrated first, in order to seek out jobs and housings. The wives, children, and parents followed. In all, 60 million people sought out to America to find a new life during the 19th and early 20th centuries. They came from word of promise of jobs, freedom, and a fortune to be made. The earliest arrivals started in the mid1840's. The First Wave of immigrants came from Ireland, England, Germany, and Scandinavia, which were escaping starvation, feudal governments, and the social upheaval from the Industrial Revolution.
A Second Wave of immigrants from 1890-1924 came from Southern and Eastern Europe. This group was during America's peak immigration years. Not only were these immigrants fleeing taxes, poverty, and overpopulation, but also oppression and religious persecution.The passage to America improved dramatically when the steam-powered ships came about. Ocean travel time was cut in half from three months to two weeks.
Shipping lines such as the Cunard and White Star could accommodate as many as two thousand passengers in steerage, also called the lower decks. The immigrants stayed in long narrow compartments, which were divided into dormitories for men, women and families. With the compartments jammed with three bunks high, the air became rank with the heavy odor of spoiled food, seasickness, and unwashed bodies. Conditions gradually improved and by 1910 ships replaced steerage with four and six-berth third Class cabins. « mai multe referate din Istorie