Polish Immigrants to the Us

Topics: Polish American, Polonia, Poland Pages: 4 (1403 words) Published: June 13, 2002
e development of a land poor, agricultural poor country led to many Polish migrating West in hope of finding a better sense of life. This was true of my stepfather's grandparents, who came to the United States from Poland around 1915. "During the late 19th and early 20th Century, social as well as economical hardships fell upon a country which saw more then three million emigrate overseas to the New Land." (American Identity). The mass movement of people was the result of the reforms of the legal systems governing land ownership in all three states occupying parts of Poland. Upon the collapse of the feudal system, many poor polish peasants inherited land that was simply unaffordable to them. The peasants had to pay the previous landowner for their small farms; they did this by working at his farm, usually hard long hours allowing minimal hours for him to farm his own land. Thrusting all other members of family to find work in any area possible to put food on the table. "Jobs however, were simply not to be had due to the economical backwardness, which occurred by the vast rise in population and the slow industrial growth." The mass amounts of manpower looking for jobs, coupled with a very new industry which couldn't support the mass manpower led to mass migration out of Poland into many countries, the greatest of these the United States. The emigrant travels usually started by train, bringing them from their homeland to ship ports across Europe. Once at such ports, a ticket was to be purchased, costing anywhere from $25-35, which enabled the passage to begin. The voyage, lasting about two months in the mid 1800's fell drastically to eight to fifteen days in the early 1900's. Aboard huge steamboats, migrants were cramped and sleeping space was confined to compacted bunks, outlined by poor ventilation. "A report to congress in 1909 called the conditions disgusting and demoralizing" (American Identity – Immigrants arriving in NY 1906). Upon arrival to America,...
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