Between 1820 and 1860, 1,500,000 immigrants arrived in America from Germany. Many of the new arrivals who settled in cities such as New York worked as shopkeepers and skilled tradesmen, although many more worked as employees in construction, brewing, and manufacturing. Although German immigrants did not mix politics and liquor, reformers were disconcerted by the atmosphere of their social establishments. Unlike the bars in Irish neighborhoods, the beer gardens catered to whole families. As this 1859 engraving shows, public drinking was only one attraction at a beer garden; but to reformers the presence of women and children suggested immorality.
Source: Harper’s Weekly, October 15, 1858—American Social History Project.