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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: immigration (20th-Century)


Passport Photo of Susanne Goldfarb, 1933(WHI-58292)

At the start of the 20th century, the state's rapidly industrializing economy brought a new wave of immigrants as Poles, Russians, Czechs, and Italians came to live in Wisconsin. This wave soon subsided, however, and growing nativist sentiment was intensified by two World Wars and the Great Depression. During World War Two, farm workers from Jamaica, the Bahamas, British Honduras, and Mexico arrived in substantial numbers, and after the war Holocaust survivors and Jews fleeing discrimination in Soviet block countries increased Wisconsin's Jewish population. After 1975, Hmong and Vietnamese immigrants came to the state in large numbers, and after the collapse of communism in 1989, a new wave of Poles, Russians and other Eastern Europeans took up residence in Wisconsin. View more information elsewhere at

View pictures relating to immigrants at Wisconsin Historical Images.

View related articles at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.

[Source: Turning Points in Wisconsin History]
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