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An investigation into the structural causes of German-American mass migration in the nineteenth century

Boyd, James 2013. An investigation into the structural causes of German-American mass migration in the nineteenth century. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis examines the most prolific emigration of any European peoples to the United States in the nineteenth century. From the close of the Napoleonic Wars to the turn of the twentieth century, some 5 million people left the area outlined by Bismarck’s Reich, headed for America.1 As a consequence of this migration, Germans represent the largest ethnic heritage group in the modern day United States. As of 2008, official German heritage in the U.S. (the lineage of at least one parent) was 50,271,790, against a total population of 304,059,728, a 16.5% share.2 By comparison, those of Irish heritage numbered 36,278,332, and those of Mexican heritage 30,272,000.3 During the nineteenth century, the mass movement of Germans across the Atlantic occurred in distinct phases. The period between 1830 and the mid-­‐1840s was a period of growth; the annual figure of 10,000 departures was reached by 1832, and by the time of the 1848 revolutions, nearly half a million had left for the USA. Then, between the late 1840s and the early 1880s, a prolonged and heavy mass movement took place, during which the number of departures achieved close to, or exceeded, three quarters of a million per decade. Then, from the mid-­‐1880s to the outbreak of the First World War, the emigration entered terminal decline. The last significant years of emigration were recorded in 1891-­‐2; by the turn of the twentieth century, it was all but over.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DD Germany
E History America > E11 America (General)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Funders: AHRC, Pasold Research Fund, Royal Historical Society, Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2021 02:23

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