- from The New Nation
The fall of 1846 is a bad time for your little Irish village. The potatoes that almost everyone needs for food have been ruined by disease.
This year’s harvest is even smaller than last year’s. Even more people are going hungry. One night, you hear your parents talking about how to make things better for you and your sisters.
Their plan is exciting. But it means you’ll be leaving the only place you’ve ever known. You’re going to start a new life – in the United States. Your family will become immigrants, or people who leave their home to live in a different country. And you won’t be the only ones.
Between 1789 and 1850, waves of immigrants from Ireland came to the United States to start new lives in the young republic. They came from England, Scotland, and Germany, too. Some wanted to get away from hard times and hunger. Others saw a chance to live freely. Some came so they could worship the way they wanted. Still others saw an opportunity to make money. Whatever their reasons, immigrants settled all across the new nation and changed it in many ways.