Source: Orthodox History - the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas
by Matthew Namee
The History of Orthodoxy in America in Two Words: Immigrants. Converts.
The History of Orthodoxy in America in Ten Words: Immigrants brought Orthodoxy and were joined by converts. Gradual acclimation.
The History of Orthodoxy in America in One Hundred Words (not including Alaska, I know): Orthodoxy took root in America at the turn of the 20th century when Orthodox people immigrated from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean and Eastern Catholics converted en masse to Russian Orthodoxy. Orthodox people generally set up their own parishes, obtaining priests from overseas. Besides the Russian parishes, they had little episcopal oversight. In the 1920s, these groups crystallized into ethnic “jurisdictions.” Ethnic groups split internally along political lines, but in recent decades some of the biggest splits have been healed. Most jurisdictions gradually Americanized and received converts, but additional influxes of immigrants have perpetuated the ethnic character of many jurisdictions.