Colonial Immigration/Migration In America Between 1790-1820

By Tara, Sarah, Erica, and Nyill.

Causes of Immigrantion
by Erica&Tara

During the years 1790-1820, there weren't many immigrants coming to the United States, but there were a small number of English, French, and German-Jews who left there countries to find a better life. A lot of immigrants came from England because the United States offered good farmland, and better and more jobs. Many English immigrants stayed in United States cities instead of farms(Heidler & Heidler 167). Around 20,000 French immigrants, especially business owners and families fled to the United States from San Domingo to get away from the violence of the slave revolt. More French immigrated to the United States after the defeat of Napoleon because they feared that France would be taken over by someone else. The United States sold land in Alabama to these French immigrants. Many of these immigrants had supported Napoleon and they were rich. Some moved back to France because they didn't know how to farm. Others stayed in Alabama or moved to Louisiana because they wanted to be closer to their families and their own ethnic group (Heidler and Heidler 165). A few German-Jews, such as young, single men left because of discrimination laws. They wanted to find jobs and make money so they could send it back to their families. They ended up living up in northeastern United States and living in big cities as day labors(Heidler and Heidler 167). Throughout the years of 1790-1820, not that many immigrants came to the United States, however those that did found jobs, better land, more freedom, and less violence and discrimination.

About 50,000 Scot-Irish came to the United States between 1790-1820(Ellis Island). The Scot- Irish joined other groups of people that had the same ethnic/nationality as them, together about a quarter of a million of migrated to the United States ("Scot-Irish Americans"). For the same reasons, many of them have left their home, but came to the United States instead because most of the Scot-Irish have different religious belief. Also another reason was that they came here was because their homeland, where they use to live, didn't have much rain going on and didn't have crops to grow during the 18th century. Once these group arrived late to the United States, they found out that they couldn't afford/pay cause it was too expensive or not that much space because the area was over crowded around the coast areas where the English colonies was. What they did was going towards the inland (the west way) because the area was cheaper or more space of less crowed people("Scotch-Irish Americans").

Africans where the largest group of people coming to America, but they had a very different story compared to the other ethnic groups that where coming at the same time. Africans came involuntarily, they where brought or captured from their homelands to come and work as slaves to the white people here in America (Immigration). By the years 1790-1820 there were 85,000 African slaves here in America, African slaves where also the ethinic group with the largets population, these slaves kept the economy running(The Peopling of America). The relationship between the colonial people and slaves was horrible, slaves where abused and then resented the slave owners who abducted them from their home lands and brought them to America. In 1808 the slave trade with Africa was banned by congress (Immigration).

Experiences of Immigration

by Sarah

Immigrants traveled on a long journey to America to start a new life and to create better values for themselves. About 6000 immigrants journeyed fro their former countries to come to the U.S and their experiences included challenges and difficulties but the immigrants were excited to be beginning a new life style for themselves in America.
The English had the largest population throughout time as they lived in the U.S. However, over time, African Americans are going to grow a larger population because there are 40,000 more immigrants from that group than the English population. the laws that affected this immigration had to do with the congress. However, the congress could do little to affect this immigration but in order for this kind of immigration to pass, certain laws were required to be passed by the congress. The congress could ban slave trade to have the authority to establish certain laws and rules for naturalization. In 1790, the Congress passed the first Naturalization Act. In 1806,immigration was reduced. The war of 1812 was between the U.S. and Britain. This war slowed immigration even more but peace reestablished in 1814. Immigration resumed from Great Britain, Ireland and western Europe. The port cities were overwhelmed by the new comers. Another law that needed to be constructed by the congress was the Sterage Act that was passed in 1819. African Americans however, had struggles dealing with their slave lives. In 1808, congress bans the importation of slaves, but slavery continues to grow in the United States. The slaves were living a poor and harsh life. They were held in pens most of the time, and were put up for auction often. Their biggest challenge was to survive in this kind of society because they had no authority to make decisions about their own lives.(Africans in America)

The experiences between American and the immigrant's former country had its similarities and differences. After the immigrants were settled, they started heading out for employment opportunities. Cultural differences were obvious and new residents began to live and work together. Experiences of the immigrants were full for excitement and joy. The immigrants wanted to reach their goal and to live in "the country of choice". their expectations were high. The differences between the culture of their former life and their new life became apparent and shocking. Differences that are in the U.S., is that it is a "do it yourself society. Immigrants that came from another country felt confused when they had to do most things themselves. However, the similarities were that immigrants came to the U.S. to work which they did in their former country. Another value that was similar to them in both places and life styles is the significance of family.(The Immigrants Experience)

Religion and Jobs

by Nyill

During colonization in the 1790-1820 many groups of races brought religion and cultures to help retain and hold on to where they came from and to keep their identities. Many religions like catholics and Christians were kept while traveling across seas towards the Americas. Many people had jobs that involved construction. Building small towns all the way to building industries and factories. As for legal status, only “free white persons” could be U.S. citizens (National Immigration Forum).
Different immigrants have many types of religions. German Jews were mostly Hebrew and Yiddish. In their American German communities they stayed with catholics and Lutherans. Since Germans were white their legal status allowed them to be citizens of America. It remained a law to be a resident for more than 2 years to be an official citizen. As far as jobs and money, Germans grew crops and owned farms, in urban areas they worked in factories and industries with trading goods (Immigration German).
When the Irish came to the Americas, they were mostly poor. As for money the women would become servants for the rich and men would work for coalmines and railroads (Immigration Irish). Irish were both catholic and Irish Prodestants (Mr. Stanton).
Africans were forced to come to the Americas. As for work, the Africans became slaves. They brought with them farming skills, that involved rice, wheat, fruit orchards, and indigo. Their religion involved statues, music, language, worships, drums, and hand-made architectures (Immigration African).


Hirschman, Charles. "The Impact of Immigration on American Society: Looking Backward to the Future." July 28, 2006 5. 10 Nov 2008 <>.

Heidler, David S., and Jeanne T. Heidler. Daily Life in the Early American Republic, 1790-1820. Greenwood Publishing Group.

"Immigration African." Immigration. 5/7/07. Library of congress. 14 Nov 2008

"Immigration German." Immigration. 5/7/07. Library of congress. 14 Nov 2008

"Immigration Irish." Immigration. 5/7/07. Library of congress. 14 Nov 2008 <>.

"Immigration."World Book, Inc.. 2001.

Immigration." 13 Nov 2008 <>.

"National Immigration Forum." The Journey. 14 Nov 2008 <>.

No author. "Africans in America." Sept.-Oct. 2005. Library of Congress. 13 Nov. 2008 <>.

No author. "The Immigrants Expoerience." Consulate of Mexico omaho, nebrasko. 11 Nov. 2008 <>.

"Scotch-Irish Americans." Wikipedia. 2008. Wikipedia. 13 Nov 2008

Stephen, David. "Daily Life in Early Americas, 1790-1820." Greenwood Publishing Group 2004 165. 7 Nov 2008 <>.

The Peopling of America." Ellis Island. 2008. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. . 13 Nov 2008 <>.

"The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc." Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. 13 Nov. 2008. 13 Nov. 2008 <>.