The Great War (WWI) and its Aftermath: During the Great War

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

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PERIOD:

The nation-state had become the dominant form of political organisation and, together with market-economy, characterised the social organisation found in many European nations. The state became a regulatory and directive power, extending to the sphere of migration. The state determined whether a migrant was welcome or not, and were in charge of the means to control migration, such as passports and visa. Many states had liberal political systems and acknowledged their citizens’ right to migrate, but some countries had a totalitarian structure and did not grant their citizens this right. Advanced technical means made it possible to truly imprison citizens within their own country.

International conflicts and economic crises became more distinct and had huge consequences. Political (and economic) rivalry led to a growing need to accentuate national unity and therefore to suppress minorities.

During the first half of the 20th century a growing gap developed between a small number of rich countries, technically advanced and powerful, and the rest of the world. The demographic proportions had changed at the end of the 19th century: ever since the second half of the 18th century the "white" population had been growing faster than the others, whereas now the roles were reversed.

 

This period was characterised to a large extent by the wars and political conflicts that took place. The First World War, claiming the lives of an enormous number of young men and destroying large parts of Belgium and France, stopped normal life in Western Europe for four years. The Russian revolution shook Eastern Europe at about the same time.

The urge to establish states containing only one nationality within their borders continued. At the same time the fear of being flooded by people on the run from communism or nationalism caused states to close their borders more and more; the United States did likewise across the ocean. Only migrants with a labour permit and a handful of refugees were welcomed in the rich countries.

 

EFFECT OF CHARACTERISTICS ON MIGRATION:

The political conflicts in Europe caused much involuntary migration: refugees left their country and fleed to neighbouring countries as well as to the United States. The First World War brought a sudden end to the usual migration, but caused a stream of persons moving from one country to another. Refugees left Belgium during the war, Germans left the lost territories after the war, etc.

In Russia, the communist revolution initiated a period of forced migration within the Soviet Union as people were sent to camps in Siberia.

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
Germany

* 1914: Germans left Belgium. Some came back in the 1920s. {Mor}
France, Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic countries

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

1.3 When?

1.4 How many?

Western Europe
UK

* 1921: 364.747 Irish were in England (1% of population). {Cath}
Germany
* 1918: 1.8 million Germans left Russia, Poland, Alsace-Lorraine and the German colonies to go to Germany and Austria.
France
* 1918: 1.8 million Germans left Russia, Poland, Alsace-Lorraine and the German colonies to go to Germany and Austria.
Netherlands
Belgium
* 1911: 4.794 Belgians were in England, WWI: 240.000 Belgians 1921: 9.892.
* 1922: There were also North African, Polish, Yugoslavian, Hungarian and Czech miners in Belgium, North-Africans: 1927: 2037. There were also French in Belgium, 1911: 80.000, 1931: 80.000.
Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain

* 1917: France recruited many labourers from other countries: Spain: 25.000
Portugal
* 1917: France recruited many labourers from other countries: Portugal: 23.000,
Italy
* 1911: 20.771 Italians in England, 1921: 20.401. {Cath}
* 1917: France recruited many labourers from other countries: Italy: 24.000,
* 1919: 7000 Italian miners to mining-areas in Northern France.
* 1922: Italians went to Belgium. After a few years the number of Italians was already 30.000.
Greece
* 1917: France recruited many labourers from other countries: Greece: 24.000,

Eastern Europe
Poland

* 1918: 1.8 million Germans left Russia, Poland, Alsace-Lorraine and the German colonies to go to Germany and Austria. }
* 1921: 46.000 Polish labourers in Northern France, near Calais.
Czechoslovakia
* 1917: France recruited many labourers from other countries: Czech: 33.000,
Russia
* 1917: France recruited many labourers from other countries: Russians and Armenians: 67.000 each,
* 1918: 1.8 million Germans left Russia, Poland, Alsace-Lorraine and the German colonies to go to Germany and Austria.

Balkan
Turkey

* 1915 - 1916: 1.3 million Armenians were deported.

Africa
North Africa

* 1917: France recruited many labourers from other countries: North-Africans 300.000.
* 1917: France recruited many labourers from other countries: Algeria: 86.000,
* 1917: France recruited many labourers from other countries: Morocco and Tunisia: 55.000,

1.5 Permanent or temporary?
Western Europe

UK
Germany

* 1914: Germans were told by the Belgium government to leave the country after WWI. {Mor}
* 1910-1918: About 40 per cent of the East Jews recruited in Germany for the War economy emigrated again.
France, Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic countries

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

UK, Germany, Netherlands
Belgium

* 1914 - 1918: Belgians left Belgium, many them went to the Netherlands. {Con}
Nordic countries

Balkan
Turkey

* 1915 - 1916: 1.3 million Armenians were deported from Turkey to the Syrian Desert.

