Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Immigrant Families, European
Descendants of immigrants from Europe whose ancestors came to permanently resettle in North America compose the greatest proportion of the population in the United States today. Although they are no longer the largest immigrant group, European immigration continues to this day, and immigrants face acculturation and adaptation challenges that are both similar and distinct from those faced by other immigrant groups. Early in the history of the United States, large numbers of Europeans immigrated to resettle in the New World. Much of this migration was prompted by a search for a better life and escape from persecution and famine. In fact, by today's definition, many of those early immigrants, such as the Pilgrims, who were escaping religious persecution, may be considered “refugees.” In the 19th century, a greater diversity of Europeans were immigrating to the United States. While the contrast is frequently drawn between voluntary economic immigrants and refugees who ...