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Why are there so many Poles in America?


nunczka 8 | 458
24 Oct 2009  #1
In the early 1900 before WW1 and WW2 there was a great migration of Poles and other Europeans that came to came to America to seek a better life, WHY??

I regret not asking my Father for more details. The things that I do recall hearing were conversations with his Brothers and Sisters about the strife they left behind. Although they talked a lot about Poland, no one had the desire to go back. The same was true on my Mothers side. They loved America. Although life was hard here, there were also opportunities. There was no hunger. Every one had a home, families were raised, and life jusat got better with time. I once asked my Father if he would like to return to Poland. Ha said, Never, I am an American. There are over 20,000,000 Polish descendants in America.

Over a period of time, I noticed a lot of anti American sentiment on this forum. I wonder why our forefathers never saw that?
gumishu 11 | 5,012
24 Oct 2009  #2
ever heard of population expansion - the former serf were granted freedom and ownership of the land they cultivated for themselves - however former gentry latifundia hadn't been divided - and within two generations there were too many people on the land used by former serfs too feed - the issue has been addressed after Poland regained independence and latifundia were diminished in size and number then (Reforma rolna 1919, Agrarian reform)(though did not cease to exist completely untill 1945 and the communist rule)
musicwriter 5 | 87
10 Jan 2010  #3
That's a long story. I urge you to read up on the Prussian Empire and how it was slowly domineering western Polish lands. wikipedia is a reliable source. Prussia had a self-proclaimed dictator, Kaiser Wilhelm I. His real surname was Albert and was not an aristocrat (descendant of royalty). The scheme was to "germanize" the Poles- force them to only speak German in the public sphere. Only in the confines of their own home could they converse in Polish. Young girls were prohibited to go to school. Once a man reached 21 he would get conscripted into the Prussian Army. A 3-year hitch was the norm, after which they were forbidden to leave Prussia (but many did).

Kaiser Wilhelm II, his son, acquiesced in the same unjust regime. When the empire collapsed after WWI, he lived in exile in Holland. When he died, Hitler gave him a grandiose funeral.

This type of treatment is what propelled thousands of Poles to depart Europe in search of freedom, particularly from 1870 to 1900. In the America, able-bodied Polish men were given hard jobs such as digging sewers, working in coal mines, felling timber for pulpwood in paper mills. During the upswing of manufacturing industry, many Polish men were able to find factory work but it was sometimes necessary to move to another town along with the whole family. My grandfather made $1.00 a day working at a machine tool plant. Over the years they had a large family yet my grand-mother never had to seek employment extraneous of the home.

The above seems to be a never-ending plight of humanity. Moses led the chosen people to the promised land after being cruelly treated by the Egyptian Pharoh, Ramses. Life goes on, but totalitarian regimes still evolve, conquer, and suppress.
RonWest 3 | 120
10 Jan 2010  #4
This type of treatment is what propelled thousands of Poles to depart Europe in search of freedom, particularly from 1870 to 1900.

This is true, as well as many Italian and Irish during this period. These groups actually helped to build this nation (U.S.). These were hard working people who made an effort to assimilate and learn the English language. I know it was not easy for these immigrants but I have great respect and admiration for their determination and hard work unlike many (NOT ALL) of the immigrants we have today looking for a handout, not wanting to learn English and expecting to force their culture and ideals on Americans.

I always tell my Polish wife that she should be very proud because her ancestors helped to build this country. Too bad we're giving it all away now with weak President's who are so politically concerned about alienating a particular voting bloc that they will not even protect our own borders.

This is one of the things I love about Poland is that it is Polish and I do not see massive immigration there with people from all over the world trying to force their customs & cultures on the populace.
TheOther 5 | 3,710
11 Jan 2010  #5
wikipedia is a reliable source

LOL! About as reliable and balanced as a fairy-tale.

Prussian Empire

self-proclaimed dictator, Kaiser Wilhelm

I suggest you either read some history books or concentrate on composing music... :)

This type of treatment is what propelled thousands of Poles to depart Europe in search of freedom

Sorry, but that's nonsense. The main reason for the people to leave Prussia/the German Empire, Russia and other European nations was widespread poverty (and disease) and the promise of a better life abroad.
pawian 159 | 9,543
17 Apr 2012  #6
In the early 1900 before WW1 and WW2 there was a great migration of Poles and other Europeans that came to came to America to seek a better life, WHY??

Religious Poles tried to enter the Garden of Eden on Earth???


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