Ellis Island

Topics: United States, New York City, Immigration to the United States Pages: 2 (748 words) Published: May 25, 2010
When you think of Ellis Island, you usually think of a historical landmark. But Ellis Island has a long and interesting history to it. Back in the 1800s, Samuel Ellis owned Ellis Island. He made the island into a picnic place for the Swedish. It was purchased in 1808 by the Federal Government to be used as a Government Arsenal Fort. The need for immigration was first realized in 1847 when a severe potato famine in Ireland led to thousands of starving people storming into New England and New York. Ellis Island was the first place that many of these people came to upon entry of the United States. When these immigrants were finally granted the freedom to enter the country they brought with them many new ideas and traditions. There were many reasons motivating the immigrants to come to America. A few of them were mainly being free, and having better jobs. They wanted to be around a free atmosphere, where they didn't have to be controlled and follow rules. Another reason was because they wanted to be reunited with their family. Some of their family had already ventured out to America before them, and told them about America's benefits and they decided to follow along. America's land was cheap, and had an abundance of hiring jobs. Once immigrants heard about this they were ecstatic and immediately planned on coming to America. For the abundance of jobs America was hyped up in many countries as the ‘land of opportunity’. Really the motivation for immigrants coming to America can be summed up in two words; 'push' and 'pull'. The push is the need to leave their country in order to survive. The pull is because they were attracted to the new way of life in America. The amount of time that most immigrants spent on Ellis Island depended on whether or not they had money. The immigrants who were able to afford 1st and 2nd class were searched on the ferries prior to porting. These people were searched quicker because they were thought not to carry any diseases. The workers knew...
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