Introduction

Modern Photographs of Davenport, Iowa

Aerial Photograph of the Davenport, Iowa riverfront.

c. 2014

The Germanic revolutions that occurred in or shortly after 1848 led to a mass emigration of people from their fatherland to many new places across the world. Many of the people who either participated directly in the revolutions or were influenced by them moved into the Midwestern United States of America. Many of them, especially those from the Germanic state of Schleswig-Holstein, immigrated into Davenport, Iowa. This exhibit highlights the transformation of the town from a pioneering town into what was called the "most German city of the Midwest". These immigrants created a home of their own and introduced their culture and societal norms into the city of Davenport. The Forty-eighters highlight how a group of immigrants can make a change for the better within a community.

This exhibit shows what the town was like before the German immigrants arrived, and how it quickly became a Germanized city due to the influence of the Forty-eighters. The Germanization of Davenport came in the form of churches, social clubs, politics, education, and industry. 

Introduction