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Amber Libczinski

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Many Polish immigrants left Poland to find better oppurtunities, religious persecution, and to escape conscription. The massive immigration started when a groupd of farmers left for economic oppurtunity. Poles believe thed owning land showed stability and without it you were in ruin. And when many farmers lost their land it caused they to flee to America. After them about 2.5 million Poles landed on Ellis Island.

To get to American the Poles had to pay little money to get on a cargo ship to Ellis Island. While on the ship men were sent to one part while women and children to the other. When the ships got to Ney York inspectors would get on the ships and inspect the first class and then second class citizens. If they passed the inspection they would go right to American instead of to Ellis Island.

Besides the Poles who were sent on barges to America, officers would come on board and make sure no one had a disease. After being checked out by officers, passengers would go ashore and be checked out by doctors. Anyone who actually had a disease was marked with a letter in white chalk. People who had a chalk letter were sent to specialized doctors.

Once the immigrants passed through Ellis Island they were in a pretty strange place. Poles without special skills were forced to work in industrial factories that were unsanitary and unsafe. Everyone in the whosehold, which included mothers and children, worked from sunrise to eight. Mothers supported their children by taking in boarders and doing laundry. They also had little education, very few even went to college or received high paying jobs. They had pretty tough lives.

Most second and third generation Poles were born into America. They grew up to be Americans and still had their Polish hertiage but rejected the old Polish life style. They were proud of their ancient heritage but they became more assimilated into American society. Even though they rejected their old heritage they indirectly became a new Polish culture that carry the blood of their heritage with them forever.

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