Some 12, years ago, the first indigenous people crossed the ice bridge connecting Asia to North America, yet it wasn't until the end of the 15th century that Europeans set their eyes on the New World in numbers. The French and Spanish were the first to establish settlements before the English and Dutch, among others, founded their first permanent colonies. On the eve of the American Revolution, the land was already a kaleidoscope of languages and ethnicities.
Works cited American Jewish history commenced in with the expulsion of Jews from Spain. This action set off a period of intense Jewish migration. Seeking to escape the clutches of the Holy Inquisition, some Jews in the sixteenth century sought refuge in the young Calvinist republic of The Netherlands.
A century later, hundreds of their descendants crossed the ocean to settle in the new Dutch colony of Recife in Brazil, where Jewish communal life became possible for the first time in the New World.
When Portugal recaptured this colony inits Jews scattered. Refugees spread through the Dutch Caribbean, beginning fresh Jewish communities. A boatload of about 23 Jews sailed into the remote Dutch port of New Amsterdam and requested permission to remain. This marked the beginning of Jewish communal life in North America.
Colonial Jews never exceeded one tenth of one percent of the American population, yet they established patterns of Jewish communal life that persisted for generations. First, most Jews lived in cosmopolitan port cities like New York and Newport where opportunities for commerce and trade abounded, and people of diverse backgrounds and faiths lived side by side.
Second, many early American Jewish leaders and institutions were Sephardic, meaning that their origins traced to the Jewish communities of the Iberian peninsula. Sephardic Jews maintained cultural hegemony in Jewish life into the early nineteenth century, although by then Ashkenazi Jews, meaning Jews who traced their origins to Germany, had long been more numerous.
Third, Jews organized into synagogue-communities. Savannah, Charleston, Philadelphia, New York, and Newport each had one synagogue that assumed responsibility for the religious and communal needs of all local Jews. The American Revolution marked a turning point not only in American Jewish history, but in modern Jewish history generally.
Never before had a major nation committed itself so definitively to the principles of freedom and democracy in general and to religious freedom in particular.
Jews and members of other minority religions could dissent from the religious views of the majority without fear of persecution. Jews still had to fight for their rights on the state level, and they continued to face various forms of prejudice nationwide. However, many Jews benefited materially from the Revolution and interacted freely with their non-Jewish neighbors.
Having shed blood for their country side by side with their Christian fellows, Jews as a group felt far more secure than they had in colonial days.
They asserted their rights openly and, if challenged, defended themselves both vigorously and self-confidently. In the nineteenth century, American Jews, seeking to strengthen Judaism against its numerous Christian competitors in the marketplace of American religions, introduced various religious innovations, some of them borrowed from their neighbors.
Young Jews in Charleston, dissatisfied with the "apathy and neglect" they saw manifested toward their religion, somewhat influenced by the spread of Unitarianism, fearful of Christian missionary activities that had begun to be directed toward local Jews, and, above all, passionately concerned about Jewish survival in a free society, created the breakaway "Reformed Society of Israelites for Promoting True Principles of Judaism According to Its Purity and Spirit.
Traditional congregations also "Protestantized" some of their practices, introducing regular English sermons and more decorous modes of worship. Meanwhile, communal leaders, led by the Traditionalist Jewish religious leader of Philadelphia, Isaac Leeser, emulated and adapted Protestant benevolent and education techniques--Sunday schools, hospitals, the religious press, charitable societies, and the like--in order to strengthen Judaism in the face of pressures upon Jews to convert.
Among other things, Leeser produced an Anglo-Jewish translation of the Bible, founded a Jewish publication society, and edited a Jewish periodical, The Occident and American Jewish Advocate, which attempted in its pages to unite the diverse voices of the American Jewish community. He also rallied his community to respond to incidents of anti-Jewish persecution around the world.
Even though Ashkenazic Jews outnumbered Sephardic Jews as early asthe first German Jewish immigrants joined Sephardic synagogues rather than founding their own institutions.
As poverty, persecution, and political disillusionment swept through Central Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century, German and Polish Jewish immigration to America swelled. Distinctly German-speaking Jewish institutions multiplied. Jews also moved beyond the Eastern seaboard at this time, seeking opportunities in the frontier communities of the Midwest, South, and West.
In the s, in contrast to the early American model of synagogues run by a hazan cantor or lay leadership, immigrant rabbis began to assume the pulpits of American synagogues.
Some sought to promote Orthodoxy, while others merged the ideology of German Jewish Reform with the practices of American Protestant denominations and created a new American version of Reform Judaism.Occasional Papers on Ethnic and Immigration Studies, No. Harney, Robert F. Examined in this paper is the relationship between the early reconnaissance and arrival of individual Italians and the great flow of migration into Canada by the Italians at the turn of the century.
The Polish-Jewish immigrates, depicted in Hester Street, and was one of the most influential people in the streets of New York at the turn of the century. Hester Street, the movie, takes the view throughout the early years of the Garment District.
Sutori Battle of Waterloo, World War I, Cuban Missile Crisis Start creating Approaching the turn of the century, immigration policy became a political weapon. The four bills of the Alien and Sedition Acts of had consequences beyond their stated intent.
who was a Captain who worked in Chinese trade and immigration in the . The arguments used to restrict continued Southern and Eastern European immigration in the 20th century paralleled those made earlier to end Chinese and Japanese immigration (in .
The borders of America, specifically the Mexican American border has been watched very carefully in the past few years.
Many illegal immigrants come across the border each year searching for a better life in America, but since the government has been keeping a closer eye on illegal immigration the border has become an annoyance to tend to. English And French Relations In The 20th Century Essay. As the turn of the century took place, Quebec's premier, Honore Mercier, was already fighting for greater provincial powers.
The Boer War was a reminder that Canada was very much a client of Britain, a war that francophones had no interest in contributing to. Canadian Political.