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mutual support in state and church spring up into a new and higher existence, and with a power and a moderation hitherto unknown.
To those who believe that in this way no progress is possible, we reply that the inhabitants of the North American republic are of one stock, the Germanic. For to the vast majority of English are to be added the nearly related Germans; and the French and Spaniards are so few, that they cannot impart a different direction or form to the mass. The same holds true of the immigrants; for great and increasing as is their number, the population receives much larger accessions by domestic births, and the new-comers are soon blended with the majority.
The number of emigrants from England to the United States was :
in the year 1825, 5,500 persons,
1837, 36,700 Next to the emigration from England and Ireland, that from Germany is by far the greatest.* The whole number of newcomers amounted
in the year 1833, to 59,513,
1844, to 84,764; and, according to Tucker's estimates, within the ten years from 1830 to 1840, to about 631,000; of whom, however, many emigrated again to Texas and Canada. Within fifty years, the population has increased by immigrants and their descendants about a million. The whole number of Germans in North America is stated at 4,886,632.
Complaints have been made against the morals and character of many of the immigrants; and a fear has arisen that they will convert North America into a sort of Botany Bay. It is true that many criminals, idlers, malcontents, and the like, seek here a place of refuge; but their number is proportionably very small, and bitter experience or punishment forces them to begin a new life in the new world.
The United States proffer to immigrants the noblest moral and political education ; and he who rejects it, who proudly considers himself above it, who trusts more to luck than to prudence and sagacity, who thinks to become rich without exertion, or perhaps to renovate and revolutionize mature America with superficial theories—will soon and rightly find himself deceived in his foolish anticipations.
* There left Bremen in 1837, 14,700; in 1838, 8,934; in 1839, 12,421; in 1840, 12,650 ; in 1841, 9,505.-Soetbeer, Hamburgs Handel, i. 174; ii. 121.
| Report for 1833, p. 33.
I“ America is a great vortex; it drags all the straws and chips, and floating sticks, driftwood and trash into it."— The Clockmaker, p. 39.
§ American Almanac for 1841, p. 82.
On the whole the German settlers are highly commended as industrious, moral, persevering, and averse to novelty and change. Hence they are useful as a restraining, tranquillizing counterpoise to the unquietness of other inhabitants. But unhappily there are exceptions to this rule also. One German traveller relates how he was deserted and cheated by some of his countrymen to whom he had shown kindness; and another mentions that a German clergyman in America said to him : 4 The German teachers here, like many of their countrymen, have acted like complete rogues. One ran away with a foster-daughter of mine; and another, a music teacher whom I had recommended, made off, after cheating a number of people and leaving many debts behind him : so that one is almost ashamed to speak German or to bear a German name.'
While for my own part I heard no complaints against the Germans and nothing but praises of them, the reproaches cast upon the Irish were loud and frequent. The blending of this foreign stock with the Germanic, in America as in England, is certainly very difficult; still even those who dislike them cannot deny that on the whole they are industrious and contented, and in the second generation are scarcely to be distinguished from those of a different origin. Where, too, one considers what an immense leap it is from Irish bondage to American citizenship, one ought to hold them excusable, if in excess of joy at their newly acquired freedom they fall into a few errors and extravagances. It is complained that they suffer themselves to be led and dictated to by their priests ; but it may be questioned whether this influence is more hurtful than that of many other demagogues.
Still more numerous than the rogueries of immigrants are the follies which they enact to their own hurt; as for instance when one goes to America to teach Sanscrit, and another to get for himself the situation of butler to a prince, and for his wife the care of the plate.
The laws respecting the naturalization of immigrants are not quite the same in all the American states: as a general rule, the renunciation of titles of nobility and a blameless residence of five years, are sufficient to make one a citizen of the Union. In several states however a shorter period of settlement (e. g. in Vermont a year, in Connecticut six months) suffices to acquire the citizenship of the place and state.f Every new-comer is at once permitted to purchase real estate.
* Martel's Briefe, pp. 40, 186. Streckfuss, der Auswanderer nach Amerika, i. 58. M'Gregor's America, ii. 449.
t American Almanac for 1838, p. 85. Jefferson (Messages, p. 100) was opposed to all excessive and tedious restrictions in this respect.
In recent times a party has been formed, chiefly in some of the sea-port towns, which takes to itself the name of Native Americans. Their object is to throw difficulties in the way of immigration, and they wish to prevent naturalization until after a residence of twenty-five years; because, as they say, no immi. grant can acquire the necessary knowledge in a shorter time, and a too early qualification of foreigners abridges and undermines the rights of native citizens.*
Even granting the truth of the loudly proclaimed and probably too well founded censure, that these views and doctrines proceed mostly from business jealousy, and religious intolerance (towards the Irish catholics), they still require a satisfactory investigation, and the movement might more properly be termed a European than a truly American one. When even in the dangerous times of the French revolution, the Alien Law was rejected as imprudent, unjust, and un-American, how can it now be sought, in quieter times and on weaker grounds, not merely to revive it, but to render it more severe ? In comparison with the immense number of native votes, those of the foreigners annually admitted to the rank of citizens are wholly insignificant and indecisive ; besides which most of them are divided amongst the different political parties. Again, if some few venture to vote, as it is complained they do, before the expiration of the time prescribed, the fault lies, not in the perfectly clear and satisfactory laws, but in the fact that the natives and magistrates are afraid to apply the laws, or wink at abuses in order to bring the majority of votes on their side.f Let the natives bind and engage themselves to support these admirable laws; but let them not for that purpose surrender all the principles of American liberty, and in pretended patriotic songs (as in Philadelphia) proclaim fire and sword against foreigners, and then put their own exhortations into effect.
