Eastern and Southern Europe

Eastern & Southern Europe
The majority of the Eastern and Southern Europeans came to the United States as early as the 17th century the largest groups came in the early 20th century.   The initial reasoning for the majority of the Eastern and Southern Europeans were a better life and opportunity for themselves.   There where talk that the streets were made of gold and loads of opportunities were around every corner in the United States.   They too were drawn for the religious and political freedoms that so many spoke of.  
Europeans traveled by steamship taking approximately 12 days.   If one could not afford a first or second class ticket, traveling conditions would not be easy for the individual.   The journey would be slowly filled with filth, disgust, and possibly death.   They were placed in the lower portion of the ship, cramped together; with very little food, much sickness would incase their area, and people would die before ever reaching the United States.   Once the ship docked in the United States the first and second classes were left off, the others that did not have the means or money would be left on the ship.   Sometimes days or weeks would go by before business owners, wealthy land owners would come aboard offering to the chosen to sign a contract agreeing to work for them until the agreed contract was met. This could be for one to seven years or often was said that if it was a child until they were 21 years of age.   These Europeans would be in debt to these people until they had worked off their pay.   Often families were split in these circumstances never to see one another again.   The explosion of the immigrants coming into the United States helped the industrialization, the U.S. was short on labors and this helped fill that void.   Immigrants felt that they were misled in some ways to come to the United States, but few returned to their home land instead they choose to stick it out and make the best they could....