People immigrated to the United States for many reasons. The following are three of my ancestors and the three reasons why they came to America or at least why I think they came to America.
Sjur Markusson Dyrdal - When the owner of a farm died in the 1800's in Norway, the farm would pass to the oldest son. If there were other sons they would have to find work elsewhere. This is what happened to Sjur. He knew that when his father died his older brother would inherit the farm. Unless he would marry into a farm he would probably end up working for someone else for the rest of his life. He decided he had a better chance to better himself if he went to America and homesteaded a farm there.
Lars Gudbrandson Haselhaugen - Lars spent his teenage and adult life as a husmand. A husmand is a Norwegian word. A husmand was a like a tenent farmer. He worked for someone else. He was given some land to farm but it was not his and he was at the beck and call of the rich landlord. Lar's decision to come to America was based on his desire not to be a husmand anymore but to be 'free', to be an equal to all other men, and to own his own land.
Joseph Weinhart - Joseph was approximately 16 years old when he came to the United States in 1847 from Germany. He traveled alone. Many young men were being drafted at this time. Many were leaving the country to avoid the draft and service. Joseph was one of them. He was living in Baden which is in the South Western part of Germany. To avoid the draft he traveled through France until he came to the port of LeHarve where he boarded the ship Splendid and came to America. I have no proof of this. At this time though it seens the most logical scenario. The statement in the picture helps add credence to this scenario.