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The Effects Of Scandinavian Immigration On Culture And Economy In Washington

2388 words - 10 pages

Through research this document will examine how Scandinavians have affected the economy and culture of Washington. Exploration will explain why Scandinavian immigrants sought out life in the Northwest, particularly Washington. This paper will take in hand integration of the Scandinavian culture into the existing one. Research will show how the government and especially the railroad worked to endorse the influx of Scandinavian immigrants. They did this by using newspapers, promoters, and even return passage. Furthermore, this essay will look into some of the issues deriving from the loss of culture and language even though it was minimal and how it affected the success of integration. This essay will look into Scandinavian culture, letters from Scandinavian immigrants from around the Pacific Northwest. This paper will touch on Skiing, Fishing, Crabbing, and Dancing. Finally it will address how even immigrants arriving in Washington the late 1950’s have had an effect on the culture of Washington today.
The principal groups of immigrants into Washington State during the time period of 1895 to 1910 were Scandinavian immigrants, which includes Swedish, Danish and Norwegian people. Washington State by 1910 had greater numbers of immigrants than any other state of the union during 1910. At this time Washington had more immigrants than any other state; fifty percent of the state at that time was Scandinavian immigrants. The Scandinavians that came to Washington wanted to become Americanized. They worked hard at combining the best of their culture with the new culture. This also made the transition and culture shock that many emigrants experience was very minimal. (Dahlie, 1980)
Washington from 1895 to 1910 had received more Swedes and Norwegians than the already resident population. Washington State at the time of a Social history’s publication Washington was 3rd in population of Scandinavian Americans, (Dahlie, 1980) and this is still true. (Wikipedia, 2011)
During the late 1800’s Northern Pacific Railroad sent people out to England, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, and German ports to persuade people to come to the Pacific Northwest. They also offered Scandinavian immigrants trips back home at no cost. The owner of the PNW railroad, A.E. Johnson said in a letter his first choice to secure the “best foreign immigrants” was in Scandinavian countries and that his reason was the “best class” of foreigner was already in the Pacific Northwest. In his opinion these foreigners had previously arrived from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Scandinavian immigration started in Washington when it was a mere territory; however, it was not extensive at that time. (Dahlie, 1980)
Nels Brussels an early settler noted the prospect for a copious livelihood and this description s of similarities between the fjords and islands in the Puget Sound and Norway. These early descriptions were significant in drawing in Scandinavian immigrants. (Dahlie,...

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