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People in the United States descended from Austrians
Before World War I, Austrian migration to United States was difficult to determine, as until 1918, it was only part of a multicultural empire. However, after the initial wave of settlers, Austrian immigration was low during the first half of the 19th century. During this period, fewer than 1,000 Austrians emigrated to the United States.
The Austrians who settled in Illinois and Iowa received religious education thanks to a shipment of 100 to 200 Catholic priests from Germany and Austria by The Leopoldine Stiftung, an Austrian foundation that funded those priests for the newly emigrated and the Native Americans, and they monitored their religious education. Most of the emigrants were Tyroleans in search of land and people who fled the oppressive Metternich regime. The political refugees were mostly anticlerical and against slavery. They were liberals and adapted quickly to their new country.
The immigration of Austrians increased during the second half of 19th century, reaching 275,000 by 1900. Many Austrians worked in the United States as miners, servants, and common laborers. Many Austrians settled in New York City, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. Since 1880, when a mass emigration started from all over Europe, Austrians also emigrated massively to the United States, looking for new agricultural land on which to work because as the Austrian Empire was undergoing industrialization, fields were being replaced by cities. However, the same was happening in the western United States. Many of the immigrants came from Burgenland. From 1901 to 1910 alone, Austrians were one of the ten most significant immigrant groups in the United States, with more than 2.1 million Austrians. Scholarly research on this topic is growing, in the Journal of Austrian-American History and elsewhere.
Most of these newly immigrated Austrians were cosmopolitan and were left-wing. They found employment in Chicago stockyards and Pennsylvania cement and steel factories. Many of them, more than 35 percent, returned to Austria with the savings that they had made by their employment.
Since the First World War and until the end of the Great Depression, Austrian immigration was low, until it slowed to a trickle during the years of the Depression. From 1919 to 1924, fewer than 20,000 Austrians arrived in the United States, most of them from Burgenland. Also, laws restricting immigration to the US, imposed by the Austrian government, limited Austrian emigration further, reducing it to only 1,413 persons per year.
However, in the late 1930s, a new Austrian wave of immigrants began arriving in the United States. Most of them were Jews fleeing the Nazi persecution which started with the Annexation of Austria in 1938. In 1941, some 29,000 Jewish Austrians had emigrated to the United States. Most of them were doctors, lawyers, architects and artists (such as composers, writers, and stage and film directors).
Much later, between 1945 and 1960, some 40,000 Austrians entered the United States. Since the 1960s, however, Austrian immigration has been negligible, mostly because Austria is now a developed nation, where poverty and political oppression are scarce. According to the 1990 U.S. census, 948,558 people claimed be of Austrian descent (only 0.4 percent of the total population). In the 19th century, a total of 4.2 million Austrians had immigrated to the United States.
Austrian immigrants adapted quickly to American society because the Austrian Empire had also been a melting pot of many cultures and languages. On the other hand, despite the rejection that Austrians feel toward the behavior of the Germans, regarded by Austrians as less tolerant and cosmopolitan, they have suffered the same damages and discrimination that German immigrants have faced in United States. They were considered by Americans to be the same because of their language and both world wars. Most Austrian Americans speak American English and German (the official language of Austria).
Most Austrians are Roman Catholic. The Austrian contribution in the 19th century in evangelizing Native Americans is remarkable. However, in the 19th century, Austrians also had to work with Irish Catholic priests, who spoke English, to baptize the Natives and convert them to Catholicism. Thus, the Leopoldine Society sent money and priests to North America and led to the creation of over 400 churches on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and in the "Indian Country," farther west. It was especially prominent in cities such as in Cincinnati and St. Louis. The Benedictines and Franciscans also built thousands of congregations.
However, the expansion of Catholicism conducted by Austrian priests caused a rejection of American society, as it could alter the religious balance in the country. Therefore, for a long time, Austrians once again had to struggle to adapt to American life. The 20th century reduced the religiosity of the average Austrian American, as other Americans.
The emigration of other religious groups from Austria to the United States, especially the Jews, has also contributed to strengthen religious variety in the United States.
Austrian settlements in the United States
U.S. communities with highest percentages of Austrian Americans
The U.S. communities with the highest percentage of self-professed Austrian Americans are:
Georg Ludwig von Trapp - headed the Austrian singing family portrayed in The Sound of Music. His exploits at sea in World War I earned him numerous decorations, including elevation to the Austrian nobility
Victor Frederick Weisskopf - physicist of Jewish descent. During World War II, he worked at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb, and later campaigned against the proliferation of nuclear weapons; medal received in 1979
^ "Though his professional name was suggestive of a Latin Lover type, actor Ricardo Cortez was actually an Austrian Jew, born Jacob Krantz. He arrived in Hollywood in 1922, at a time when the Rudolph Valentino craze was at its height."
^ regarding an Austrian decoration: "I have focused on Austrian studies most of my academic life. As an Austrian-American, it makes me especially proud."
^ "Born and educated in Vienna. Immigrated to the United States and served in the 33rd Congressional District (Pittsburgh, PA)."
^Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood By Teri Garr, Henriette Mantel
^ "Austrian-American legal philosopher, teacher, jurist, and writer on international law..."
^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2004-11-09. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "sat for Austrian native Greta Kempton five times in 1947..."
^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-01-22. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Joseph Keppler was born in Vienna, Austria, on 1st February, 1838."
^ "A study of the life and work of Austrian composer Korngold..."
^ "Austrian born film star, Hedy Lamarr, of the 1930 and 40s was also a gifted electrical engineer."
"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-02-28. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Hedy Lamarr had been an American citizen since 1953."
^ "Elissa Landi Austrian/Italian leading lady."
^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-04-24. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Austrian-American modernist architect Richard Neutra."
^Wolfgang Pauli: "... in 1946 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Following World War II he returned to Zurich."
^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-09-12. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "The Austrian-born Puck began..."; WolfgangPuck.com (2005); retrieved 2006-08-31
^ "Wilhelm Reich, an Austrian-Ukrainian of Jewish background."