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

Sep 2012
1,074
Tarkington, Texas
#61
Hoosierhiver that is a yes and no on Germans settling in like areas. The Germans that settled in St John the Baptist Parish (the German Coast) were from Switzerland. The Germans, Poles and Czechs that settled in Texas came from very different areas. The Germans in a settlement South of San Antonio, held a meeting in their church, which was broken up when a three foot rattlesnake dropped out of the rafters!

Pruitt
 
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Jun 2017
418
maine
#62
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.
I don't think that "import" is an accurate word. Confederate writer and diplomat stated that the Union army consisted "in large part of foreign mercenaries” made up of “the refuse of the old world”. Actually, the foreigners who fought--for both sides--were already here. Recruited? Yes, but on *this* side of the Atlantic--as were many native born ACW soldiers. Statistically there were surges before the War (by 1860 there were some 1.25 million Germans/German Descent in the US) and just after. In the aftermath of the War, over 3 million immigrants came but almost none settled in the South. During the War, Congress did pass legislation to encourage immigration in order to fill in for the labor shortage cause by men enlisting; but the Germans and other immigrants in this case were to supplement existing labor contracts that were depleted.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,320
Dispargum
#63
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.
I agree that in California and Maryland the Know Nothings did well, perhaps because of their anti-immigrant stance. In the South, I still need to be convinced. Fillmore did well in the South because Fremont was not on the ballot leaving Fillmore as the only alternative to Buchanan. In the South Fillmore may have been seen more as a Whig than a Know Nothing. Fillmore did really well in Louisiana (48%) which one might expect of Whig (sugar planters like Zachary Taylor voted Whig because they favored a high tariff). In some Southern states Fillmore's numbers track closely with Scott in '52 and Bell in '60. With few immigrants in the South why would Southern voters be attracted to an anti-immigrant message?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,200
SoCal
#64
I agree that in California and Maryland the Know Nothings did well, perhaps because of their anti-immigrant stance. In the South, I still need to be convinced. Fillmore did well in the South because Fremont was not on the ballot leaving Fillmore as the only alternative to Buchanan. In the South Fillmore may have been seen more as a Whig than a Know Nothing. Fillmore did really well in Louisiana (48%) which one might expect of Whig (sugar planters like Zachary Taylor voted Whig because they favored a high tariff). In some Southern states Fillmore's numbers track closely with Scott in '52 and Bell in '60. With few immigrants in the South why would Southern voters be attracted to an anti-immigrant message?
That's a good point about Fillmore doing relatively well in the South due to him being the only alternative to Buchanan there. Sometimes people vote for someone in protest of the alternative(s) rather than because they genuinely like this candidate.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,200
SoCal
#65
Hoosierhiver that is a yes and no on Germans settling in like areas. The Germans that settled in St John the Baptist Parish (the German Coast) were from Switzerland. The Germans, Poles and Czechs that settled in Texas came from very different areas. The Germans in a settlement South of San Antonio, held a meeting in their church, which was broken up when a three foot rattlesnake dropped out of the rafters!

Pruitt
Did Texas's large amounts of spare land make it more attractive to European immigrants than most other Southern US states were?
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
#66
Did Texas's large amounts of spare land make it more attractive to European immigrants than most other Southern US states were?
This is just speculation on my part ..but I'd guess the primary reason why Texas was a popular destination for immigrants was it's proximity to Louisiana. I would assume that most of those who settled in Texas arrived in the country via New Orleans. Not that land availability wasn't a draw, of course.

New Orleans had a population that was as diverse as any of the northern port cities, and like New York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore, it was a major port of entry for 19th Century immigrants.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,200
SoCal
#67
This is just speculation on my part ..but I'd guess the primary reason why Texas was a popular destination for immigrants was it's proximity to Louisiana. I would assume that most of those who settled in Texas arrived in the country via New Orleans. Not that land availability wasn't a draw, of course.

New Orleans had a population that was as diverse as any of the northern port cities, and like New York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore, it was a major port of entry for 19th Century immigrants.
It's interesting that a relatively large amount of immigrants went to Texas but not to other US states near Louisiana such as Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, though.
 
Jan 2018
418
Sturgeon Lake Mn.
#69
Immigrants go where they can find what they're looking for. Usually work, that was in the North. And they go where kinsmen and acquaintances have already gone, and that was usually the north. Why would some guy from Kiltimagh go to the South when he already had many kinsmen and friends in Chicago and a job there already lined up?

My father talked about a woman who came over from Kiltimagh but went back to Ireland complaining that Americans were crazy people who cooked outside and shat inside.
 
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Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
#70
If one couldn't afford farmland, the jobs were in the mills and mines and railroad yards of the north. Once immigrant groups settled there in large number and formed ethnic enclaves, it was only natural for those that followed to settle in the neighborhoods until they integrated.
 
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