02 June 2010

The industrial revolution provided better means of transportation to travel longer distances more easily. This revolution also provided work, first in rural industry-centres and later in cities. More and more migrants settled elsewhere permanently. Although between 1850 and 1914, circle migration was still the most important form of migration, chain and career migration became more and more important. More and more paupers did not have the rural area to fall back on in the harvest season anymore.

Update: 2020-08-03

Full article: universiteit Leiden

Demography and economy

A demographic revolution took place. Population grew very quickly due to a decreased death rate and increased fertility. Most people still lived in the countryside.

1750 - 1815

Between 1750 and 1815, only 7% of the European population lived in cities. Life in the villages changed, however. Agricultural production became more intensive and large scale (to produce raw materials for the rural industry) and as a result, the number of farmers without land grew. Towns with rural industry grew and provided much work. In other towns, trade and industry grew. World trade and politics became more influential in the every-day life of the villagers. The group of proletarians grew quickly due to downwards social mobility and the fact that proletarians had more children than farmers.

19th century

In the 19th century, population continued to grow. In many countries, population doubled. Increasing scaling also continued and thus, the number of proletarians likewise continued to grow. The landless farmers did not have the security they had previously when working for a land owning farmer. Modern farmers did not hire help for a whole year anymore, but only for the harvest season. Because they now only produced one or two crops, the harvest season was very short as well. The economy needed teams of harvesters that went from town to town.

Many people moved around in Western and also in Eastern Europe after the abolition of serfdom in 1861. By 1850, the countryside had become very overcrowded, partially because of the rural industry that was located there. Malthus developed a theory on the population growth. Too much population growth would lead to disaster and misery.

1815 - 1914

Between 1815 and 1914, an industrial revolution took place. The industries in the cities eventually won the competition with the rural industries. Because of the industrial revolution that took place, urbanisation started in the 19th century. Cities still needed many new people every now and again because of bad sanitary conditions and diseases. The cities however did not need a constant refill of people anymore.

In 1800, there were only 23 cities with over 100.000 citizens. By 1900, there were 135 cities with over 100.000 citizens. Not everybody lived in the city permanently. There were several types of cities: cities with textile industry, cities with heavy industry and administrative/commercial cities.

Industrial revolution also effected transportation. In the 19th century bicycles, steamships and trains made it easier for people to move further away. In the 20th century, the explosion motor further accelerated this process. An ever-growing part of world population became subdued to market economy.

Demography and economy

The demographic revolution in Europe caused an enormous migration to America and other overseas areas. The demographic surplus was stimulated to go there.

Governments also saw this migration as a solution to a possible source of social unrest. The English government for instance was happy to see many Irish go to America, because if they had not they would have gone to England. America also was the solution for England’s own poor. Their departure decreased the costs of social support. Many poor labourers who has previously moved around Europe travelled to further destinations now.

The Migration Movement

  • 18th - 19th century: Germans moved inside Germany towards the new industry areas in the Rhine-Ruhr-area. Other Germans went to the industry-areas in England. After 1890 less Germans went to England because German industry grew. 1871: 32.823, 1911: 53.324 Some Germans went to France. Germans from Hessen went to Paris. Germans also moved to Rumania from Russia.

  • 1750 - 1815: German engineers, merchants, officers, bankers, etc. went to South America.

  • 19th century: Many small farmers and day-labourers travelled in Eastern Germany

  • 1880 - 1900: Germans went to Russian industry-areas in present-day Poland.

  • 1800 - 1913: People went from the countryside to the cities. Especially in England, but also in Germany and other European countries. 1800: 22 million people in European cities, 1913: 184 million. 50% lived in English or German cities. Germany: Rhine and Ruhr areas were centres of migrants.

  • 19th century: Germans came to the Netherlands, especially to the areas around the mines. There were also still season workers from Germany. Germans "Hollandgänger" went to industry in the Netherlands.

  • 19th century: There was also a reversed movement of Dutch workers towards the German industry.

  • 1815-1914: Swiss went to France

  • 19th century: Poles and Slovakians came to the Netherlands, especially to the areas around the mines. The area along the North Sea coast, between Calais and Bremen attracted labourers from the areas a little more on the continent.

Causes of Migration

  • 18th - 19th century: Rulers tried to attract scientists, skilled workers, soldiers, military leaders, etc.

  • 19th century: People could move easier because of improvements in infrastructure and transportation. Roads were built, canals were made, 1840-1880 railways were build, second half 19th century steamships were used instead of sailing ships. End 19th century electricity and explosion-engine further improved transportation.

  • 19th century: Areas that attracted migrant labourers had: a favourable geographic position, favourable natural circumstances like minerals, a well developed economic infrastructure and high wages

  • 19th century: Areas that sent people had: less favourable geographic position, less fertile ground, no fen-areas, less developed economic infrastructure.

  • 1815 - 1914: Higher wages and better working conditions stimulated the migration of Germans to England.

  • 19th century: The increasing labour shortage in agriculture and industry, in road and canal building turned the influx of foreign labour migrants to Germany into a mass movement. After 1893, the shift from an emigration country to a labour-importing country began.

  • The Prussian policy of repulsion ensured that Polish migrant workers could be restricted to certain provinces and occupations and that their mass movement would remain an annual seasonal migration. (Survey, 134)

  • 19th century: The migrant labourers went to the Netherlands for economic reasons. They needed to earn some money so that they could provide for their family, homes or enterprises. The employers needed the extra labourers.

  • 19th century: The industrialisation of Germany caused a stream of migration workers from the Netherlands to German industry.