Between the time of the American Revolution and World War I, more than one million immigrants entered the United States through the port of Baltimore. One reason for this traffic through Baltimore was that the city was the westernmost port on the East Coast, which made it closer to the inland areas where many new immigrants wished to settle. Completion of the National Road to the Ohio River in 1818 and the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad a decade later also contributed to western movement. However, there were also many opportunities for work in nineteenth century Maryland, particularly in Baltimore.
Small numbers of Germans and Irish migrated to colonial Maryland, and French political refugees came during the 1790’s, but the first large-scale immigrant waves that began during the 1830’s brought
The Irish found work building railroads and cities. Baltimore was growing especially fast, with as many as two thousand new buildings being erected every year by mid-century. The Irish also found work as shopkeepers, clerks, and tavern owners. During the 1850’s seven
After the Civil War ended in 1865, cooperation between a German shipping line and a Germanic Maryland businessman named
As in many other eastern states, foreign immigration into Maryland peaked shortly before World War I began in 1914. The war itself and new federal restrictions on immigration enacted during the 1920’s severely retarded immigration into Maryland until after World War II. However, it would not be until the 1980’s that foreign immigration again became significant in the state’s development.
In the year 2000, 10 percent of Maryland’s residents were foreign born. This was the same percentage that the state had had in 1870. However, in 2000, 35 percent of the immigrants were
During the early years of the twenty-first century, Latin Americans–-including Puerto Ricans who were already American citizens–overtook Asians as the largest immigrant group. However, Asians continued to enter the state in large numbers, and they were joined by
Bode, Carl. Maryland: A Bicentennial History. New York: W. W. Norton, 1978. Miller, Kerby A., et al. Irish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan: Letters and Memoirs from Colonial and Revolutionary America, 1675-1815. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Olson, Sherry H. Baltimore: The Building of an American City. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. Powell, Barbara M., and Michael A. Powell. Mid-Maryland History: Conflict, Growth and Change. Charleston, S.C.: History Press, 2008.