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

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Presentation on theme: "Scandinavian immigration to the United States and Canada English in the United States and Canada SoSe 2006 Katariina Laitinen."— Presentation transcript:

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 : 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  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”

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6 Swedish immigration  Between million (20%) of the Swedish population left the country United States ( ): 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  people in the Swedish-Canadian community west of Lake Superior, primarily in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver Swedish speakers

7 Norwegian immigration  Between 1825 and 1925, more than (about 1/3 of Norway's population) Norwegians immigrated to America United States ( s): 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  Canadians of Norwegian ancestry today

8 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

9 Finnish immigration United States  The Great Migration of Finns >> over immigrants from Finland 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

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11  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 actual Finnish speakers Canada  Finns started coming to Canada in the early 1880s, the flow continued to the middle of the 20th century >> immigrants  Destination: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec  Number of Finnish-Canadians today: (2001)  the largest concentration of Finnish Canadians in Thunder Bay

12 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

13 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

14 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 Finns returned to Soviet Union in the 1920s-30s for ideological reasons

15 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

16 Suomi College (Finlandia University)  Located in Hancock, Michigan  Founded by Finnish immigrants in 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.

17 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

18 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)

19 References ( ) ( ) America ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

20 tml ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) canada-map.html ( ) distributors.htm ( ) ( )


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