Emigrant Map and Guide to North America
This map by Gotthelf Zimmermann reflects the importance of German immigration to North America in the mid-19th century. When the Revolution of 1848 failed to produce desired reforms within the German confederation, droves of disillusioned Germans turned their sights abroad. Maps such as this helped show them the way. At the time, land in the United States was cheap, fertile, and plentiful, making it an ideal choice for immigrants eager to establish new settlements and to begin new lives. German communities in the United States became so prevalent that on the eve of World War I, some six percent of American children spoke only German in primary school. War with Germany hastened the decline in the use of German in the United States. Nonetheless, in Pennsylvania official state documents remained available in German until as late as 1950. World Digital Library.