View Full Version : 'Early Life of the Pennsylvania Germans' [by A. Monroe Aurand]

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008, 01:01 AM
THE HISTORY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA GERMANS is a most interesting subject. It began more than three hundred years ago, and the end is not in sight.

One of many things to be remembered about the people called Pennsylvania Germans (or Dutch), is that they came here of their own free will from the Old World, and supported themselves without any help from what might be called the mother country.

Not so in other instances, viz: Spain was in Florida; France had a good chunk of Canada and Louisiana; Holland was in New York; England was firmly rooted in Massachusetts and Rhode Island; Sweden had a foothold in New Jersey, and the governments of those respective countries pushed the colonization ideas to the limit.

It has been estimated that before the Revolution there were 100,000 Germans and Swiss in Pennsylvania alone, with many others in Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland and New York.

The Germany of that day (the Germany still to be), was made up of a number of more or less loosely related independent principalities, etc., without a central government such as had England, Spain and France. Thus it was that these many thousands of pioneering people, the cream of her population, fell under the influence of other governments; the mother country did nothing toward colonizing. This policy of neglect was so unlike the Germany of a hundred years later.

Excuses have been offered, the main one being the demoralized condition of the country after the terrible religious and civil wars which were so common at that time in Europe. About half of the German-speaking people finally were merged with the peoples of Hungary and Bohemia, forming Austria, the other half being split up into small kingdoms, or principalities, etc.

Continued at:EARLY LIFE OF THE PENNSYLVANIA GERMANS (http://www.sacred-texts.com/ame/elpg/elpg01.htm)