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In 1990 the US Census Bureau reported that 57985595 people in theUnited States claimed some measure of German ancestry This makes upalmost a quarter of the US population German immigration started as earlyas 1607 The first three Germans to migrate to the US were FUnger HKeffer and F Volday who were followers of Captain John Smith who settledin Jamestown Virginia They started the first German colony known as thedamned dutch From 1820-1970 they estimated about 69 million Germanscame to the US which were 15 of the total immigrants The peak years ofmigration were 1854 when 215000 people arrived and 1882 when 250000people arrived Approximately 90 percent of all the people leaving Germanybetween 1835 and 1910 came to the United States World Wars I and IIinterrupted the immigration of Germans to America After World War Iimmigration picked up again from bad economic conditions in Germany butduring World War II there were immigration restrictions placed on GermansThe Germans emigrated to the US for different reasons being thatGerman immigrants were the most diverse in background of all majorimmigrant groups The availability of land and the desire for religiousfreedom drew the first Germans to America Germans were victims of overpopulation in the wine growing regions This caused too much competition for land and jobs Plus the land wasnt toofertile and the harsh winter of 1708-1709 forced people to leave The taxeswere high and the people couldnt afford to pay America was oftenadvertised in Germany as In America everything is great It was true topeople looking for a lot of fertile land for not a lot of money In 1829 aGerman named Gottfried Duden who had spent three years living inMissouri published a report praising the new land where food and propertywere cheap nature was beautiful and life was easy This report enticedthousands of Dudens countrymen-including well-educated aristocratsOther Germans left for religious reasons Several groups among themid-nineteenth century German immigrants saw America as a safe haven forreligious freedom About ten
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