Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 39

Thread: Why did immigrants come to America?

  1. #1
    SG Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    thurakkenville
    Posts
    3,794

    Why did immigrants come to America?

    I think this is a very interesting subject from which we can all learn much.

    It is too simple to say that the vast, diverse population from all over the world came to America because of "economics". I believe that if we are to understand America, we need to know who we are.

    This is a quote I found at the PBS website. I respect their views and I'm not biased just because they agree with my earlier assessment of immigration to America on a previous thread.

    Persecuted for their religious beliefs, a long line of men and women have taken refuge in America ever since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Barred from their homelands as enemies of the state, dissidents have come to America so that their voices will not be silenced. Looking for a better life for themselves and their families, most immigrants have seen America as a promised land. Searching for safety, four million refugees have come to America since World War II. Drawn to the possibilities of a free society, creative spirits have come to America from all over the world and have flourished in its creative openness.
    http://www.pbs.org/destinationamerica/usim_wy.html

    Hopefully, most of you will read this and gain a much deeper understanding of what America stands for. Also, you will see that to say economics was the main motivation robs the early colonies, religious groups and later immigrants the credit they deserve for seeking a better life with economics as only one small part of far more noble reasons why we can be proud to call ourselves Americans.

    There are some personal interviews of people who have come to America, you might find interesting. They appear to have much more important things on their mind than "economics".

    http://www.pbs.org/destinationamerica/ps.html

    Finally, I am watching the History Channels' 6-part series about immigration to America. Paraphrased, the speaker said something very interesting.

    There was a point in time by around the Seventeenth Century that there were more black slaves in America than those who came of their own free will.

    Comments?
    Last edited by Sarahnn; 05-01-10 at 10:11 PM. Reason: addition

  2. #2
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    27,858
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarahnn View Post
    It is too simple to say that the vast, diverse population from all over the world came to America because of "economics".
    *thinks of last night and cringes*

    That's really what it boils down too though, IMO.

    1) Not denying that there have been waves of immigrants that emigrated for religious or political reasons.

    But you put those folks on one side of a big ass scale and put all the people that came here for the one overwhelming reason of making money, any money, on the other side and that scale will tip very rapidly.

    Pilgrims aside, from the European influx in the very early 1900's on to what's within our time frame, money drove it all.

    2) One of my degrees is American History.

  3. #3
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    27,858
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarahnn View Post

    Finally, I am watching the History Channels' 6-part series about immigration to America. Paraphrased, the speaker said something very interesting.

    There was a point in time by around the Seventeenth Century that there were more black slaves in America than those who came of their own free will.

    Comments?
    Not sure what you mean.

    When you say "those who came of their free will" are you/they referring to all immigrants or free blacks?

    Love the History Channel
    Last edited by Humboldt; 05-01-10 at 10:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator David's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Nova Caesarea
    Posts
    9,356
    Blog Entries
    1
    Economics would be another way of saying opportunity.

    Hell_Yes

    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity - Seneca

    "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov

    It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book. - Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #5
    Uninsured for your health
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Stockton, CA
    Posts
    10,032
    Mexico is a VERy dangerouse place to live. A few years ago, a coworker of mine lost her brother and nephew to a murder and because she didn't have the money for the bribe, the police would do NOTHING even though everyone knew who did it and why. Lets also not forget the strangle hold that the Columbian cartels have on Mexico
    Quote Originally Posted by Three Rivers Designs
    America! Love it or give it back!

  6. #6
    Freedom Fighter jeremyboycool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,002
    Despite our problems, America is still a great country to live in.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Stephen Hawking

  7. #7
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    70,001
    New career opportunities, to escape religious persecution, to escape criminal persecution, a new start/the cool thing to do, the gold rush, adventure.

  8. #8
    Insomniac Mutch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    2,102
    To leave " said country" with 26 cents, and become a millionaire.

    Plain and simple.

  9. #9
    SG Enthusiast cybotron r_9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    On the beach with 30 knots of breeze
    Posts
    4,269
    To be a guest on Jerry Springer

  10. #10
    SG Enthusiast Leatherneck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    The Great Midwest
    Posts
    3,615
    I remember reading an article about an man from India who came over with very little and within 3 years was a millionaire. He was quoted as saying, "If you cannot succeed financially in the United States then you are just lazy" While it sounds a bit simplistic and harsh, there is definitely some truth in the statement.
    USMC RETIRED

    Steve

    Tacoma Guitar Forum

  11. #11
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    10,338
    The first big wave of colonists came to the new land as part of a large scale missionary movement, to spread Christianity. Amongst these peoples were also included England's unwanted: non-conformists, criminals, political dissidents, radicals, artists, etc.

