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Polonia in the USA

Panna Maria - Difficult First Years

The life of Polish immigrants was much harsher in the beginning than the majority of Germans. Germans were provided food by Prince Karl immediately after they arrived. They had 3 meals with meat a day, some of them never ate that well at home. They were provided transportation from their arrival point to the inland Texas and they were also provided some simple housing.

Read more: Panna Maria - Difficult First Years

 

Early History of the German and Polish Settlements in Texas

In their journey to the American West Poles were following Germans who settled in this area in 1840-es.Both groups came from the same reasons, to improve the economical situation and also to gain a political freedom from Prussian dictatorship.

The history of German colonization is also very interesting. Here it is described briefly:

Read more: Early History of the German and Polish Settlements in Texas

   

Polish Immigration to America: The Early History

Not too many people know that the first Poles arrived in Jamestown, America in 1608. They were skilled workers hired by London Company. Poles created glass house shop as well as pitch and potash burners. Since these were the first products produced successfully for import more Poles were invited to Jamestown. Check the next article about Three Waves of Massive Polish Immigration.

Read more: Polish Immigration to America: The Early History

   

Three Waves of Massive Polish Immigration

Polish immigration to the United States occurred in three major waves:

The first wave

The first wave of immigrants, arriving mainly from the late 1800s up to the WW I, were considered "za chlebem" (means "for bread") immigrants. They came to America mainly from economical but also political and religious reasons. Many immigrants were illiterate and unskilled laborers in their own country. The majority came from South and Southeastern part of Poland (Carpathian and Tatra Mountains, Krakow and Rzeszow area). These areas were very poor and overpopulated until the beginnings of XX century when tourism industry started developing. This first and large group of immigrants is difficult to account for since they came from Poland when Poland did not exist as a separate country but was partitioned between Prussia, Russia and Austria. So they were registered as citizens of these countries rather than Poland.

Read more: Three Waves of Massive Polish Immigration

   

Polish Assassin of President McKinley

Leon Czolgosz was born in Detroit, Michigan from Polish-Russian immigrants in 1873. He had seven sisters and brothers. His family was moving very often from place to place where the jobs were located.

Leon started working as a teenager. He was employed in the American Steel and Wire Company. He was a good worker so he retained the job even during the economic crisis. His salary was quite decent for some time, 4 dollars per hour. Unfortunately the mill cut wages and the workers went on strike and were simply fired.

Read more: Polish Assassin of President McKinley

   

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