Evan asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

What were some important events in the mid 1800s that cause many Europeans to immigrate over to America?

exactly the title. I am doing an immigrant report and I need to find out why an ancestor of mine left Switzerland for America. Besides the knowledge that america had more oppurtunities, is there any major event (war, famine, health reasons, ect.) why they might of left to go to America? ANY info is helpful.


5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It really depends on what time period they moved to America. Here's some basic info.

    1798 - 1802 Helvetic Republic Revolution in Switzerland. Farmers in occupied territories become free citizens. Centralistic parliamentary republic according to French model. Occupation by French troops and some battles of Napoleon vs. Austria and Russia in Switzerland.

    1803 - 1815 Mediation Civil war brings Helvetic Republic to an end. French emperor Napoleon enforces a constitution negociated under his "mediation"

    1815 - 1830 Restauration Confederacy reestablished, however with 22 cantons [member states]. Liberals in minority position.

    1830 - 1848 Regeneration Second French Revolution (1830) also boosts liberals in Switzerland. Some federal states with liberal governments and new constitutions. The conservative catholic governments of some cantons [federal states] set up a secret Special Alliance ["Sonderbund"] against the liberal governments of other cantons. This leads to a short civil war ["Sonderbundskrieg"] (1847).

    1848 Federal State New Federal Constitution combining elements of the U.S. constitution (Federal State with central and cantonal [state] governments and parliaments) and of French revolutionary tradition. The Principles of this constitution are still valid today.

    1800 - 1900 Industrialisation Switzerland is one of the first industrialized countries in Europe.

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  • 4 years ago

    It is hard for western Europeans who aren't rocket scientists with 10 years experience in their field to emigrate 'legally' to the united states. Tradesmen with families have an easier time of it emigrating to Australia and New Zealand. The reason the United States has basically little immigration from western Europe is because the United States don't want them! They would rather have Chinese and South Korean immigrants. 3 million South Koreans have been able to emigrate legally to the United States since 1975. I know of a Korean family who got their green card in a matter of weeks. The head of the family wasn't anything special in regards career - I know if he had been British he would have had no chance of getting a foot in the door. The United States before 1965 was 87% white and of European descent and now it is something like 64% - something to think about - I have no problem about that by the way but it would be interesting to find out why US immigration are encouraging this trend.

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  • 1 decade ago

    france was constantly at war with england which cause many wars throughout europe.

    napoleon was in control and had just sold louisiana to america which means vast amounts of uncharted land for very little prices (america bought 828000 square miles for about 3 cents an acre from france).

    the wars in europe also translated over to the colonies in the west indies and what is now central america.

    obviously religious freedom and better oportunities in america but thats not specific to the 1800 thats from the time it was created to now.

    also the climate osnt much different than most of europe considereing both places are at relativley similar latitudes

    (the last 2 are referring to the other guy who answered)

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  • meg
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Franco-Prussian War, war in 1870-1871

    My ancestor immigrated to avoid military call up in Denmark in response to the threat of Prussia. Denmark never became involved but the possibility was real and I believe that Switzerland was also threatened because they were the route to Italy.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Move to a better climate in USA

    Religious freedom

    and yes better opportunities

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