A business approach to transatlantic migration: The introduction of steam-shipping on the North Atlantic and its impact on the European Exodus 1840-1914
Title: A business approach to transatlantic migration: The introduction of steam-shipping on the North Atlantic and its impact on the European Exodus 1840-1914
Author: FEYS, Torsten
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2008
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
Why, yet another study on the long 19th century European mass-migration movement to the US, when during the last decade migration historians have encouraged a shift away from the Atlanto-centrism and Modernization-centrism that has dominated the sub-discipline (Lucassen and Lucassen, 1996, 28-30; Hoerder, 2002, 10-18)? For many, the topic seems saturated, yet one particular and reoccurring question has not yet received a satisfying answer: how did the migrant trade evolve and influence the relocation of approximately thirty five million migrants across the Atlantic, of whom an ever increasing percentage returned and repeated the journey during the steamship era? More than half a century ago Maldwyn Jones, Frank Thistletwaite, and Rolf Engelsing drew attention to the fact that transatlantic migration was determined by trade routes (Jones, 1956, Engelsing, 1961; Thistletwaite, 1960). Migrants essentially became valuable cargo, on a shipping route made up of raw cotton, tobacco or timber from the New World; a route that had room to spare on the return leg of the journey. Rolf Engelsing in particular documented how the maritime business community reacted to this trade opportunity, by erecting inland networks, directing a continuous flow of human cargo to the port of Bremen during the sailship-era. Marianne Wokeck later stressed the Atlantic dimensions of these networks, by dating the origins of non-colonial mass migration movements to the 18th Century (Wokeck, 1999).
LC Subject Heading: Europe -- Emigration and immigration -- Economic aspects; Emigration and immigration -- United States -- 19th century; Europe -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects; Shipping -- Europe -- History
Defence date: 13 May 2008; Examining Board: Prof. Heinz-Gerhard Haupt (EUI) - supervisor; Prof. Bartolomé Yun (EUI); Prof. Eric Vanhaute (Ghent University); Prof. Lewis Fischer (University of Newfoundland).
Final published version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/32075
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