German Immigrant in the United States

German Americans now comprise about 50 million people, and the largest ancestry group ahead of Irish Americans, African Americans and English Americans. Since 1608 when the first Germans settled in Jamestown, Virginia, Many German immigrant has come to the United States. While other immigrants came to the U.S. due to political reasons, the primary purpose of German immigration was because of extremely violent conditions. At the time, Germany was attacked by armies of various nationalities, then inhabitants was plagued by robbing, torturing, and murder.

In 1626, Peter Minuit came to New Amsterdam to serve as the governor of the Dutch colony in New Netherlands. 60 years after, thirteen families of German Mennonite, who belonged to Anabaptist, arrived in Pennsylvania to seek religious freedom. Those people were led by Franz Pastorius, and they purchased 43000 acres of land and found Germantown in six miles north of Philadelphia. This town was absorbed into Philadelphia in 1854, since then, this town has played many important roles in American history. It was the birthplace of the American antislavery movements, the site of a Revolutionary War battle, and the like. This town is now consisted of two parts, German town and East Germantown and have many historic sites and buildings from the colonial era, some of which are open to the public. German government tried to stop this flood of emigrants from Germany, but that failed. In fact, in 1745, there were about 45000 Germans living in Pennsylvania alone.

By 1790, around 100000 Germans have immigrated to America. They and their descendants made up an estimated 8.6 percent of the population of the United States, and they accounted for 33 percent of the population. This flow was continued after German Revolution. During World War 1, many Germans were in difficult position. American National Red Cross refused to employ any person with German name. And because of their German name, they were suspected to be spy. In many towns in which many Germans lived, it was prohibited to speak German in public, and they abandoned most of signs written in German. Those trends weren’t finished after World War 1. At the time, many Germans changed their name into English name. This trend fostered Americanization of German Americans, but at the same time, weakens their psychological connection to Germany. During World War 2, those trends were worsened. As a result, many Germans were arrested as enemy aliens. Nowadays, an estimated 250 million German Americans lives in the United States. However, population of German Americans tends to decline since 1989 when the Berlin Wall fall. After fall of the Berlin Wall, German government tried to deploy IT industry by hiring German American IT expert. After that, some German Americans started to immigrant to German, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, and so on, which have tried to encourage IT industry. This is the main reason of gradual decrease of the population in the United States. However, they are still the biggest ethnic group in the United States.

ger/102/2014/winter/german_immigrants_in_us.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/25 22:33 by knakahara
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