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Families in History - Uprooted families

Nomadic peoples travel seasonally and have no permanent home. Historical pictures of nomads often show herd animals which require fresh pastures. Nomadic lifestyles require temporary ormoveable dwellings such as yurts or tepees. Historical pictures show that nomadic transportation may involve foot travel, horseback riding, pack animals such as camels or donkeys, or animals pulling household goods in some way, such as using a travois.

Other historical images of uprooted people show migrating families, driven by enemies, opportunities, or disasters to make homes in a new location. Asian people who migrated west into Europe were regarded as barbarians during the time of the Roman Empire. These migrants, including the Gauls, Helvetians, Celts, Goths, Huns, Saxons, Teutons, and Franks, became the nations of Europe. Wars or persecution caused later waves of refugees, for instance, Jews fleeing pograms or AmericanLoyalists fleeing their colonial homes during violence and protests during the Revolutionary War.

The Age of Discovery opened a New World to people who wished to leave their homeland and become colonists in Mexico and the rest of New Spain, Virginia Colony, Plymouth or other New England colonies, Canada and New France, New Netherland, New Sweden, Brazil, or a other colonies in the Americas and Caribbean. Historical pictures show their hardships and their successful establishment of colonial towns and villages.

Many native Africans were captured by slave traders and were taken from their homes and families on slave ships, as shown in historical pictures. Slaves faced even more hardships than other families forced to leave home, and their new situation offered no stability or hope of a better life, and slave families were often separated from each other to be sold at slave auctions. Some African-American slaves escaped, perhaps via the Underground Railroad, to yet another new life, and historical images show that many African-Americans migrated out of the South even after the abolition of slavery. Some black men served in the Union Army in the Civil War. Many remained in the army as so-called buffalo soldiers and settled in the western territories.

In Europe, families were uprooted in the 1800s when conditions like the Irish potato famine forced many to emigrate to America, arriving at Ellis Island or other ports of entry. Historical pictures often show immigrant family members as manual laborers, household servants, or workers on the transcontinental railroad until they gained a foothold to a better life. Children worked as newsboys and other child labor positions. Many new immigrants to the US lived in ethnic neighborhoods where they continued the language and traditions of their homeland while learning the customs of their adopted country.

Some families chose to seek their own land by uprooting themselves and moving west. Historical images portray pioneers in covered wagons, living in sod homes and farms on the Great Plains, or working to claim homesteads. Like other uprooted families, these settlers had to overcome isolation and the hardships of learning new ways of life.

In contrast to people who chose to move, Native Americans were displaced against their will by white settlers. In addition to historical pictures of armed conflict between Indians and whites, traditional Native American hunting grounds such as the South Dakota Black Hills were lost because they became frontier farms and villages or mining boom towns. Buffalo and other native game animals were killed in large numbers or their habitats were destroyed, causing disruption of Native American traditional lifestyles. Government Indian removal policies completed the uprooting of native families, although many tribes tried to maintain their native culture on Indian reservations.

In addition to Native Americans, native cultures worldwide are disappearing except in pictures of their past, whether Pacific island peoples, native African groups, Australian aborigines, Mongolian and other Asian peoples, Latin American indigenous cultures, or even European provincial subcultures.


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