    The Christianity movement is evident in the settler's first charters and documents: the Pilgrims, Separatists in Mass (read the Mayflower Compact), Quakers, etc.

    England ruled this new world and sent their appointed leaders here. England's interest was driven by economics. As was the motivation for all other powers at that time, France & Spain. Govts were more interested in the economic factors rather than the religious ones.

    The Pilgrims and other religious groups were not barred from their homelands as we have been led to believe. They were not boarding ships and sneaking out of harbors due east unbeknownst to the English govt. The Engish govt knew they were leaving and encouraged it.

    Why? Because it was a hard sell to convince someone to leave and go east by ship to the new land, about 1 in 7 or 8 died making the trip. Those were not cruise liners as we knoiw them today.

    During the first immigration wave (17th & 18th centuries) less than a million people had emmigrated here. That's less than a million people in 200 years. Procreation was high on their to-do lists!

    Colonies were established. Businesses started up. They did not land here randomly. There were actual govt and businessmen plans to colonize the various Atlantic ocean front regions of the new land.

    Later, slave trade increased, driven by the rum trade. Sugar from Carribean, shipped to New England & made into rum, shipped to Eu. A viscious circle of high profit rum manufacturing at very low cost to English investors.

    Economics was the prime motivation. Just like today, businesses and trade were financed by individuals and groups of businessmen, investing in the future.

    Individuals in Eu were sold the idea of "the promised land". The Christian church promoted this concept because govts & wealthy businessmen needed more labor for their expanding endeavors.

    Religious freedom was a factor of the people who came here. Not so much because they were being persecuted in Eu but because they could come here and have more freedom to communicate & practice their beliefs.

    As the new world grew and expanded, so did the same English suppressive form of govt. We had major colonies by now and the new land was THE source of profit for govts and Eu buisinessmen. Medieval philosophies were still being enforced by govts in Eu and here.

    The "free thinker" had more freedom here to communicate his ideas, but was still suppressed by English rule here. This led to the revolution in 1776. But even at this time, there were few people coming to the new land. (less than a million total in 200 years) The people here were mating like rabbits!

    By the time the Industrial Revolution took hold (mid 19th century), peoples from all over Eu came here for economic oportunity. They were not escaping tyranny and persecution. Eu had been ravished by wars and was economically unstable.
    No one has any right to force data on you
    and command you to believe it or else.
    If it is not true for you, it isn't true.

    LRH

  12. #12

  13. #13
    SG Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    thurakkenville
    Posts
    3,794
    If I said that all immigrants came to the U.S. because of economics, I would be correct. Economic stability is a survival tool among our species. Everything we do is founded on some economic principle that sustains us.

    But, economic prosperity is a failed commodity where there is no freedom. I think that the quest for freedom far outweighs economics. Freedom to believe what you want, live as you want, live where you want, pursue personal visions, protect your family, and to openly say what you believe politically, and religiously and simply survive without interference from a tyrannical or oppressive agent.

    There are economic opportunities everywhere on the globe. But, the freedom to own it, is practically non existant. Further, we have fought wars and given our lives and the lives of our children and brothers based on our total contempt for being ruled over.

    Sacrifice wasn't a new concept based on economics as America grew, it was our legacy founded on why we came and still come to America.

  14. #14
    SG Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    thurakkenville
    Posts
    3,794
    Quote Originally Posted by Humboldt View Post
    Not sure what you mean.

    When you say "those who came of their free will" are you/they referring to all immigrants or free blacks?

    Love the History Channel
    I thought he was saying that the millions of slaves forced to come to America outnumbered the population of those people who chose to come to America. It sounds like you are taking a double-take on that like I did. It's hard to believe.

    But, my point was that there were millions of forced immigrants we must take into consideration when we talk about why this land was populated.

  15. #15
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    10,338
    There was a point in time by around the Seventeenth Century that there were more black slaves in America than those who came of their own free will.
    At this point in time there were only a couple hundred thousand white settlers that survived the trip to this country, if that. They multiplied. Between the mid 1600's and mid 1700's there were about 3 million slaves here & the Carribean islands.

