National Geographic : 1905 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE in response to no demand for that which they can bring, and are unfitted by lack of physical development to enter the general industrial field. They bring with them, however, intellects which are the products of thousands of years of mental training and sharpened by exer cise among hostile surroundings. A Jew has his face turned toward the future, and, by virtue of the tremendous power of his religion, has been able to impress himself as a living force in every coun try in the world except China. Coming to England ten years before they came here, the same industrial problems of crowding in certain trades and working in sweat shops were manifested, but there, as here, they have by organiza tion been able to practically free them selves. In New York today in the sweating trades alone the Jew has been pushed upward by the Italians, and they in turn are being uplifted by the Arme nian and Syrian coming into this indus trial field. The Polish immigration now amounts, in round numbers, to about 67,000 per year, equally divided between Russia and Galicia, with about one thousand from the Polish provinces of Germany. The woes of Poland have aroused world-wide sympathy for a hundred years. In the past its political dis turbances have given rise to an immi gration largely taking on the character of exile. For thirty years the objec tions to Russia's policy in its Polish provinces have been more sentimental than practical, and Polish immigration in its modern sense is due not to perse cution at home, but rather to the dis covery of a profitable field for employ ment here for laborers of the peasant class. More, perhaps, than any other element in this later immigration, ex cept the Hebrew, it comes here to stay. As we see them they are illiterate, strongly religious, and moderately am bitious to become citizens. In Buffalo, or instance, where they have a large settlement, they are buying homes, and their mortgages are regarded as the most desirable sort of investment. We are now receiving every year close upon 30,000 Slovaks, from the mount ainous regions of northern Hungary a Slavish people, speaking a tongue akin to the Bohemian, living in their own lands in mud huts without chim neys. They, too, are extremely illiterate, and turbulent under leadership. These peo ple have, nevertheless, a strong instinct of sincerity and honesty and a higher degree of personal self-reliance than most branches of the Slavish race. They can call up no past record of prominence in the milder arts, but point with pride to a language and territorial boundary which has remained intact through cen turies of attempted foreign aggression. Sturdy, robust, and inured to hardships, they have no difficulty in finding a place in our industrial system. They exhibit a strong and apparently increasing ten dency to return to their Hungarian mountain sides, and have as yet given little indication of the direction in which their future influence upon this nation will lie. The fertile country of central Hun gary furnishes no emigrants, but further north, in the districts less favored by nature, there is an emigration of Magyars amounting to about 23,000 a year. They are evidently induced by the example of the Slovaks, whom they resemble in every way except language, the former being of Slavish and the latter of Tura nian origin. The same similarity con tinues here-both seek the same general localities and enter the same field of labor as the Poles and Lithuanians. The Croatians and Slovenians, from the south of Austria, have only com menced to come to this country in the last 15 years, and have already colo nies in southern California and Oregon, with large numbers in the Pennsylvania mines.