Shianne Buie Chap 19 CC Throughout its history, America has served as the destination point for a steady flow of immigrants. Our country has even earned itself a nickname, " The melting pot " in reference to the numerous cultures that make up the population. After reading over the European Immigration mentioned in the chapter I found myself curious about the circumstances of first immigrants to ever come to America. Funny enough my curiosity also led me to decide on comparing and contrasting these two immigration periods in American history. It ' s no secret that millions of people from all over the globe have come to call the United States their home throughout the years. From the first ever settler to the most recent new citizen, each and every person had a reason for coming here. Whatever that reason when they came they brought their culture, ideals, religion and many other things along with them. It ' s because of these people that America is such a unique place and without the immigrations of the past we would not be the country we are today. During the colonial era most i mmi grants came from England, while smaller numbers hailed from France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and other northern European countries. While i n contrast, the immigrants who arrived during the urbanization of America came from all four corners of Europe. There were those who came from northern and western Europe, particularly Germany, Great Britain, and the Nordic countries . While there were also immigrants who hailed from the southern and eastern European countries, including Italy, Greece, Russia and Poland. The people who immigrated in our country were from all different walks of life. A great deal of the first ever immigrants were indentured servants bound to servitude in the new world. The rest were pilgrims seeking religious freedom, aristocrats seeking their fortunes and countless others who merely wanted a fresh start. Whether they were a servant or the second son of a lord, the living conditions were harsh for the first immigrants. The journeys across the sea weren ' t all too kind and the life of land was that easy either. Many people died of disease, starvation and some even froze to death during the winters. Now it was a different story when it came to the later arrivals, most of which were penniless, uneducated peasants who could not speak or understand English at all. They, like the first immigrants, were drawn to America due to the mere promises of religious freedom and financial stability. However there were some differences in the reasoning of the two waves of migrants as well. Many of the new arrivals had also been forced out of their homelands due to famines, while others left to escape political or racial persecutio n, and even compulsory military servi ce. Whatever reason immigrants had for coming the United States a great number of them came indeed. While the first immigrants had to make their own societies from scratch and overcome the environmental struggles, the later arrivals didn ' t have such a hard time. When the industrial economy started booming many new workers were needed in America and this need was met by countless immigrants arriving from Europ e. This level of immigration caused both the American and overall foreign population to increase significantly. While the specifics on the increase in population for the first immigrants are not entirely certain due to lack of documentation, the rise in numbers due to later migration is known. It is said that the European immigrants came to America by the boat loads during the late eighteen hundreds and according to the textbook, by 1890 over 80 percent of the New York population was either an immigrant or a child of one. Add the first wave of immigration to this and one can surely say that the majority of America is descended from immigrants. The waves in question defiantly had their differences, but the immigrants of both times periods seemed to have more in common than one would've initially thought.