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Scandinavian immigration to the United States and Canada

Scandinavian immigration to the United States and Canada. English in the United States and Canada SoSe 2006 Katariina Laitinen. General. Most Scandinavian immigrants to North America from Norway and Sweden

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Scandinavian immigration to the United States and Canada

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  1. Scandinavian immigration to the United States and Canada English in the United States and Canada SoSe 2006 Katariina Laitinen

  2. General • Most Scandinavian immigrants to North America from Norway and Sweden - 1830-1930: two and a half million emigrants from the Nordic countries (5 % of the European total) • Many immigrants travelled via Britain; several hundreds of the passengers who died on Titanic were Swedes or Finns (3rd class tickets) • 3.7 % (11-12 million people) of U.S. residents have Scandinavian ancestors - Scandinavians represent about 6% of the white population in the USA and more than 25% of the white population of the Upper Midwest • 160.000 Americans speak a Scandinavian language at home

  3. Reasons for immigration • Poverty, unemployment, political conditions at home • Religious reasons: - persecution (Quakers in Norway) - converts (Mormons in Denmark) • Similarity of climate (especially in Canada) • employment possibilities - America had “abundant natural resources and a lack of work force”

  4. Swedish immigration • Between 1846-1930 1.3 million (20%) of the Swedish population left the country United States (1840-1910): Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois • In the beginning of the 20th century, Minnesota had the highest ethnic Swedish population in the world after the city of Stockholm • 8 million Swedish-Americans today - over half a million still speak the language Canada: Western Canada from northern Ontario to British Columbia 1st wave from the end of the 19th century until WW1 2nd wave between the World Wars 3rd wave since the 1950s • 300.000 people in the Swedish-Canadian community west of Lake Superior, primarily in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver - 20.000 Swedish speakers

  5. Norwegian immigration • Between 1825 and 1925, more than 800.000 (about 1/3 of Norway's population) Norwegians immigrated to America United States (1850-1920s): Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas • More than 4.5 million Norwegian-Americans today - mostly live in the Upper Midwest or in the Pacific states of Washington, Oregon, and California Canada (same time): Alberta, Saskatchewan • 360.000 Canadians of Norwegian ancestry today

  6. Danish and Icelandic immigration • Denmark: Utah, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Kansas • Between 1820 and 1920 over 300,000 immigrants came from Denmark - Mormon recruits had a fertile soil in Denmark, because there was a freedom of religion >> converts • Danes were the least cohesive group of Scandinavian immigrants and quickly disappeared into the melting pot • Iceland: southern Manitoba (“New Iceland”), Minnesota, Utah, Wisconsin, Washington, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia • During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thousands of Icelanders emigrated to North America

  7. Finnish immigration United States • The Great Migration of Finns 1870-1930 >> over 300.000 immigrants from Finland - 1867 severe crop failure in Finland >> migration via Norway to United States • most Finnish emigrants were from impoverished rural regions of Ostrobothnia, but also from Northern Savonia and Thorne Valley • The US set up quotas to Finnish immigrants in the 20s >> immigration to Canada instead • 80 % of Finnish immigrants in America went to the United States, 20 % to Canada • Most immigrants young, unmarried men - later more immigrants were married and the whole family moved to the new country

  8. Destination: Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin - strong Finnish-American culture in Duluth and Detroit - in Hancock, Michigan still bilingual street signs (Finnish/English) • another Finnish community in Lake Worth, Florida • Americans of Finnish origin 800.000 - actual Finnish speakers 20.000-50.000 Canada • Finns started coming to Canada in the early 1880s, the flow continued to the middle of the 20th century >> 80.000 immigrants • Destination: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec • Number of Finnish-Canadians today: 114.000 (2001) • the largest concentration of Finnish Canadians in Thunder Bay