    The concept of freedom as a motivation for populating this land was not pushed, was uncommon and did not take hold until around the time of the American Revolution. And even at that time, a great portion of residents here wanted nothing to do with revolution. Revolution had to be "sold" to the majority via the current media, social organizations and political groups. Fortunately, it caught on.

    Truth be told, the economically motivated WASPs founded (Colonial period), funded and began this new land we live in, and to a marked degree they still control it today.
    Last edited by TonyT; 05-02-10 at 11:06 AM.
    No one has any right to force data on you
    and command you to believe it or else.
    If it is not true for you, it isn't true.

    LRH

  16. #16
    SG Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    thurakkenville
    Posts
    3,794
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyT View Post

    And even at that time, a great portion of residents here wanted nothing to do with revolution. Revolution had to be "sold" to the majority via the current media, social organizations and political groups. Fortunately, it caught on.
    You are right about the revolution catching on, but the vision of freedom after the Revolutionary war became the path through which immigrants could pursue their dreams and they knew it. But, actually, you said as much.

    Truth be told, the economically motivated WASPs founded (Colonial period), funded and began this new land we live in, and to a marked degree they still control it today.
    Who else was going to populate and invest in the 'British' colonies but white Europeans from Britain? There was no conspiracy in that. You will find the same things happening in Taiwan and Hong Kong with the Asians. What is your point?

  17. #17
    To establish a slave colony for the crown

  18. #18
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    10,338
    Who else was going to populate and invest in the 'British' colonies but white Europeans from Britain? There was no conspiracy in that. You will find the same things happening in Taiwan and Hong Kong with the Asians. What is your point?
    I did not even hint at conspiracy. The point being that the WASP control was not hindered by the American Revolution and any subsequent revolts or quests for freedom from English authoritarian tax systems and idealologies.

    The investors financed the Brittish war effort and lost, but to them, all they lost was a few dollars and future continued high profits, but they still controlled the trades and made profits, but not as high as previous to the war.

    America had won its independence, but the Brittish, French, Spanish and other EU investors could care less, they still got fat and controlled this new American govt.

    Peoples in EU did not come here completely on their own. They were dependant upon shipping companies for transportation, they were dependant upon family here already for housing, etc. America had to be sold to them via advertisements, word of mouth and other means.

    The point being that freedom has always been a "button" in all societies on Earth. But economic opportunity is what drove the immigration impetus, and it still does.
    No one has any right to force data on you
    and command you to believe it or else.
    If it is not true for you, it isn't true.

    LRH

  19. #19
    SG Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    thurakkenville
    Posts
    3,794
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
    I did not even hint at conspiracy. The point being that the WASP control was not hindered by the American Revolution and any subsequent revolts or quests for freedom from English authoritarian tax systems and idealologies.

    The investors financed the Brittish war effort and lost, but to them, all they lost was a few dollars and future continued high profits, but they still controlled the trades and made profits, but not as high as previous to the war.

    America had won its independence, but the Brittish, French, Spanish and other EU investors could care less, they still got fat and controlled this new American govt.

    Peoples in EU did not come here completely on their own. They were dependant upon shipping companies for transportation, they were dependant upon family here already for housing, etc. America had to be sold to them via advertisements, word of mouth and other means.

    The point being that freedom has always been a "button" in all societies on Earth. But economic opportunity is what drove the immigration impetus, and it still does.
    I will agree with you that the majority of immigrants have come to America to make a better life for themselves and their families.

    However, you are being pragmatic and I am being idealistic. I don't think one tips the scales over the other in the human experience.

    One more thing. You said that freedom has always been a button in all societies on earth. There are no societies, nor have there been societies like the one we have under our Constitution. The American people rule themselves with intent by their own permission.
    Last edited by Sarahnn; 05-02-10 at 10:17 PM. Reason: addition.

  20. #20
    War, Famine, Locusts?, take your pick. The one that boggles my mind is all the native abbo's from N/A emmigrating to Great Britain? Sure India was a colony of the King, but Marco Polo took the wrong turn, to namate Indians, like Cleveland...hehe

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-23-09, 10:41 PM
  2. Bank of America, AT&T top identity theft study
    By YARDofSTUF in forum General Discussion Board
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-06-08, 05:53 AM
  3. Push to allow immigrants to vote
    By Ghosthunter in forum General Discussion Board
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 02-22-07, 12:01 AM
  4. ghettoside v. Extended Stay America Motel
    By ghettoside in forum General Discussion Board
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-04-07, 05:17 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •