The very first immigrants of America, believe it or not, where the Native Americans. In the ancient era, the Indians first crossed the Bering Strait into North America, where they lived for hundreds of years alone and unchecked. However, the real beginning of America as a nation begins with the first European immigrants, the Puritans, the Quakers, and the Pilgrims. The majority of the people in these groups came over seeking freedom to practice their religion, which was suppressed brutally back in England. Perhaps the most influential of these first journeys to the 'New World' was the expedition of the Mayflower, a fluyt (Dutch Cargo Ship) that brought the Pilgrims across the Atlantic to Plymouth, one of the first successful settlement in New England. After the first immigrants to America in the 1600s, the nation only grew, as immigrants from around the world flocked to the land. After the 13 colonies led a successful revolution against Britain, many oppressed people flocked to the new republic, dubbed the land of freedom and oppurtunity. As the nation expanded, so did the immigrant percentage each decade. The first of the mass migrations to America began with the Irish, who came to America as a result of a potato famine. They were soon followed by the Chinese, who helped to complete the Transcontinental railroad and other projects until they were banned under the Chinese Exclusion Act. Other groups included the Italians, the Scottish, the Welsh, the Germans, and the Scandinavians. The Germans and Norwegians preferred to immigrate to more rural areas, while the Irish and the Italians preferred urban areas. The majority of these Europeans came to America through Ellis Island.