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Word Count: 1,597
Immigration is an event that has been occurring in New York since the 1624 when the Dutch West India Company assembled thirty families from Holland to established a settlement that became known as New Netherland Many immigrants came to our nation looking for opportunities that their country could not provide for them The prospect of political and religious liberty as well as opportunities for economic advancement brought millions of immigrants to America Through the years immigration has played a key role in the New Yorks economic political and social development in both positive and negative ways During the colonial era most immigrants came from northern European countries Their numbers declined with the onset of the Revolutionary War during the 1770s but immigration picked up strongly again during the 1840s and 1850s Between 1840 and 1860 the New York received its first great wave of immigrants In Europe as a whole famine poor harvests rising populations and political unrest caused an estimated five million people to leave their homelands each year In Ireland blight attacked the potato crop and upwards of 750000 people starved to death Many of the survivors emigrated The failure of the German Confederations Revolution of 1848-49 led many of its people to emigrate Many settled in New York City where the population increased from 200000 residents in 1830 to 515000 in 1850 By 1860 New York was home to over one million residents More than half of the citys population at that time were immigrants and their American-born children The masses of immigrants were overwhelming By 1887 it became obvious that Castle Garden immigrant receiving station was too small to process the large numbers of immigrants pouring into the New York The Castle Garden was so small that criminals were simply hanging out at the receiving station to rob the immigrants inside instead of waiting for them to get on the streets Thus the government built Ellis Island in 1892 and
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