European Expansion

 
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1 Description of the migration movement
2 Causes of migration
3 Consequences of migration
4 Reactions on migration

2.3 European expansion

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PERIOD:

Politics
As in previous centuries, expansion did not stop at the borders of the European continent: European countries crossed the oceans in search of fertile land and in order to take part in international trade. These explorations were intensified and colonies were founded in America by the absolutist and mercantilist European state. Knowledge about these areas grew, as did the means of transportation to get there. The conquest of the new world and the ability of the states to form a world-wide navigation network connecting all oceans, combined with their aggressive hunt for commercial hegemony resulted in the first instance of a united human space since the time when mankind first spread across the earth. As a result, groups of people belonging to very different cultures that had previously been separated by distance were able to meet.

EFFECTS OF CHARACTERISTICS ON MIGRATION:

Politics
The expansion of the states was also a cause of migration: the Spanish domination of the Netherlands for example did not only bring Spanish soldiers and civil servants to the Netherlands, but also made Dutch "exultanten" leave their country during the 100-year war. In addition, newly conquered or empty areas had to be populated. This was the case for Germans who moved to Russia and Prussia, as well as for Russian migrants who, between the 16th and the 18th century, moved to areas near the Black Sea and Siberia that had been taken over by Russia. Facts on these migrants can be found below under the heading: expansion to rule valuable people.

The colonisation of new areas overseas also caused migration and made it possible to meet very different cultures from the other end of the world. Communication had been approved and so had the means of transportation.

A large stream of migrants developed, flowing between Europe (Spain, Portugal, England, France and the Netherlands) and the new colonies in Northern and Southern America. Unfavorable circumstances in the form of bad hygene, lack of proper nutrition, climate and disease all took their toll on the lives of migrants both while travelling to and while residing in the colonies. As a result, many more migrants were needed in order to be able to sustain the colonial organisational system and economy. Partly to satisfy this need, a second migrational stream was set in motion by colonial powers, taking many slaves from Africa to America in order to perform manual labour in the colonies. The migration of Europeans to America also had an effect within Europe as many people seeking work moved towards the harbours fom where the (transatlantic) ships left. Also, the Europeans that left for America to earn more money than they did at home left behind jobs which were taken by labourers coming from poorer countries.

Some colonial powers, England for instance, sent their dissidents to the colonies. This decision was successful from both a commercial and a religious standpoint, yet it led to a revolution against colonial rule. France on the other hand did not allow Huguenots -skilful sailors and merchants- to migrate to New France and in doing so hindered the economic development of the colonies. Facts on these migrants can be found below under the heading: colonisation overseas

1 DESCRIPTION OF THE MIGRATION MOVEMENT

1.1 Who were they and where did they come from: ethnic origin, geographical background, religion, adults, men or women, special qualities? Western Europe
UK

* 17th - 18th century: Chinese sailors came to England. People also came from India.
* 18th century: The first British overseas migrants were mostly the weakest strata of Celtic and English societies, impoverished crofters and weavers, landless labourers and other dislodged remnants of the old regime facing the choice of poverty or emigration.
Germany
* 1683: 13 Mennonite families went to Pennsylviana, followed by the Tunker and Hernnhuter families.
* 1683-...: Beginning in 1683, when Rhenish Mennonites arrived and founded Germantown just outside of Philadelphia, members of Anabaptist, radical Calvinist and other German Protestant sects migrated to south eastern Pennsylvania and nearby northern Virginia.
France
* 1721 - 1749: 27.000 French went to the colonies. Most people that went to the colonies had migrated to the seaports along the French coast first. Many them originated in Normandy, Poitou-Charentes and Īle de France.
Netherlands
* 15th century - 18th century: People went to Latin-America from the Netherlands.
* 1652: First Dutch colonists settled in Cape-colony South Africa.
Belgium, Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain

* 1493 - 1650: Spaniards moved to South-America. Many the migrants came from Andalusia.
* 15th - 18th century: From Spain and Portugal people moved to Latin America.
Italy, Greece

Eastern Europe
Poland
Russia
 

* 16th century: Russian farmers went to the south-east of the country, to newly conquered territories. This migration decreased a little in the last part of the 16th century. Some of these fugitives were Cossacks.

