Making a New Home in a New Land—Resettling in the United States

  • David A. Gerber
  • Alan M. Kraut


Once the decision to migrate is made, the next most important decision for those on the move is to choose a destination. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, migrants from Europe often made their new homes on property that was granted them by charter from the Crown to immigration and resettlement agencies such as the Plymouth Company and the Virginia Company. Colonists often selected new homes because of the abundance of available land, favorable climate, rich soil suitable for crop cultivation, and proximity to transportation arteries such as the ocean or rivers. While some Englishmen and women such as comprised the Puritan community settled in the North Atlantic coast, others chose the more moderate temperatures of the mid-Atlantic and southern regions. The waters of the mid-Atlantic region were free of ice more months of the year than those to the north, perfect for commerce. The rich lands and warm moist climate of some parts of the South attracted those who hoped to make their fortunes growing tobacco. Friends, relatives, coreligionists all followed a chain pattern of migration that would continue into the following centuries.


Extended Family Shopping Center Unskilled Laborer Married Child Informal Social Network 
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Suggestions for Further Reading

  1. David Montejano, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836–1986 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987).Google Scholar
  2. Donna R. Gabaccia, From Sicily to Elizabeth Street, Housing and Social Change Among Italian Immigrants, 1880–1930 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984).Google Scholar
  3. John W. Briggs, An Italian Passage, Immigrants to Three American Cities, 1890–1930 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978).Google Scholar
  4. Jon Gjerde, From Peasants to Formers: The Migration From Balestrard, Norway, to the Upper Middle West (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  5. Mario Maffi, Gateway to the Promised Land, Ethnic Cultures on New York’s Lower East Side (New York: New York University Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  6. Nancy Foner, From Ellis Island to JFK, New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).Google Scholar
  7. Peter Kwong, The New Chinatown (New York: Hill & Wang, 1987).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David A. Gerber and Alan M. Kraut 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Gerber
  • Alan M. Kraut

There are no affiliations available

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