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Unformatted text preview: Lecture 7: Migration Like the demographic transition we discussed last time, migration is intimately related to globalization, and also to the history of the United States and in fact, to that of the entire New World, North and South America, Australia and Oceania. Of course, there was large-scale migration before the era of globalization, but it was almost entirely overland, and the movement of people across the oceans is an almost exclusively modern phenomenon. There was oceanic movement in traditional society—I’m thinking of the settlement of the Pacific Islands, from Hawaii to New Zealand—but that involved thousands of people over thousands of years. The peopling of the Americas involved millions of people, and the time was measured in decades. There are three main periods of migration to the Western Hemisphere, the first before the transportation revolution of the nineteenth century, the second concurrently with and as part of the first wave of globalization in the nineteenth century and ending in 1914, and the third concurrently with and as part of the contemporary wave of globalization. I’m going to spend just a minute or two on pre-Revolutionary migration, a fair amount of time on the nineteenth century wave and the balance of the time on the contemporary wave, comparing and contrasting it to the nineteenth century wave. Prerevolutionary migration If you’ll recall the lecture on transportation, pre-revolutionary transportation was dangerous, slow, uncertain and above all expensive. Sailing ships made slow passages, and working the sails required large crews, which meant that there was not a lot of room for passengers. What all this added up to was that it cost a lot to cross the Atlantic, so much, in fact, that people of average incomes could not afford to come. This is why the majority of passengers across the Atlantic before the 1800s were not paying passengers but bonded labor—slaves from Africa or indentured servants from Europe. Generally speaking, migration across the Atlantic was economically feasible for the non-propertied only if the migrants paid or were forced to pay with their labor. Transportation revolution Thus, the coming of the transportation revolution fundamentally changed the nature of the settlement of the New World through the drastic lowering of the cost and speed of transportation. By land, the transportation revolution came about by the railroad, while by water it included using larger and more reliable steam-engines, substituting of iron for wood ship construction, and cutting the Suez and Panama Canals. The effect of much lower costs was a construction, and cutting the Suez and Panama Canals....
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This note was uploaded on 10/15/2008 for the course GEOG 20 taught by Professor Acker during the Spring '08 term at Berkeley.
- Spring '08