"The Reasons for the German Immigration into Latin America"

 
Latin America witnessed a wave of German immigrants into the continent. This immigration came immediately after the First World War, as the Germans were escaping the aftermath of World War I in Europe. Adam states that by 1924, the number of Germans migrating to Latin America had reached 32,000 people (27). In this essay, we look at the reasons for German immigration into Latin America, their settlement, and their impact on Latin American life in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Reasons for migration
After World War I, Europe had sunk into an economic and social crisis. Life in Germany was intolerable due to massive unemployment and lack of social amenities, plus the fear of another war. According to Adam, the Germans were also concerned that Germany would fall into the hands of dictators after World War I (27). Another impetus for this massive immigration was the possibility for Germans to own massive acres of land in Latin America, thus endearing the latter to good social and economic status. Latin America was seen as a land full of economic potential for the thousands of immigrants.

Settlement in Latin America
Most of the German immigrants settled in Argentina and Brazil, the two most economically viable countries in Latin America. Particularly, most Germans settled in Brazil and established themselves both socially and economically. Adam states that by the close of 1924, the German population made up around 2 per cent of the entire Brazilian population (28). Most Germans settled in Sao Paulo, Paraná, and Santa Catarina.

Argentina also played host to almost the same number of German immigrants, as Brazil. One of the reasons why the immigrants preferred Argentina was positive economic possibilities and the fact that Argentina had remained neutral during the war. Most Germans settled in Buenos Aires, Chaco and Misiones. Other preferred countries of settlement for the Germans included: Chile, Paraguay, Mexico, and Uruguay.

Impact of German immigration on Latin America
Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, people of German origin have continued to migrate to Latin America, thereby strengthening the ties between Germany and Latin America. One of the results of German immigration into Brazil was the growth in the agricultural sector during the 20th century. The Germans turned most of southern Brazil into agricultural land and Brazil’s economy benefited from the vibrant agricultural sector. Germans also began building schools in Brazil, particularly in Sao Paulo that taught using the German educational system.

In general, the immigration of Germans into Latin America led to cultural and economic ties between Germany and Latin America. These ties continue to be felt to date. Germany continues to cooperate with Latin America in global issues such as climate change and environmental 


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