Yankees continued to migrate westward. They were joined by German and Irish immigrants, who began coming to the United States in huge numbers in the late 1840s, driven, in the case of the Germans, by political upheaval in the old country, and in the case of the Irish, by famine.
The great Scandinavian wave of immigration to the upper Midwest began after 1870. In Sweden, a depressed farm economy drove thousands across the ocean. Norway was overpopulated, and food shortages and farm foreclosures strained life there. The lure of a new start in a new land was irresistible.
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