Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 63.djvu/35

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31
THE SLAVIC IMMIGRANT.

Czechs. Bohemia constitutes the point of the wedge formed by the advance of the western division of the Slavic race into Central Europe. For this reason Bohemia has been the bulwark of Slavic supremacy, and has acted the part of a buffer in checking the progress of pan-Germanism in the Slavic states. The German element is stronger in Bohemia than in any other Slavic state, and the Bohemian Slavs are taller and more blond, possibly because of a strong infusion of Teutonic blood.

The Czechs possessed a native literature as early as the ninth century. Their country is well supplied with schools, in about one half of which the Czech language is spoken. They are far better educated than any other Slavic immigrants.

The valley of the Elbe is a rich agricultural country, and throughout the kingdom industry and manufacturing are highly developed. For this reason more than fifty per cent, of Czech immigrants are skilled laborers or mechanics—an unusually high percentage for Slavs.

The Czechs have a very wide area of distribution in this country. This is natural, for, being skilled in various occupations, they can find employment anywhere. They have scattered from New York to Nebraska and Texas. The following table shows the destination by states of the Czechs arrived last year:

 State. Number of Czechs. Ratio to Total Number
of Czechs Landed.
New York 1,387 25 per cent.
Illinois 1,375 25 "
Ohio 660 12 "
Pennsylvania 571 10 "
Texas 391 7 "
Wisconsin 217 4 "
Nebraska 194 3 "
All other states 795 14 "
 Total 5,590 100 per cent.

There are certain cardinal requisites in the make-up of a desirable immigrant. He must have a good physique, he must be willing to do rough hard labor, and he must be a man who intends to make this country his permanent home. Observations of the Slavic immigrants will show that they have a very rugged physique, that they are very willing to work at the most arduous labor, and that they have no desire to return to the oppression and grinding poverty of the old world. A dispassionate study of their history in Europe reveals nothing to their disadvantage. In addition their moral standard is a very high one. They are a simple, right-living people, intensely religious and mindful of family ties. They are guileless compared with the Hebrew, Italian or Levantine races, and before the Board of Special Inquiry they usually tell the plain truth.