European Migration

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European Migration

Europe and the New World

In the recent past the greatest human flow has been from Europe to new land of Americas. It is estimated that about 75 million left for the new world and other overseas territories between 1835 and 1935. Even before this great human migration from Europe, more than 2.75 million people had felt to settle in the newly found land, but it had taken many centuries time and the process of migration was slow. The last migration was enormous in number and that too with in a period of hundred years. The people went from Europe to North America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Spain and Portugal had their migrational trend towards the South American continent and Central America. In the 16th century, three million Spaniards had left home for America. At first Spaniards and Portuguese migrated and later on in the beginning of 19th century mainly English Scots, Irish, German and French nationals started migrating from their homelands.

Agricultural land was limited and therefore when vast and almost virgin lands were opened in countries such as USA, Canada, Australia etc., in such latitudes favorable to European lifestyle they were naturally attracted and crossed the seas due to availability of new means of transport in the form of steam navigation. Canada and Australia were less accommodating for the new immigrants than United States of America. That is why both Canada and Australia have considerably less population than U.S. Only the British were allowed to settle there and not others. Only a small pocket of French people is centered in Canada.

On the other hand South American countries have tried to attract immigrants from Europe, but immigrants there do not come from Anglo Saxon society. They come from Mediterranean region of Europe where the climatic conditions and ways of life are similar to those in South America. The result was between 1820 and 1910 Brazil received about 2,850,000 immigrants. Argentina too received 5,700,000 immigrants between 1857 and 1910. Peru, Venezuela, Columbia and Mexico still are opening their doors particularly for the immigrants from Spain and generally from Mediterranean Europe. Emigration from the British Isles has been enormous. About 17 million persons left the islands between 1815 and 1926. It is one of the greatest migratory movements from the British Isles. the British also entered in good number in Australia because of the discovery of gold there. Between 1851 and 1861 nearly 510,000 persons rushed to Australia in spite of the long distance from Britain to Australia. New Zealand too has 80% of its population of British origin.

The net outward movement from Europe in the post war period was the largest since the United States imposed severe restrictions in the early 1920's.

The migrants from northern and western Europe went almost entirely to Canada, the United States and to Oceania. Less than 100,000 went to Latin America. This is natural in view of the fact that the British Isles and Germany contributed so heavily to the movement. Over half of the migration from the Southern countries went to Latin America. Spanish speaking migrated went to Spanish speaking countries. Portuguese migrated to Portuguese speaking Brazil. Italians went in great number to Latin America.

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