"America is well-known as a land of immigrants; a notion that is essential to its identity. European migration to America may be dated from 1620 when 100 Pilgrims from England set out on the difficult four-month journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Most Europeans emigrated to America between 1820-1920. They came in two major waves, first from northern and western Europe in the early 19th century, then from southern and eastern Europe between 1860 and 1920. While the Pilgrims left their homeland seeking freedom from religious persecution, immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries were also fleeing poor economic conditions or political oppression."