Scottish American Immigration America was created by people who immigrated to the country over the years. One of the many groups of people to come to America and help build into what she is today was the Scots. In order to discuss the Scottish immigration you must understand why they immigrated, what type of prejudice they faced, and what role the Scots now have in today’s America. Though the Scots did not have the influx of people immigrating as the Irish, Italian, or English they had a major influence on the development of America.
When did the first Scottish arrive and why did they come? “The first Scots in America probably came with the Vikings” is what Wikipedia says on when the first Scots came to America. The first official record of the Scottish being here was in the early 1600’s. There were many reasons for the Scots to come America. Some Scots came to America to avoid prison or worse execution. In that instance they had no choice but to go. Most came to America as indentured servants in order to make a better life for themselves once they had worked off their passage. At the end of that time, they were on their own and it was up to themselves to make something of their new life in the New World. ” (siliconglen. com) The Scottish did not come to America because they were oppressed nor did they come because of a great civil war in Scotland. Most Scots came to America to try and find a better life then they had. For those who came over as prisoners it was a chance for a whole new beginning Most immigrants that came to America faced hardships and prejudice once reaching the American shores. The surge of Scots came in the 1700’s when “between 1715 and 1776 some 250,000 of them arrived. (siliconglen. com) For the Scottish it was a different story. Though “looked down upon by the English, Dutch, and Germans, who saw them as less civilized” the Scots were also thought of as great warriors, explorers, and farmers. This was to their advantage in that they were sent out to explore the west once arrived. Therefore they were some of the first settlers in many areas, giving them the opportunity to start their own farms and communities. Because of this many Scots did not face prejudice or discrimination and more Scots came to the New World.
So much so that “at the time of our first federal census (1790) people of Scottish (including Scottish Irish) origins made up more than six percent of the population. ” (geneologymagazine. com) By the year 2000 “approximately 1. 5 million Scots have immigrated to America. ”(Gormley) So were the Scottish discriminated against or did they discriminate. The truth of the matter is that though the Scottish was not discriminated against, they did participate in discrimination. The Scottish was some of the main farmers of cotton and tobacco. Because of this the Scottish owned many slaves and fought to be able to keep the African Americans slaves.
Their discrimination against this race would continue well into the 1960’s. This would include discriminating against them in jobs, whether that being not hiring because of color, or not promoting for the same reason. For the most part the Scottish did real well for themselves once they were in America. A fair went on to have children who became presidents; Andrew Jackson was one of those children. Along with Andrew Jackson there were a few more Scots to help sign the Declaration of Independence. Many presidents later would be of Scottish decent. Many went on to become successful tobacco and cotton farmers.
Many went on to settle and discover the American West while advancing the steam-powered age. Today people of Scottish decent are like everyone else. They go to school to get there education. They have to earn their way into college like everyone else. They work to make a living for their family. They have become everyday Americans. Scottish immigrants came to America to find a better life for themselves. They worked hard then like they work hard now to make a living. To relate to Scots today you do have to have an understanding of why they came, what prejudice if any they faced, and where they are now.
In understanding this you will learn that many Scots are just the way they were when they first came to America, sans the discrimination. Scottish American. (April 2009). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Scottish_American Akin, S. (june 17,2010). Scots emigration/immigration to the US. Silicon Glen. Retrieved from http://www. siliconglen. com/Scotland/11_24. html Gormely, M. V. (2000). Migration Patterns of Our Scottish Ancestors. Geneology Magazine, (), . Retrieved from http://www. genealogymagazine. com/scots. html