England —> The United States of America
By Mary Moncure-Williams, Nathan George, and Samuel Roy Goad
Introduction and Thesis:
While many nations and ethnicities were responsible for the colonization of the New World, none more so than the British were as integral to the founding of the United States. It is because of this ubiquity that English immigrants in America that the experience of English immigrants to the United States during the nineteenth century was simpler than others. English immigrants who immigrated to Alexandria in the mid-eighteenth century did not share some of the problems adapting to American life as other immigrant groups. Factors such as discrimination based on race, immigrants quotas, language barrier, culture shock, and other impediments in migration were less pronounced for English immigrants. However, this is not to say that life was perfect as English immigrants faced their own unique challenges, economic pressure and push factors from their homes, social integration into the United States, and becoming economically stable were all challenges that English immigrants faced trying to adapt to their new homes in America.
Pushed by social inequalities and economic pressures from England, English immigrants of the mid-nineteenth century were drawn to the United States and Alexandria in specific by it’s booming economy and fluid social hierarchy that enabled class mobility. English Immigrants from the nineteenth century adapted better than other immigrant groups to life in the United States. The ability to adapt to the culture of the U.S. did not guarantee that the English Immigrant succeeded in the United States. In Alexandria alone there was a wide variety of English Immigrants, there were wealthy English immigrants but there was also poor English immigrants. This diversity also was felt in the types of work which English found in Alexandria, some finding similar jobs to what they had back in England and excelling, and others finding the economic climate too competitive and changing occupations to adapt to their new surroundings. Despite any challenges they faced, English immigrants carved out their niche in Alexandria and created a new home, community, and work to make this city more of their own.