  9. Reasons for Finnish emigration • many emigrants from impoverished rural areas - Finland, a Grand Duchy of Imperial Russia, excluded from the industrialisation process • Many traditional professions lost their meaning • Unemployment was rising because of population growth; not much land left to cultivate • The eldest son inherited the farm, and younger siblings had to earn their living elsewhere • 1899: a campaign for Russification of Finland • Earlier migrants sent letters to home and encouraged new people to go • Professional recruiters were employed by mining and shipping companies

  10. Attitudes and influences at home • The officials disapproved emigration at first, because there were worries on its influence on the Finnish population - also some newspapers frowned upon the phenomenon, while others supported it • Change in the structure of the population - lower birth rate and a great number of old people • Eased the pressure at the job market • The immigrants sent money and packages home - products that were hard to get in Finland • Returning immigrants brought their earnings and new inventions to Finland

  11. Life in the new country • Men worked in mining, construction and the forest industry; women as maids - Finns had to settle with less-skilled jobs, because they had more problems with the English language than other Scandinavians • Newly arrived Finns quickly became involved in political organisations, churches, athletic clubs and other forms of associational life • Most Finnish migrants had planned to stay only a few years in North America, but only about 20 % returned - 10.000 Finns returned to Soviet Union in the 1920s-30s for ideological reasons

  12. Language • In some cases the immigrants started learning English already in the home country (Danish Mormons) • Finns had more problems with English than other Scandinavians - In many immigrant families the parents spoke Finnish and the children English (learned in school) • religious, social, and cultural activities in the mother tongue - organizations: Dansk Broderskab (Danish Brotherhood), Vasa Order of America (Swedish) • Periodicals in the native language - Danish-Norwegian newspaper “Bikuben” (The Beehive) in Salt Lake City - Finnish-Canadian weeklies “Canadan Sanomat” ‘Canadian News’ in Thunder Bay and “Vapaa Sana” ‘Free Speech’ in Sudbury

  13. Suomi College (Finlandia University) • Located in Hancock, Michigan • Founded by Finnish immigrants in 1896 - the only college founded by Finns in the United States • provides a college education in a Christian environment • Education rooted in liberal arts • Offers degrees in Fine Arts, Business Administration, Finnish, History, Nursing, Social Science, English etc.

  14. Finnish-American Heritage Center (FAHC) • At Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan • offers a variety of exhibits, lectures, plays, musical programs and community events • the Finnish American Historical Archive has the largest collection of Finnish-North American materials in the world - includes genealogical resources, information about Finnish culture, artifacts, and North America's largest collection of Finnish-American artwork • annual events: Finnish Independence Day, the City of Hancock's Heikinpäivä festival, the university's Nordic Film Series

  15. Famous Finnish-Americans and -Canadians • Renny Harlin (director) • David Lynch (director) • Matt Damon (actor) • Christine Lahti (actress) • Jessica Lange (actress) • Pamela Anderson (actress) • Gus Hall (U.S. Communist Party leader) • Aileen Wuornos (serial killer)

  16. References http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_American (19.06.06) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_Canadian (19.06.06) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_emigration_to_North_ America (19.06.06) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_emigration_to_North_ America (19.06.06) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegians (21.06.06) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian-American (21.06.06) http://ist.uwaterloo.ca/~marj/genealogy/norwegian.html (21.06.06) http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAEdenmark.htm (23.06.06) http://www.pcu.net/web/sorensen/utah/danes_in_utah.htm (23.06.06)

  17. http://www.umanitoba.ca/uofmpress/books/icelanders_na.html (23.06.06) http://www.direct.ca/news/cnord/finn01.shtml (23.06.06) http://www.collegeprofiles.com/suomi.html (23.06.06) http://www.finlandia.edu/Department/FAHC/fahc.html (23.06.06) http://only-maps.com/ canada-map.html (26.06.06) http://www.kysela.com/ distributors.htm (26.06.06) http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/db/articles/art.php?artid=63 (26.06.06) http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/db/articles/art.php?artid=44 (26.06.06) http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/db/articles/art.php?artid=79 (26.06.06) http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/nordic/Text/Emistory.htm (26.06.06) http://www.infoplease.com/images/mfinland.gif (26.06.06)

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