No other country has held such a centuries-long fascination for German emigrants as the United States. An attraction which took root among individual sectarian groups in the 17th century and grew in spurts to become a mass exodus in the 19th century -- a veritable flood in which seven million Germans left their homeland for the U.S. by 1914. According to recent enquiries, one out of every six U.S. citizens today has German ancestors. This book relates why Germans left Europe, how they were received in the New World, and what their lives were like in their new home. It considers aspects of this cultural transfer that, until now, have received rather little notice: how the Germans saw Americans and how they were perceived in turn; the particular situation of German-Jewish immigrants in the 19th century; the contact between the new German arrivals and other ethnic groups, such as Native Americans, African Americans, and Chinese immigrants; the conflicts among groups from different parts of Germany; and the role Germans played in Southern slavery and the conquest of the West.
"An informed, insightful, and highly readable study.""