The History Of Jews In The United States Of America: Why And When Did They Migrate?

1317 words - 5 pages

The History of Jews in the United States of America.
Why and when did they migrate?
The history of Jews in the United States of America is a long and arduous one. This relationship began in the first week of September 1654, when 23 Jewish immigrants landed at New Amsterdam, the Dutch colony ( Now known as Manhattan), and was immediacy ask to leave by the then governor Peter Stuyvesant, for as he said they should not be allowed to infest the new colony,(Schappes 9). The Jews immigrants refused and was later granted permission by the Dutch West India Company to stay , travel and trade. However, the major migration of Jews to the United States of America took place in three waves mainly known as the German period of immigrants1850-1870, the Eastern European Emigration (1881-1924), and the Post Holocaust immigration (1945-60).
The first wave, the German period of immigration took place during the years 1850 to 1870, during which the American Jewish population quadrupled. In this period the Jews suffered political and religious persecution in Western Europe .this was preceded by the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, which saw oppressive laws and ordinances being reintroduced into many European countries (Wiernik 136). The German Jews were more seriously affected by these laws than any other group. To make matters worse the ghetto walls were rebuilt and a new wave anti-Semitism swept across Europe, which led to the migration of many Jews from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bohemia Russia and Poland.
Also during this period capitalism was being introduced in Europe and the effect on agricultural economies was devastating; given the fact that most of the common folks made their living in by farming. In addition, there was wide spread crop failure and lack of arable lands .Also men who made their living by handicraft was being displaced due to the manufacturing boon in Germany. This was made worst by the oppressive rule of political tyrants and the defeat of the revolution in 1848. (Schnapps 65).
The second wave, the Eastern Europe migration took place (1881-1924),this saw many Jews migrating from Russia and its territories due to the political persecution that they received after the assassination of, Czar Alexander II In 1881 for which the Jews were blamed , This lead to the deterioration of living and working conditions for the Jews. Following the assassination, mass rebellions broke out and the situation in Russia became anarchic and chaotic for everyone. Pogroms broke out everywhere, mainly in the form of looting; some murders and rapes were also committed. Decades of persecution against the Jewish population followed. This upheaval of anti-Semitism coupled with deplorable economic conditions was the reason 2 millions of Jews from Eastern Europe came to the USA
In addition laws were passed that punished the Jews for the pogroms. This led to restrictions on Jewish landownership, prohibited Jews from living in villages, and the number of...

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