North America
United States
 

* 1620: 99 Pilgrims came to New England.
* The people that came to America were from England, the Netherlands, Sweden and France.
* 16th - 19th century: Slaves from Africa were brought to the European colonies. Most slaves were moved in the 18th century. 11-12 million Africans were taken to America between the 16th and 19th century by English, Dutch, French, Danish, Spanish and Portuguese traders.
Canada

Africa
West Africa
 

* 16th - 19th century: 11 - 12 Million black slaves were forced to go to the colonies in North and South America. They came from the West Coast of Africa (Gulf of Guinea, from Senegal to Angola and Mozambique).

1.2 How did they travel: transport, circumstances of travelling?

Western Europe
UK

* 18th century: The first Irish ships to the USA were built and financed to export the products of the toil of the migrants on the return voyages.
Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium

1.3 When?

Western Europe UK, Germany
France
 

* 17th - 18th century: French went to the French colonies in North America.
Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic countries

Africa

* Many slaves were brought to America especially in the 18th century.

1.4 How many?

Western Europe
UK
 

* 16th - 17th century: 650.000 people left for overseas areas from England, including Ireland.
* 16th - 17th century: About 750.000 people, mostly English, left for New England.
* 1650 - 1750: 10.000 - 15.000 Africans came (were brought) to England.
Germany
* 16th - 17th century: From Germany 150.000 people left for overseas areas.
* 18th century: 125.000 Germans went to North America. 2000 Germans went to Canada}
France
* 16th - 17th century: Only 50.000 left France for overseas.
* 1600-1800: Despite the efforts of pioneering religious communities such as the Huguenots and Jesuits, the number of French colonist remained small.
* 1600-1950: The rest of the French empire experienced little civilian colonisation. There were never more than 3,000 European settlers in Cochin-China, 1,000 in Amman-Tonkin and about 800 in Cambodia. (Survey, 35)
* 1721 - 1749: 27.000 French went to the colonies. Total of French in Louisiana in 1746: 4.100, in New France in 1754: 55. 010, in Saint Dominique in 1754: 12.860, in Martinique in 1767: 12.450, in Cayenne in 1769: 1.000. Many soldiers also went there.
Netherlands
* 17th century: It is clear that migration from the Netherlands to the Dutch Caribbean islands took place on a very limited scale. (Survey, 23)
* 1815-1910: In these years over 150,000 men left Europe to serve in the Dutch East India Army.
Belgium, Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain
 

* 1506 - 1600 some 243.000 Spaniards went to South-America. Between 1600 and 1650 another 195.000 departed for South-America.
Italy, Greece

North America
United States
 

* 1620: 99 Pilgrims came to New England. Immigrants who came to this area between 1630 and 1640 numbered approximately 20.000. By about 1650, the number of immigrants was 250.000.
* 1776: At the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, 4 million people lived in the United States.
* 11-12 million Africans were taken to America between the 16th and 19th century.
Canada
* 1776: The number of French in Canada at that time was 60.000.

