Polish Immigration

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade May 2001

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There are more than 10 million people of Polish descent in America today. They were not always here. They do not have to be here. They made a choice, and that choice was to come over to America. There were several reasons why the Poles immigrated to America. Whatever the reason, they came. The transition from Poland to America was not just a walk in the park; there were several problems that they had to overcome and things to get used to. After reading this paper, answers to all of these questions will be clear.

There were four main waves of Polish immigrants to the United States (Jones 426). The first wave began in 1800 and ended in 1860, approximately 2,000 Poles came to America during this period (Reisner 2). This may not seem like an enormous amount by today's standards, but in the early nineteenth century, this number was significant.

The next wave brought approximately 2.5 million Poles to the U.S., this wave lasted from 1860 until the beginning of WWI (Jones 426). The third wave of Polish immigrants lasted from the end of WWI until the Cold War (Reardon 2). More than 228,000 Polish immigrants came to the U.S. in the 1920's alone (Reardon 2). This made the 1920's the decade in which the most Poles immigrated to America (Reardon 2). The fourth wave of Poles is now underway (Jones 427). More than 100,000 Poles immigrated to the U.S. during the 1980s, and from 1990 to 1995 114,300 Polish immigrants came to America (Reardon 2). If that pace was kept up the rest of the decade, the 1990s would take over as the decade in which the most poles immigrated to the U.S. The way the economy has been thriving in America, it looks like it will. Although...