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

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
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.
Yeah, that definitely makes sense. This could also help explain why the Southern US only began attracting huge numbers of immigrants after it already industrialized (specifically after 1965).
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,599
Dispargum
Yeah, that definitely makes sense. This could also help explain why the Southern US only began attracting huge numbers of immigrants after it already industrialized (specifically after 1965).
If you're considering 1965 you also need to consider the changing nature of immigration. By the late 20th century relatively few Europeans were coming to America any more. Immigration into the South consisted of Cubans fleeing Castro and Mexicans moving into Texas. There's a community of Vietnamese in Texas that moved there after the Vietnam War because the climate was similar - hot and humid. Also they were fishermen in Vietnam, and they settled on the Gulf coast and resumed fishing.

I would also point to the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act as giving immigrants less to worry about civil rights-wise. There's also the proliferation of air conditioning that made the Southern climate more comfortable for immigrants from cooler climates. Basically, a lot of the same reasons why Americans from the North began moving to the South.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
If you're considering 1965 you also need to consider the changing nature of immigration. By the late 20th century relatively few Europeans were coming to America any more. Immigration into the South consisted of Cubans fleeing Castro and Mexicans moving into Texas. There's a community of Vietnamese in Texas that moved there after the Vietnam War because the climate was similar - hot and humid. Also they were fishermen in Vietnam, and they settled on the Gulf coast and resumed fishing.

I would also point to the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act as giving immigrants less to worry about civil rights-wise. There's also the proliferation of air conditioning that made the Southern climate more comfortable for immigrants from cooler climates. Basically, a lot of the same reasons why Americans from the North began moving to the South.
Yeah, all of that certainly makes sense. :) Also, Yes, most immigrants to the US after 1965 were from non-European countries. In fact, this is why the Diversity Visa Lottery was initially created in 1990--as in, to give more Europeans (especially Irish) a chance to immigrate to the US. Ultimately, though, this program came to primarily benefit Middle Easterners and Africans--which is great even if this wasn't the original intent of this program. Some European countries still qualify for this lottery even nowadays, though; it's just that most of the winners of this lottery nowadays come from non-European countries.
 
Sep 2012
1,141
Tarkington, Texas
Keep in mind that most of the capital in the South was held in Slaves. The Yankee state governments confiscated many a Sugar Plantation and Cotton Plantation. In 1860, the most valuable land in the US was located in Lafourche Parish Louisiana. The Union Army sent three expeditions across the area in three years and stripped all movable valuables. Richard Taylor lost his plantation (Fashion) in St Charles Parish quickly when Butler took New Orleans. When it was visited later it was a mess. Zachary Taylor's papers were trashed and his old swords stolen. The spotted pony the Taylor boys rode had been slaughtered and the hide pegged to the wall of the barn. All the Slaves had ran off to New Orleans were they could get a meal. The Head Slave stayed in New Orleans and sent messages across the lines to General Taylor. Taylor's in laws ended up paying all his debts he took out to buy and equip Fashion.

By 1865 most of the capital in Louisiana was gone and few property owners had money to invest. Northerners came in and ran businesses that sent the profits out of Louisiana to the Yankee owners. It took until World War 2 before Louisiana and other Southern States recovered to about where they were before 1860.

Texas was a different sort of place. There was no Federal Property because Texas had been divided up into Landgrants before the ACW. Many certificates were circulating in Europe looking for land buyers. That is how many Europeans bought land in Texas, sight unseen! Army Forts were built on land rented from the land grant owners.

Pruitt
 
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Oct 2019
124
West Virginia
What makes a humid climate worse than a dry climate?


Poor white Southerners and black Southerners were economic competitors in the days of Jim Crow?
The oppressed condition of black workers very adversely affected the wages and conditions for white workers. The Southern elites of course engineered it that way... it was an evolved form of the original legal distinction between "black" and "white" created in Virginia to facilitate the enslavement of Africans. That, as well as the later Jim Crow, destroyed solidarity between black and white workers, with the result that both were kept down.
 
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Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,013
Iowa USA
From what I've read Finns could go into the forest wilderness in the US and practice slash and burn agriculture, the same they were doing in the forest wilderness of Eastern Finland. But I'm not sure if that would be about mid-late 19th century or starting with Swedish colonies and thus earlier. In popular consciousness over here, Minnesota is probably the Finland overseas, just as cold and forested and supposedly the destination for most Finnish settlers/pioneers. Looking at where Minnesota is it might be where Finns were immigrating during and after the famines in 1860s or so.
That's an interesting observation, on the slash and burn management of land. I have associated Northern Michigan with Finnish immigration, however Minnesota probably has a longer growing season than Michigan, since far North MI is down wind of Lake Superior. Thanks for the information.
 
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May 2019
202
Salt Lake City, Utah
Why was there less immigration to the south of the US?

Lack of economic opportunity, of course.

Those who have worked in the lumber industry in East Texas and Oregon can tell one all about the differences in the climate as well.
 
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mark87

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,093
Santiago de Chile
Since this is a map of 1900 (The 'Frontier was closed in 1890 formally) I would like to point out that large parts of the Upper Midwest and Midwest in general had been settled at that time by Germanic immigrants (Scandinavia and Germans) because that is where large tracts of cheap government land were available due to the Homestead Act in place (also in states further out west) most of the land east of the Mississippi had already been purchased. Also in importance in this was the railroad opening up large areas of the Midwest and western states up as markets for grain and other products. Immigrants at that time from roughly Ohio/Louisiana to the east would have not been able to buy such cheap land that was available at the time. Europeans looked for land often, since that was in short supply in the Old World and it was a symbol of status that many sought.
 
Oct 2019
19
Malabo Accra Kumasi Port Au Prince Carrefour
For immigrants of Hispanic decent post 1965 most of the immigrants were intentionally moved into Black innercity areas.Which later included the south.

For immigrants before 1965, such as European immigrants, all the major economic centers were in the North for a very long time, later California became a part of that.
 
May 2019
202
Salt Lake City, Utah
There is no support for such a statement: "post 1965 most of the immigrants were intentionally moved into Black innercity areas. "

In fact, Latinos have been spread throughout urban, suburban, and rural areas in the last fifty years.
 
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