South America

* 15th - 18th century: From Spain, Portuguese and Dutch went to Latin-America. The number of people that went was not very large. In 1600 the total of Europeans on the continent was about 200.000. The number of Europeans in South-America was about 1 million in 1720. There were not very many colonists in the period of the 16th to the 17th century. From Portugal and Spain 750.000 people moved overseas.
Argentina
Brazil

1.5 Permanent or temporary
Western Europe
UK
Germany
 

* 1650 - ....: Many the Germans that came to England moved on to America later on. {Cath}
France
* 17th - 18th century: The people that went to French colonies in North America often returned home after a few years. Some stayed however. Most of the colonists that settled there permanent were families. {Can}
Netherlands
* 17th century: In spite of the existence of the West India Company had 10,000 employees based in Brazil in 1639, there was little permanent immigration from the Netherlands. (Survey, 23)
* 17th century: Dutch Jewish migrants in the Americas intended to settle there permanently. (Survey, 23)
* 19th century: In the 19th century at least 35,000 to 40,000, or a quarter of those sailing as soldiers or officers to the Dutch Indies, did not see Europe again. (Survey, 22)
Belgium, Nordic countries

1.6 Where did they go and where did they stay?
Western Europe

UK

* 16th - 17th century: About 750.000 mostly English people left to go to New England.
* 1650 - 1750: Africans came (were brought) to England, especially Bristol, London and Liverpool.
Germany
* 18th century: Germans went to North America and Canada.
France
Netherlands
* 15th - 18th century: From the Netherlands, people went to Latin-America.
* 1652: First Dutch colonists settled in Cape-colony South Africa.
Belgium
Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain

* 1493 - 1650: Spaniards moved to South-America.
* 1519: Portuguese and Spaniards went to South-America. Spaniards moved to the Greater Antilles from 1519 onwards, to Mexico from 1521 onwards and to Peru from 1533 onwards.
* 17th - 18th century: Spaniards came to Southern Netherlands.
Portugal, Italy, Greece

Eastern Europe
Poland
Russia
 

* 16th century: Russian farmers went to the south-east of the country, to newly conquered territories.
* 17th - 18th century: Russian people went to the South again, all the way to the Black Sea. People started moving to the East (Siberia) as well. This migration went faster than to the South. (How many: not many people compared to the number of people that went in the 19th century.)

2. CAUSES OF MIGRATION

2.1 Circumstances that favoured migration

* The discovery of new territories overseas widened the opportunities of people to move. They had all kinds of new areas to which they could move. (1487 Bartholomew Diaz reached Cape of Good Hope, 1492 Columbus reached America. 1497 Vasco da Gama sailed along the African coast and reached Calcutta. Magelhaes proved in 1521-1522 that the world is round by sailing west to America, around the south-end of Latin-America, to the Pacific and passing Cape of Good Hope on the way back he reached Europe again.)
* 18th century: The opening of the Atlantic since the 18th century merely allowed the ancient flow to resume.

Western Europe
UK
Germany

* 1683-..: Next to their desire for religious independence the German Protestant sects were also motivated by bad harvests and intermittent local warfare. The willingness of the Pennsylvania proprietors to distribute land guided the direction of their migration.
France
Netherlands
* 17th century: The West India Company tried to encourage immigration by offering immigrants land on favourable conditions and also by accepting Jewish immigrants from Amsterdam. (Survey, 23)
* 17th - 18th century: Both Dutch and French recruiters attracted people to set sail for the colonies. Deceptive methods were used especially by the Dutch recruiters and many innocent men were trapped into service, not knowing what to expect. The recruiters got a percentage of the profit made by the captains of the ships who sold the labourers in the colonies. The labourers had to stay and work there to earn their passage back.
Belgium, Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain

* 17th - 18th century: Spaniards went to the Southern Netherlands because they dominated it and needed soldiers and clerics there.
Portugal, Italy, Greece

2.2 Circumstances that hindered migration
Western Europe

UK, Germany
France

* 17th - 18th century: Not many French people went to the colonies, because they had the reputation of being filled with exiled criminals. The climate was said to be terribly cold and the Indians were dangerous. These areas never got many French migrants and most of the migrants did not stay. This did not stimulate others to go. France did not allow the Huguenots to go to New France. In 1762 France gave Louisiana to Spain and in 1763 New France became English.
Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic countries

