Diversity and Global Understanding Essay

Pages: 6 (1982 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History


By 1860 in Chicago, three fourths of all Dutch households had "…reportable wealth ($50 or more in real estate and personal property), and the average surpassed $500 per household," Swierenga continues (3). This upward Dutch march into a solid place in socioeconomic circles is quite different from the economic fate of most Irish immigrants. In fact the Dutch also profited from the economic buildup towards the Civil War, and moreover, the Dutch learned to become self-sustaining much quicker than most other immigrant cultures.

"Half of the Dutch workforce in 1870 was self-employed," and unlike the female Irish immigrants, many of whom were single and sent money back home to poverty-stricken family members, the great majority of Dutch women stayed home. The majority of Dutch male immigrants in the Chicago area became skilled craftsmen and building contractors; indeed, 40% of the Dutch workforce was comprised of skilled workers (Swierenga, 5).

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Meanwhile, what were the contributions that Dutch immigrants made to the American society? According to the Vanishing American (VA) website -- which excerpts an article from Harper's Magazine called "The Dutch Influence in New England" -- the Dutch were first to plant "oriental fruits and flowers, grains, and plants that are now commonplace" (VA, 2007, p. 3). The Dutch introduced most of the garden vegetables into the colonies along the Atlantic Ocean, and they reportedly invented "..the forcing-bed, hot-house, winnowing fan," and the plough (plow) (VA, 3). The Dutch pioneered the rotation of crops in the colonies, they build "superior dikes" and were experts at drainage; and they "…adapted more quickly to the cold climate" using sleighs during the bitter and long winters (VA, 3).

The Dutch invented starch for clothing and they were known for their "cleanliness" and their thriftiness as well.

TOPIC: Essay on Diversity and Global Understanding -- Assignment

In conclusion, it is clear that the Dutch were known for their inclusion into the emerging American culture in the colonies and up through the late 19th century. The same can't be said of the Irish as far as being included in the society. The literature presented in this paper makes clear that the Irish for the most part came as paupers with few skills (they were looking for a miracle after the misery of Ireland's potato disaster) while the Dutch brought skills and a wonderful work ethic, and became self-sufficient fairly quickly

Works Cited

Bergquist, James M. (2008). Daily Life in Immigrant America, 1820-1890. Chicago, IL:

Greenwood Publishing Group.

Gormley, Myra Vanderpool. (2006). The Dutch Touch Upon America. Genealogy Magazine.

Retrieved October 19, 2012, from http://www.genealogymagazine.com/dutch.html.

Miller, Kerby A., and Boling, Bruce D. (1991). Golden Streets, Bitter Tears: The Irish Image of America During the Era of Mass Migration. Journal of American Ethnic History, 10(1/2),

16-36.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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