Time is not the only measure or the only source of a citizen's understanding and knowledge; many a new-comer stands at once on a par with the natives as regards these qualifications, and what he will not learn in five years he will probably never learn at all. Moreover it is not intended, or at least is not possible, that every American citizen should fully comprehend the most difficult questions of political science; confidence in the leading men of the country is always necessary, and it seems more commen
* In some places, as in Boston, there are stringent laws respecting the landing of paupers, sick persons, and lunatics; although great difficulties must attend their execution. Societies for aiding immigrants have a beneficial effect and deserve great praise.
† Judge Elliot in Louisiana sold 1700 false certificates of citizenship for $17,000; for which he was properly punished. It is asserted, however, that even in New York, out of 40,000 voters, only about a couple of hundred vote without having the right to do so.
dable to exhibit this in elections, than for each individual to thrust himself forward with his imperfect knowledge and try to decide all for himself.
If all the immigrants entertained quite other views on important topics (e. g. nobility, ecclesiastical matters, freedom of the press, and the like), if they rudely opposed themselves as a body to the Americans, there would then be some reason for complaints and counter measures; but since they every where join the Americans, and vote in the same manner as millions of native citizens, how can these latter lay claim to a sort of hereditary wisdom, and denounce foreigners of the same opinions with themselves as fools and knaves ? An enthusiastic desire is felt for the acquisition of the Oregon territory, and complaints are made that such vast tracts of land should still lie uncultivated ; and yet this Native American party is recommending measures that secure to the bears and wolves a longer possession of them. Now what inducements would there be to immigration, what advantages would it present, if political rights were refused, the feelings of honor wounded, and every new-comer told that he must content himself for a quarter of a century with the worship of mammon?
It is true that Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, warned their countrymen against foreign influence; but it is clear as day that by this they did not mean the influence of new American citizens. If possible it is still more preposterous, to hold up the monopolizing measures of the Venetian aristocracy as a model worthy of the imitation of American democrats.
Some indeed, impelled by ignorance or passion, assert that one of the great American parties can suddenly convert and has converted whole masses of foreigners (contrary to the provisions of the law, and unnoticed or uncensured by their opponents) into citizens having the power to vote, and has thus gained the victory in the presidential contest; but such an absurdity is not deserving of a serious refutation. I will merely remind the reader, that 40,000 new-comers per annum certainly bring with them a million of property, and their yearly labor is to be estimated at more than five times as much. And yet it is sought to turn away this importation, and send it to other countries.
Most of the governments of Europe, notwithstanding their tendency to govern too much, have made but very few regulations, and those for the most part absurd, with respect to emigration. Their only thought was to throw obstacles in its way, nay
it was regarded as a sort of crime, or else as an infectious disease; while it was rarely that any thing was done or could be done to remove the causes that made the emigrants averse to a longer abode in their native land. Where the threefold pressure
of standing armies, enormous taxes, and ecclesiastical domination continues, many, even where there is no excess of population, will seek to better their condition by emigration.
The spreading of the human race over the whole earth and the reducing of all the land to cultivation, is moreover a commendable object, designed by Providence itself, and to which governments should lend a suitable degree of assistance, by causing accurate inquiries to be pursued in all directions, by disseminating information, and appointing honest men to protect the emigrants against error and fraud, &c.
Emigrants are now exposed to countless deceptions, and that which, under judicious management, would have proved advantageous to all parties, is ruined by follies that might have been avoided; these are then made a pretext for general complaints against a useful and often necessary proceeding, and for Jeremiads of the most singular and contradictory kind.
Every emigrant should possess a courageous character, he must also be prepared for great exertions and bitter privations; but if he gets through these with a sound body and strong mind, and knows how to adapt himself to his new situation, a rich return will seldom be wanting, and as a general rule he will find himself better off than before in his old home.
It is singular and surprising that Europeans so often reproach the inhabitants of the United States with disregarding every thing lofty and intellectual, and thinking only of what is earthly and material; and yet we find that in all the plans of emigration—whether proposed by high or low, by governments or socalled liberals, by philanthropists or speculators—these earthly and material features are always made prominent and highly extolled. Thus a fruitful soil, easy tillage, high wages, a pleasant climate, a good market, &c., are among the grand inducements held out* But whether this mammon is to be sought among the serfs of Russia, the Bedwins of Africa, the convicts of Australia, or the anarchists of Central and South America, among Turks and heathens, or in the United States, is regarded as a matter of perfect indifference, and is never taken into account. Blessings of inestimable value—such as the liberty of a North American citizen, his rights, his security, the estimation in which this great republic is held, the most unbounded religious freedom, perpetual peace, freedom from military service, and all that I have yet to spread before the reader's eyes—are as naught to those whose only desire is to raise corn, to eat bread, and to make money! But at least they ought to reflect that
* The climate however is frequently not attended to, and many hot regions are recommended to which the German constitution is not so well adapted as to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and states similarly situated.