Swedish Immigration history

Swedish Immigration to America

Since 1820 about 1.3 million people have immigrated to the United States from Sweden. According to the 2011 United States Census, 4,211,644 Americans, claimed Swedish ancestry. he article, Swedish Immigration Facts, contains interesting facts, statistics and the history of Swedish Immigration to America. To understand the reason for Swedish immigration it helps to have an overview of the history of the people of Sweden. The Swedes (Suiones) were a powerful people who were descended from Gothic tribes. They are described as Norse, North Germanic or Scandinavian people.

Reference: The article is published by the Siteseen network. Siteseen Ltd is a UK. based international publisher of free educational websites covering a range of subjects, predominantly focusing on history related content.

“Swedish Immigration to the U.S.” and “The Swedes”

The following articles are additional description of the history of Swedish Immigration to America published by Swedish American Newspapers, Minnesota Historical Society and the Library of Congress

Minnesota Historical Society: Swedish Immigration to the US

Library of Congress: The Swedes

Swedish Immigration to Wisconsin

“The largest and most significant wave of Swedish immigration to Wisconsin occurred between 1860 and 1890. Almost all came from rural areas in Sweden though once in the U.S., they tended to settle in cities and work as laborers.  Wisconsin’s first Swedish settlement was along Pine Lake in Waukesha County in 1841; a second emerged along the banks of Lake Koshkonong in 1843. Immigration from Sweden increased significantly following the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862 and crop failures in Sweden in the late 1860s.  Wisconsin received its heaviest flow of Swedes between 1880 and 1900 though overall, Swedes constituted a minor part of the state’s foreign population.  The largest Swedish populations in Wisconsin were in the northwest. Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul were the major urban centers of Swedish settlement.” (Reference: Wisconsin’s Cultural Resources Study Unit, Wisconsin Historical Society)

Footprint of Swedish immigration to Wisconsin

Source: From presentation to Wisconsin Council of Churches December 13, 2010, A Brief History of Immigration in Wisconsin, David Long & Dan Veroff University of Wisconsin Extension & UW Applied Population Laboratory http://www.apl.wisc.edu.

Frederick Hale: Swedes in Wisconsin

Book by author Frederick Hale Published by Wisconsin Historical Press 2002 available at Amazon

The revised and expanded edition of Frederick Hale’s Swedes in Wisconsin begins with the story of the state’s first legal Swedish immigrants, a group of six young people and a hunting dog who set sail from Gävle, Sweden, in 1841 and established Wisconsin’s first Swedish settlement, New Uppsala, along Pine Lake in Waukesha County.

Hale describes the mass emigration from Sweden to the Midwest that began during the late 1860s and fundamentally changed both Sweden and the Midwest. During this time more than a million Swedes left their homeland for North America, motivated at least in part by a huge population surge that overtaxed Sweden’s relatively small amount of arable land (agriculture served until the twentieth century as the Swedish economy’s mainstay).

Updates for the new edition include new photos and excerpts from letters Swedish novelist and feminist Fredrika Bremer wrote to her sister while touring the Wisconsin frontier in the autumn of 1850.

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