2.3 Direct causes of migration
Western Europe

UK

* 1620: The pilgrims of the Mayflower founded the first colony in New England. This started the migration towards North America.
* 1650 - 1750: Africans were brought to England to work as servants, etc. This development is connected with the development of slave trade and the use of slaves in the British colonies.
* 17th - 18th century: the East Indian Company brought Chinese sailors to England.
Germany
* 18th century: Germans went to North America because in Eastern Germany the agriculture was formed into a state-system. Many farmers had lost their land.
* 18th century: Frederick II installed German colonists in Prussia. The Germans came from the South and Southwest of German territory, where population had grown very rapid.
France
* 17th - 18th century: Only French who were really desperate went to the colonies. They were not able to make a living in France.
Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain

* 1492 - ...: The colonisation of areas overseas by both Portugal and Spain as a result of the voyages of discovery caused migration towards these areas. Spain colonised parts of South America in three steps. First (1492-1519), they conquered the Greater Antilles, next (1519-1521), Mexico and the Aztecs was conquered and last (1531-1533), Peru was taken over from the Incas.
Portugal:
* 1492: Portugal founded trade-centres from the Azores to Insulinde. These fortified harbours dominated the land around them.
Italy and Greece

North America
United States:

* 16th - 19th century: The Europeans needed labourers in their newly colonised territories. This caused the forced migration of Africans to America.

3. CONSEQUENCES OF MIGRATION

3.1 Short term consequences
Positive consequences
- for the migrants (first generation)
- for their new environment/ native born
- for the country they left

Negative consequences
- for the migrants (first generation)
- for their new environment/ native born
- for the country they left

South America Argentina, Brazil
Mexico
- for their new environment/ native born
 

* 1492-...: In Mexico and Peru the Spaniards found gold and silver. The natives were chased away or killed.

3.2 Long term consequences
Positive consequences

- for the migrants (second and third generation)
- for their new environment
- for the country they left
 

Negative consequences
- for the migrants (second and third generation)
- for their new environment
- for the country they left

North America
United States
- for the migrants (second and third generation)

* 16th - 19th century: Consequences of slave trade: many black people, whose ancestors came from Africa live in the United States nowadays.
Canada

4. REACTIONS ON MIGRATION

4.1 Reactions of the receiving society on the immigrants
- official reaction
- reaction of the common people

Western Europe
UK
- official reaction
 

* 17th - 18th century: The black people in England were not always welcome. In 1786 a programme was started to move black people back to Africa: the Sierra Leone Scheme. It was not a very successful programme, only 350 people moved back. {Cath}
Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic countries

North America
United States
- official reaction
 

* 18th century: America wanted to stop the German immigration.
- reaction of the common people
* 16th - 17th century: Americans have been hostile to German immigrants for at least 150 years.
- reaction of the common people
* 16th - 18th century: Natives of America did not like newcomers, murdering them or chasing them away.

4.2 Reactions of the immigrants on their new environment
- integration assimilation
- maintaining their own identity
- differences between first, second and third generation

North America
United States
- maintaining their own identity
 

* 18th century: Germans in America did not want to integrate.
* 1683: Mennonites, Tunker and Hernnhuter families kept their own habits and did not adjust to American society.
Canada

IN SHORT

During this period farmers that owned little or no land continued to search for work, often temporarily migrating to work elsewhere during the harvest season. Some were permanently attracted by the rural industries which flourished especially after 1750, whilst others came to live in large cities that, being centres of trade and administration, needed many employees. A few were willing to travel further and migrated to the newly conquered colonies overseas. Western European governments with their mercantilist economical politics tried to keep as many people inside the country as people, yet they never resorted to force whereas in Eastern Europe serfdom placed a strong restriction on migration. The political goals of Western European governments interfered with these efforts as the urge for religious unity often caused the departure of large groups of people who were potentially a valuable asset to the nation's economy. Another cause of migration was the expansion of states: newly conquered areas had to be populated, occasionally displacing native inhabitants.

 

 

Dr. Marlou Schrover