Although Ohio was one of the first territories in the Midwest to become a state, its history of foreign immigration began relatively late, after major conflicts with Native Americans opened the region to settlement.
Ohio’s first immigrants were Native Americans of the Miami, Shawnee, Ottawa, Tuscarora, Wyandotte, Seneca, and Delaware tribes. Many of these people were relatively late arrivals who moved to the region to get away from expanding European settlements to the east and from conflicts with the
After the United States became independent, the future of the Ohio Territory was defined by the
The first immigrants to enter Ohio directly from Europe in substantial numbers were six hundred
After the War of 1812 ended, the first
Revolutions in 1830 and 1848 helped propel the first German immigrants who came directly to Ohio. By 1850, Germans made up 5.6 percent of the state’s total population and were more numerous even than British and Irish immigrants, who collectively constituted 4.4 percent. The densest concentration of Germans was in the
The northern part of Ohio was also receiving its share of foreign immigrants. Cuyahoga County, which included
A little-known but important aspect of Ohio’s immigrant communities has been German’s influence on the English spoken in the state. Many of southern Ohio’s first American settlers came from Kentucky and Virginia, but traces of southern accent are mostly confined to rural areas. New England Yankees, who spoke a dialect of English that has been popularly, though mistakenly, called “general American,” settled mostly in cities. There they were joined by German immigrants, many of whom learned their English from Yankee teachers. Because the Germans rarely learned English from Southerners in Ohio, they helped make southern accents less evident in the state’s cities.
The late twentieth century saw the first waves
Although Mexicans have constituted a smaller percentage of the total population in Ohio than in some other states, their growing presence has led to a revival of
Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. New York: HarperCollins, 1990. Thorough but readable treatment of groups of immigrants from the seventeenth century through the 1980’s: why they came, where they settled. Frazer, Timothy C., ed. “Heartland” English: Variation and Transition in the American Midwest. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1993. Collection of essays that describe the impact immigrants and settlement had on the spoken English of several midwestern states, including Ohio. Izant, Grace Goulder. Ohio Scenes and Citizens. Cleveland: World Publishing Company, 1964. Sketches and case histories illustrating twentieth century life in Ohio. Quinones, Sam. Antonio’s Gun and Delphino’s Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007. Narrates the causes for the economic crisis in Mexico, which led to the large Mexican immigration into the United States that began during the 1970’s. Describes the experiences of eight Mexicans who arrived after 1990.
Iron and steel industry