About this site

For most European countries emigration and immigration have been important factors in their history. Historians have  always studied these population movements, but it is not so clear what place the history of migration has occupied in  Europe. The impact of migration is underestimated in history teaching, and little attention is paid to the role of immigrants and emigrants in the history of the community.

The aim of this website is to help reseachers and students who want to study European migration movements by providing them with a framework and with documents and information about sources on migration.

We use a standard list of questions which should be answered to every subject in which migration plays a role.

The four main questions are:
1. Description of the migration movement
2. Causes of migration
3. Consequences of migration
4. Reactions on migration

Secondly we use a chronological framework:
1. Migration before 1750
2. Migration between 1750 -1914
3. Migration between 1914 -1945
4. Migration after 1945

      History of the site

For most European countries emigration and immigration have been important factors in their history. Historians have always studied these population movements but is not so clear what place the history of migration has occupied in the minds of those who are responsible for education and training. In most countries in Europe, the impact of migration is underestimated in history teaching, and little attention is paid to the role of immigrants and emigrants in the history of the community.

Intercultural history is not necessarily identical to the history of migration, but in teaching both subjects must be closely related. The interaction of individuals causes the intermingling of cultures, and migration is among the most basic realities of human history; it is the rule, not the exception. Societies are not invariably stable, people do not live in closed environments; they move. It is not enough, however, merely to quantify the movement of populations. We must examine as well the qualitative impact of cultures coming together. Such a perspective constitutes the real basis for teaching intercultural history.

During the international conference "migration and settlement in a historical perspective" (Wassenaar/Amsterdam, 23-25 September 1993) a special workshop was devoted to the importance of the immigration factor in history teaching at secondary schools.

With the support of Eurydice, the Education Information Network in the European Community, and of the Dutch Ministry of Education a follow up conference was organised in Leiden in the Netherlands from 14 to 16 April 1994 in order to study in more detail the issues which arose during the Amsterdam workshop. This conference brought together specialists, with experience in developing materials for history teaching. They recommanded the making of a data base wherein basic information and source materials about the importance of  migration  in European history is provided.

During the academic year 1994-1995 a group of students of the history department of Leiden university analysed the historiography and the history textbooks of different European countries. For every period we posed the same set of questions to each historical period. It was our intention to find as many exact data as possible. During an other conference in Leiden in October 1995 the results of the research have been discussed. We hope that this outline as you will find it on our website will stimulate many interested specialists to give their comments and suggestions to improve our work.

This site was originally developed by Dr. Herman Obdeijn.

It is currently maintained by Dr. Marlou Schrover

 

Dr. Marlou Schrover