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The Great Immigration





At the taking of the first census of the United States, in 1790, the
country contained a population of about four millions in its territory
of less than one million of square miles.

Sixty years later, at the census of 1850, it contained a population of
more than twenty-three millions in its territory of about three millions
of square miles.

The vast expansion of territory to more than threefold the great
original domain of the United States had been made by honorable purchase
or less honorable conquest. It had not added largely to the population
of the nation; the new acquisitions were mainly of unoccupied land. The
increase of the population, down to about 1845, was chiefly the natural
increase of a hardy and prolific stock under conditions in the highest
degree favorable to such increase. Up to the year 1820 the recent
immigration had been inconsiderable. In the ten years 1820-29 the annual
arrival of immigrants was nine thousand. In the next decade, 1830-39,
the annual arrival was nearly thirty-five thousand, or a hundred a day.
For forty years the total immigration from all quarters was much less
than a half-million. In the course of the next three decades, from 1840