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However, the Germans fared much better than the Native Americans when it came to assimilating and becoming a part of American culture. As mentioned before, a large group of them settled in Germantown, PA but many also settled in other states throughout the country. Germans for the most part were well accepted into American society. They generally fared better than the Irish immigrants and managed to hold onto their culture while blending in with the indigenous as well as other members of the American society. They were known for their printing skills before they immigrated to the United States, and this is a skill that they brought with them from their country and they continued to be excellent printers while here in America.
Germans were treated fairly well because they were the group of immigrants that adjusted quite well to working hard during the industrial revolution. As mentioned previously, Germans had a high opinion of education and sought to have their children educated well and to be bilingual. This is another reason this group blended in easily with not only the Native Americans, but American culture as a whole. Youngsters will be happy to know that it was the Germans that brought the idea of the Christmas tree to America. Putting up and decorating the Christmas tree during the holidays is something that many of us still do. They also brought the idea of the fictional Santa Claus to America. There is hardly a child in America who does not believe in Santa Claus. Even if the parents do not choose to participate in this myth, their children are still aware of this fictional creature.
The Germans were treated well by not only the indigenous population of society, but for the most part, the general population of the United States because they not only came to this country to flee the persecutions they suffered in their own country, they made significant contribution to American society as a whole.
During the time that the Germans were migrating to the United States, other ethnicities were doing the same. Immigration during those times (the early 1600's) meant something totally different than what it does today. Modern transportation had not yet been invented so the journey that we have today of a few hours on a plan was actually more like a few months back then just to get to a different country. They also did not have the various sources of media that we have today, so when they thought they were coming to America because the opportunities were supposed to be better in America it was largely based on word of mouth.
However, many Germans fled their country in the hopes of a better life in America and that is what many of them found. Of course, things were difficult for them as with any immigrant when they first arrived. But, they were able to establish their own communities and run many of the same businesses here in America that they ran in Germany. They blended easily into the industrial revolution and were seen as hard, dependable workers by many other cultures. They did not just come to this country to take advantage of all the resources it offered. They have made significant contributions to this country in return.
The Germans are one of a handful of immigrants that managed to hold onto their way of life, culture and language while still functioning quite well in society. At one point, the Germans insisted that their children be bilingual because they did not want their language lost on the future generations. This wasn't a form of resistance to the American culture and way of life, but it was a way for them to show that although they were fortunate to have carved out a good life for themselves and future generations in a new country, they still had not forgotten the customs in their native countries. They were proud to be German and they were also proud to be Americans and they were extremely successful at the blending of the two cultures to make it work to their advantage.
Many Germans did not hold to the ways of society in the poor treatment of Native Americans or the African slaves. They were in fact against this and some spoke out against it. Many people today think of Adolph Hitler and the Holocaust when they think of Germans and Germany. This is not fair to the entire race of Germans because they are so much more as a people and America should be honored that they graced this country with their rich traditions, cultures and contributions to American society.
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