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

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Boyd, James
  • Subject: DD | E11 | JV

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