New Glarus, Swiss history, Wisconsin history, Emigration Society of Glarus, Imigration
New Glarus had a good foundation for colonization. It had financial support from the sending society via the Emigration Society of Glarus. It was settled in a pleasant location with the resources necessary to gain a good start. Also, the surrounding communities were supportive of colonization. Many people from these communities were of German or Swiss origin and could speak the language fluently. This helped the newcomers to feel some connection with their new environment. The founders came in nuclear family units. This benefitted them in several ways. First, there was the emotional support family members gave to each other. In a time of drastic change, it was important to have these relationships to lean on. Second, many families migrating together meant that bonds were created as a result of hardship, and that each age group represented (adult parents and children still of dependent age) had peers with whom they could interact. Also, the adults of the group were already married and thus, there was no reason to seek spouses outside of the group. The colony could remain ethnically homogeneous and unified. Socially speaking, the group could be almost entirely self-sustaining. Last, it kept the family from travelling separately, at different times. The Emigration Society stipulated that families travel together, which Maria Pfister-Ammendes points out is an important aspect of mental stability for the immigrant.
Skropanic, Jessica T.
"New Glarus: Past Success and Future Challenges,"
Swiss American Historical Society Review: Vol. 31:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/sahs_review/vol31/iss2/5