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Immigrants Adjust to New Lives

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Time Frame: Mid-1800's

Immigrants came to America for many reasons. But their lives were difficult as they adjusted to their new homes.
The Iowa Heritage Coming to Iowa
©1979
Iowa Public Television

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Transcript

In the mid-1800s America became home of people from all over the world who desired a better life. They came for many of the same reasons that the original colonists had come in the 1600s: freedom and the opportunity to earn a decent living. America needed these people as much as they needed America. People to build the railroads, people to work the mines and people to farm the land. But as they arrived, they found foreign land with languages and customs different from their own.

Although our legs were still wobbly from the long ocean voyage, it was a joy once more to see land. And we shouted at the carriages and people walking on the streets, but the joy we first experienced upon realizing we were in America soon turned our hearts empty. For here everything was foreign.

To make life easier, many of these immigrants banded together in groups of their fellow countrymen and headed off for a new life in the state of Iowa that they had heard so much about.

 


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