IMMIGRATION (EintOnaTtot, ante) to the United 'States far exceeds that to any other country in the world. The steadily increasing current of human beings flowing hither from the ends of the earth attracts universal attention and demands serious deliberation. There are traditions of the simultaneous migration of entire nations in the early ages, but never since the dispersion at Babel has there been anything of such general and cosmopolitan nature as that which forms one of the great phenomena of the age—American immigration. Before the revolutiOn there Were few immigrants. The earliest were the gold:seekers from Spain, but they had no intention of remaining in the country. The moving causes of immigration to Canada and New England were religious and political troubles. The Puritans came for religious freedom. The revocation of the edict of Nantes drove a great number of Huguenots across the sea. Yet before the Revolution the extent of immigration was not significant. • The establishment of a free republic brought a change, and Europe began to send forth her thousands; but they were as nothing when compared with the myriads of modern times. Up to 1820 no official records of immigration were kept. It was reckoned that from 1784 to 1794 the arrivals were not more than 4,000 per year. In 1794, owing to war between England and France, the arrivals reached about 10,000; but this was an excep tional year, and the number of arrivals was not again so large until 1807. Dr. Seybert, ia his Statistical Annals of the United States, says the average of immigration from 1790 to 1810 was about 0,000 a year. During the decade 1806-16 immigration was almost suspended in consequence of war with England and serious complications with France. England's doctrine—relinquished only after a war—" Once a subject, always a subject," was sufficient to deter most people from attempting to leave that country while the war was going on. The blockading of the French ports under the British orders in Council, Jan., 1807, and Napoleon's prompt retaliation in the Berlin decree of the same year, which interdicted commerce with Great Britain, followed by the Milan decree against all continental intercourse with the British, were other powerful influences to check and indeed practically destroy European emigration. The French
decrees were annulled in 1811, just before the war between the United 'States and Great Britain, and American ships were released by France only to fall into the clutches of British cruisers. During the three years of war immigration was suspended, the arrivals being, so few as to be hardly worth noticing. It was not until 1817 that the current of immigration, checked ten years before, began to flow freely, and in that year the arrivals, including American citizens coming home, were 22,240, nearly three times as many as in the preceding year. Great suffering occurred in ships crowded with immi grants, and the attention of congress was drawn to the subject. In the of 1818 a bill was proposed to remedy the evils; it was passed in Dec., and approved Mar. 2, 1819. In compliance with this act collectors of customs have ever since reported to the treasury department the number of passengers from other countries arriving in their several districts, with the sex, ages, and occupations of such passengers, and the countries in which they were born.
The following table gives the aggregates of immigration at all ports, from the organi zation of the government to Jan., 1880: Statistics of the sex and ages of immigrants are not complete, but, as the proportions do not vary in any perceptible degree from time to time, the figures of a single year will represent the average. They are: Male adults 146,t23— 49.63 per cent of all immigration.
Female adults 86,089— 29.23 per cent.
Children under twelve years 60,532— 20.55 per cent.
Unascertained 1,637— .59 per cent.
Total 294,681-100.00 per cent.
It-is worthy of note that of all immigrants 64 in every 100 are in the reproductive age. This accounts for the often-noticed fact that foreigners are, or appear to be, more prolific than natives. An examination of the census shows that nearly 45 per cent of male immigrants are between the ages of 20 and 40; while of male natives, 14i per cent are within that period. There is, in fact, but slight difference in the proportion of children to mothers between natives and foreigners. In the New York census of 1865 it was shown that the average number of children to native mothers was 341 in 100, for foreign mothers it was 360 per 100.