Why did much less immigrants historically settle in the Southern US than in other parts of the US?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,200
SoCal
#51
It may surprise many people to know that there was more Italian immigration to California in the 19th century than is realized. When the first(?) Oriental Immigration Act was passed, around 1880, there was a need and a demand for agricultural labor in fertile California. There was also a demand for skilled stone masons in the growing cities like San Francisco a.s.o.

Sometime after the American Civil War, fishermen from Sicily began to arrive at San Francisco, and north of there at Bodega Bay. The decade of the 1870s appears to be the beginning of a sizable influx to the US - and to California - due to the effects of Italy's Unification (from what I have read, unification resulted in higher taxes) and to overpopulation in southern Italy.

Not that they are major components of immigration, but the size of the immigrant population is reflected in the first Italian language newspaper in the US was published In San Francisco before the Civil War, and around the turn of the century, a community based banking business was established as the "Bank of Italy." It became...the Bank of America. :)
Take a look at this map, Steve:

Interactive Map Showing Immigration Data Since 1880 - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

It shows that in 1910 there were a couple dozen thousand Italian immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area--albeit only 4,565 in Los Angeles County, less than 500 in San Diego County, and less than 100 in Orange County.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,889
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#52
Take a look at this map, Steve:

Interactive Map Showing Immigration Data Since 1880 - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

It shows that in 1910 there were a couple dozen thousand Italian immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area--albeit only 4,565 in Los Angeles County, less than 500 in San Diego County, and less than 100 in Orange County.
As for we know in Italy, California was a later land of migration. And I've understood they were overall fishermen ...

Italian Americans in California: Introduction
https://italoamericano.org/story/2014-6-24/Italian-Roots
 
Likes: Futurist
Oct 2016
136
Ashland
#53
As to the South: the North chose, during the Civil War, to import masses of Germans, Irish, et al to swell the ranks of their armies.
After the Civil War, what with Slavery (very properly) abolished, they had to get that 'slave labor' from another source and so---the floodgates opened to Italians, Poles, Jews; what have you. (Fine people, in large part; all Euros with a fairly similar culture to the US.)
Interestingly, out West, there was a deal of immigration from China, seeking that 'Golden Mountain.'
In fact, the U.S. Border Patrol's main function, well into the early 20th Century, was to protect said borders from the Chinese.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,200
SoCal
#54
As to the South: the North chose, during the Civil War, to import masses of Germans, Irish, et al to swell the ranks of their armies.
After the Civil War, what with Slavery (very properly) abolished, they had to get that 'slave labor' from another source and so---the floodgates opened to Italians, Poles, Jews; what have you. (Fine people, in large part; all Euros with a fairly similar culture to the US.)
Interestingly, out West, there was a deal of immigration from China, seeking that 'Golden Mountain.'
In fact, the U.S. Border Patrol's main function, well into the early 20th Century, was to protect said borders from the Chinese.
The North didn't have a lot of slave labor even before the ACW since slavery was generally illegal in the North even in 1860.
 
Sep 2012
1,074
Tarkington, Texas
#55
Delaware never did formally free its Slaves. They all got up and left. The Emancipation Proclamation technically did not free Slaves in areas under Union control.

Pruitt
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,200
SoCal
#56
Delaware never did formally free its Slaves. They all got up and left. The Emancipation Proclamation technically did not free Slaves in areas under Union control.

Pruitt
Delaware isn't actually a Northern US state, though. Also, interestingly enough, even for Delaware, most of its slaves (over 90% of them, to be precise) were free by 1860:

Historical racial and ethnic demographics of the United States - Wikipedia

(BTW, I personally made that table in that Wikipedia article--as well as numerous other tables there (albeit not all of them). :))
 
Likes: Fiver

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
#57
As to the South: the North chose, during the Civil War, to import masses of Germans, Irish, et al to swell the ranks of their armies.
After the Civil War, what with Slavery (very properly) abolished, they had to get that 'slave labor' from another source and so---the floodgates opened to Italians, Poles, Jews; what have you. (Fine people, in large part; all Euros with a fairly similar culture to the US.)
Interestingly, out West, there was a deal of immigration from China, seeking that 'Golden Mountain.'
In fact, the U.S. Border Patrol's main function, well into the early 20th Century, was to protect said borders from the Chinese.
The bolded is a bit of a popular myth.

While immigrants did serve in the Union Army & Navy in substantial numbers, the great majority of these men were residing in the United States *before* Ft. Sumter was bombarded. Gangs of New York is a fun movie, but it takes some liberties. Most of the immigrant soldiers had lived in the U.S. for years and weren't recruited at the docks.
 

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,742
#58
As to the South: the North chose, during the Civil War, to import masses of Germans, Irish, et al to swell the ranks of their armies.
After the Civil War, what with Slavery (very properly) abolished, they had to get that 'slave labor' from another source and so---the floodgates opened to Italians, Poles, Jews; what have you. (Fine people, in large part; all Euros with a fairly similar culture to the US.)
Interestingly, out West, there was a deal of immigration from China, seeking that 'Golden Mountain.'
In fact, the U.S. Border Patrol's main function, well into the early 20th Century, was to protect said borders from the Chinese.
Immigrants strongly favored free states long before the Civil War.

According to the 1860 Census:
About 909 thousand immigrants lived in New York.
About 440 thousand immigrants lived in Pennsylvania.
About 328 thousand immigrants lived in Ohio.
About 325 thousand immigrants lived in Illinois.
About 277 thousand immigrants lived in Wisconsin.
About 260 thousand immigrants lived in Massachusetts.
About 230 thousand immigrants lived in the 11 states that would form the Confederacy. (Over half of them lived in Louisiana & Texas.)

According to the 1850 Census
About 652 thousand immigrants lived in New York.
About 292 thousand immigrants lived in Pennsylvania.
About 219 thousand immigrants lived in Ohio.
About 161 thousand immigrants lived in Massachusetts.
About 144 thousand immigrants lived in the 11 states that would form the Confederacy.

So in 1850, either New York or Massachusetts had more immigrants than the whole Confederacy would have a decade later.

The slave states were very unwelcoming to immigrants. In the 1856 Presidential election, the anti-immigrant American Party (Know Nothings) got between 32.9% and 54.6% of the vote in slave states and between 32.8% and 0.5% of the vote in free states.
 
Aug 2018
491
Southern Indiana
#59
I think people tended to gravitate towards climates that are familiar to them. Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota are full of people from Scandinavian backgrounds. A little further south, German ancestry is more common.
 
Sep 2012
1,074
Tarkington, Texas
#60
Futurist, Delaware and Maryland were Slave States. Cotton, Tobacco and Rice did not grow well there so the big Plantation system never took hold there. Maryland had some people volunteering in Virginia Regiments. People sometimes forget that Booth was from Baltimore. Baltimore citizens rioted when Union Regiments rolled into town. They had to march across town to another train station. Two Slave states further West also sent large number of troops to the Confederacy. The Governor of Missouri called out the Militia but they were never fully armed. The German citizens of St Louis seized the Arsenal in St Louis until they were relieved by Illinois Militia. They ended up in Arkansas and Louisiana. Kentucky wanted to stay neutral but that did not work out. The Union organized about twice the number of Volunteers as the Confederacy. Keep in mind that Union controlled areas could and did draft locals to fight for them.

Even Louisiana had a couple of "Union" Volunteer Regiments. They were drafting Runaway Slaves to form the Corps Afrique. Texas had a volunteer Cavalry Regiment form in New Orleans. Not every one in Texas was a Rebel.

Pruitt