Last updated on: 1/30/2017 | Author:

1880’s – First “Great Wave” of European Immigrants to the United States

“[T]he first great wave of European immigration did not come until the 1880s. Previous events such as the Irish potato famine of 1845, the Gold Rush in 1849 and failed revolutions in Germany and France in 1848 led to the immigration of more than one million people by the 1850s. Nevertheless, the 1880s saw a huge immigration explosion. The period between 1880 and 1924 witnessed an average of 560,000 immigrants per year, amounting to over 25 million immigrants over a 44 year period.This period saw a large increase in Jewish immigration to the US, largely due to repressive laws enacted in Russia and Prussia. Additionally, large numbers of Italians fleeing the economic and political climate of their homeland found a new home in America.”