Week Three Readings

The first reading entitled Stille and Krumme discusses a collection of letters from the Stille family. The Stille family was from the region of Lengerich in what is today Westphalia, located in modern-day Prussia. One of the Stille named Wihelm Stille would be the first to leave the family and travel to America. Wilhelm left Prussia due to a sudden decline in linen production because the population was slowly decreasing. Overtime has left in Prussia became a struggle, Wihelm and his sister encouraged more family members to join them in America. Unfortunately, not every member of the family would survive. Many died soon after arriving in America. While in America Wihelm went from job to job, hoping to make enough. Eventually, he landed a job by working as a miller and a merchant. His wife Wilhelmina also worked alongside him. I found this account to be interesting, given the fact that he mentions that Amerian would not their child based on their gender. For instance, if it was a boy the father of the family would get to name the boy. If it was a girl, the mother of the family would get to pick the name. I also found it fascinating to learn from a family’s memoir how hard it was for many German immigrants coming into America.

The second reading also deals with German immigrations. However. this reading deals with one German individual name Martin Weltz. Similar to the Stille and Krumme reading, Weltz immigrated to the United States for job opportunities. In his country of Schotten, many of the jobs were overtaken by factories, thus causing fewer jobs to exist. This ultimately prompts Weltz to travel to America looking for a job. After arriving in New York City, he sets himself by finding a job. At first, he does find a job, but over time, he bounces back and forth from one to the next. The readings just do not just talk about why he traveled to America, but his experience in America. What I found interesting about this reading was that he was determined to find a job and acquire a better life in America. Weltz demonstrates that hard work pays off. Even though he struggles to find a steady job, he does not give up and keeps moving until he finds suitable work.

One thought on “Week Three Readings

  1. Your summaries are super spot on and I just wanted to add that on top of your interest and take away that Weitz (not Weltz, I don’t think) demonstrates that hard work pays off, this went a much further capacity than that of Stilles and Krumme’s relationship did in a more literal sense. Stilles and Krumme constantly had to request more financial support from back home as a one way transaction to just get by in their rural endeavors. On the other hand, Weitz desired to support not only himself, but a wife, which he paid to immigrate into America from Germany, his latter children, and consistently and most prominently his family back home, bringing a two-way, or parallel transaction into play. It is so interesting, and still hard to wrap my head around how suffering through a more limited, competitive labor market in a threatened industry as is, and being endangered in political civil war and revolts across the nation, Weitz still managed to support his family at home when in a much less dramatically conflicted account of Stilles and Krumme, they were constantly in need of support for their immigration.

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