2. CAUSES OF MIGRATION

2.1 Circumstances that favoured migration
Western Europe

UK, Germany, France, Netherlands
Belgium

* 1914 - 1918: The Netherlands was neutral during WWI and therefore for the Belgians this was a good country to go to. {Con}
Nordic countries

Eastern Europe
Poland

* During the First World War the Prussian policy of repulsion changed. Now Russian-Polish migrants, coming from an hostile country, were forbidden to return home and were forced to work in Germany. (Survey, 134)
Russia
* 1917: Russia: Voluntary migration to Siberia was stimulated by raising salaries, easing up agricultural rules, exempt from taxes etc.

2.2 Circumstances that hindered migration
Southern Europe

Spain
Portugal
Italy

* 1914 - 1921: Less Italians than before went to England. Reasons: WWI caused a decrease in number of Italian migrants, English registration of foreigners in 1919 caused a decrease and after WWI Mussolini reduced Italian emigration. Italians could still find jobs in England as ice cream vendors or work in hotels. {Cath}
Greece

Eastern Europe
Poland

* 1914-1918: The First World War acted to restrict emigration from Russian Poland. (Survey, 149)
Russia

2.3 Direct causes of migration
Western Europe

UK, Germany, France, Netherlands
Belgium

* 1914 - 1918: Belgians went to the Netherlands because of WWI. The Germans had moved into Belgium. {Con}
Nordic countries

Eastern Europe
Poland

* During the First World War Germany recruited 100,000 ‘East Jews’ for the German War economy. These Jews continued to flee into the empire from progroms and acts of violence in Poland and the Ukraine until 1921.
Russia
* 1917: In Russia, the civil war and the Bolshevik victory forced millions of 'White Russians' to flee. (Survey, 145)
* 1917: Russia: Criminals and political prisoners were moved to Siberia by force, the Tsar did this already too.
* 1915-..: The number of Russians and Armenians seeking asylum in France rose sharply due to the massacres perpetrated by the Turkish army from 1915 onwards, and the resulting exodus of the surviving population on a massive scale. (Survey, 145)

Africa

* 1914 - 1945: Africans and West Indies went to England, because England needed them in the war and machinery-industry. {Cath}
North Africa
West Africa and East Africa
South Africa

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

Western Europe
UK
Germany
France
- for their new environment / native born

* Russians and Armenians made a key contribution in the Resistance movement against the Vichy government and nazi occupation during the Second World War. (Survey, 146)
Netherlands
Belgium
Nordic countries

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

Western Europe
UK
Germany
- for their new environment / native born

* Without the Russian-Polish migrant workers in the foreign reserve army, which was enlarged by prisoners of war, the First World War would have stopped much earlier for Germany. (Survey, 134)
France
Netherlands
Belgium
Nordic countries

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

4. REACTIONS ON MIGRATION

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

Western Europe
UK
Germany
- reaction of the common people

* 1880-1910: The emigrants to France and Germany soon faced new terrors, which many would not survive.
France
- official reaction
* the 1920s: Several tens of thousands Russian refugees were granted asylum in France in the 1920s in order to boost France's diminished workforce. (Survey, 145)
- reaction of the common people
* 1930s: With the crisis years of the 1930s, the refugees in France once more became the target of attacks by the nationalist right wing. Although the main victims of such attacks were the German Jews and, to a lesser extent, the anti-Franco Spanish, the Russians and Armenians were by no means spared. (Survey, 146)
- reaction of the common people
* 1880-1910: The emigrants to France and Germany soon faced new terrors, which many would not survive.
Netherlands
- official reaction
* 1918 - 1940: German refugees made the Dutch government take measures against foreigners. In 1918 the law "Wet Toezicht Vreemdelingen" was installed and in 1920 the law "Wet op Grensbewaking".
Belgium
Nordic countries

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

Western Europe
UK, Germany
France
- differences between first, second and third generation

* 1950-1970s: It has been observed that it is predominantly the second generation Russians and Armenians in France that has attempted to become integrated, often at expense of a 'denial' of their origins. (Survey, 146)
- differences between first, second and third generation
* 1970s: Among the third generation Russians and Armenians - who reached adulthood in the 1970s - there appears to have been a marked desire to regain contact with their roots. (Survey, 146)
Netherlands, Belgium
Nordic countries
 

 

 

Dr. Marlou Schrover