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Emigration

EMIGRATION

EMIGRATION from the United States has received far less attention than the influx of immigrants attracted by the reputation of a country with a tradition of welcoming freedom-seekers from around the world. Yet there have been times when the number of emigrants surpassed that of immigrants.

Patterns of Emigration

Many nineteenth-century immigrants in the United States were male Europeans whose goal was to save the money they earned in order to return home, buy land, and improve their economic status. This goal, together with feelings of cultural dislocation, and frequent expressions of hostility on the part of native-born Americans, contributed to an exceptionally high incidence of repatriation. In the late 1800s, the departure rate for Croatians, Poles, Serbs, and Slovenes was 35 percent; for Greeks, 40 percent; and more than 50 percent for Hungarians, Slovaks, and Italians. From the 1830s to the 1920s, emigrants returning to their homelands reduced net immigration gains by 20 to 50 percent.

Since 1900, the ratio of immigration to emigration has been three to one: 30 million legal immigrants were admitted to the United States between 1900 and 1930, and 10 million emigrants left the country. A notable exception occurred during the Great Depression, from 1931 to 1940, when the emigrant flow swelled to 649,000, compared with 528,000 immigrants. Trustworthy statistics for the later twentieth century are harder to find. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) stopped collecting emigrant data in 1957, and the U.S. Census Bureau no longer tallies the number of U.S. citizens living abroad. In addition, Americans living in foreign countries are under no obligation to register with American consulates, and may be unknown to local immigration authorities. For example, while the U.S. Department of State estimated that more than 500,000 U.S. citizens lived in Mexico in 2000, the Instituto Nacional de Inmigracion reported only 124,082.

Estimates of the total number of U.S. citizens living abroad at the turn of the twenty-first century range from 3.2 million to more than 6 million. According to the United Nations Demographic Yearbook (1989), the top ten countries to which people emigrated from the United States in the 1980s, in descending order, were: Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Japan, the Philippines, Guatemala, Indonesia, Australia, and Italy. Mexico also attracted the largest group of American émigrés from 1965 to 1976, displacing Germany, formerly the primary destination of Americans settling abroad

On an annual basis, it is estimated that between 200,000 and 300,000 Americans are moving out of the country. The majority are believed to be former immigrants, although as many as 100,000 may be native-born. Yet the rate of repatriation has slowed significantly (15 percent in the 1990s, versus more than 37 percent in the first decade of the twentieth century). Other factors that make it difficult to quantify recent emigration include potentially large numbers of undocumented immigrants who return to their home countries.

Cultural, Economic, and Political Reasons for Emigration

The first emigrants were some 80,000 to 100,000 Loyalists, supporters of Great Britain during the American Revolution who returned to their home country, including the painter John Singleton Copley. It was not until the Vietnam War that significant numbers of Americans again left the country for political reasons—in this case, to evade the military draft. Canada was the favored destination for Americans of draft age, whose numbers are said to have peaked in the early 1970s. But because many draft evaders did not immediately apply for landed emigrant status in Canada, there are no reliable statistics on the scope of this phenomenon. While the Canadian government reported a total of 24,424 immigrants from the United States in 1970, and 24,366 in 1971, estimates of the number of draft evaders who went to Canada during this period have varied wildly, from more than 50,000 to more than 100,000.

In 1816, the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Color in the United States, founded by the Reverend Robert Finley and other well-connected and well-meaning white men, sought to offer better opportunities to freed slaves, relieve racial tension in the United States, and encourage the liberation of more slaves. In 1822 the first group of freed slaves arrived in the settlement of Monrovia (named for President James Monroe), on Africa's west coast. Liberia, with Monrovia as its capital, became an independent republic in 1847. By 1870, it had attracted some 13,000 U.S. immigrants. The best-known back-to-Africa movement was led in the 1920s by Jamaican-born, New York-based Marcus Moziah Garvey, who founded the Black Star Line steamship company to transport black Americans to Africa (see Black Nationalism).

From the 1940s through the 1960s, individual African Americans weary of the struggle against racism in the United States—including prominent figures in the arts, such as the novelist James Baldwin—found havens in European cities where their color was no bar to acceptance. Popular destinations included Paris, Rome, Berlin, and Stockholm. Since the eighteenth century, Europe—particularly France, Italy, and England—has been a favored destination of American writers and artists, who initially sought training unavailable in the United States. The roster of pre-twentieth-century cultural expatriates includes painters Benjamin West and Mary Cassat, and novelists Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry James. By the 1920s—the most celebrated era of U.S. cultural expatriates—the roster included novelists Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Katherine Anne Porter (who settled in Mexico); poets Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot; and art patron Gertrude Stein.

In the early 1950s—after the passage of the McCarran Internal Security and McCarran-Walter Acts, which denied suspected "subversives" the right to apply for or renew passports and permitted deportation of naturalized citizens suspected of subversive allegiances—some Americans found a haven in Mexico. With no passport requirements for U.S. citizens, cheaper living costs, and a tradition for giving asylum to fugitives, Mexico was a popular destination for Communist Party members and sympathizers, people jailed after participation in industrial strikes, and those who refused to sign loyalty oaths.

Since the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, more than 100,000 American Jews have emigrated there, an event known as "making aliyah." This phenomenon peaked in 1991, despite the Gulf War. Under the Law of Return established by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) in 1950 and modified in 1970, anyone born of a Jewish mother, as well as that person's spouse and children, and the spouses of their children and grandchildren (whether Jewish or not) is entitled to Israeli citizenship and residency. It has been estimated that 10 to 15 percent of these emigrants eventually return to the United States, though some move back to Israel.

Some foreign-born emigrants from developing countries, after having obtained advanced degrees from U.S. universities, return to their home countries to lend their expertise to businesses or governments. American émigrés settle overseas to work for multinational corporations and government agencies, to reconnect with their heritage, or to take advantage of tax havens. In recent years, globalization, the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the postwar economy of Vietnam have increased opportunities for American entrepreneurs overseas.

Americans who renounce their citizenship without acquiring citizen status in another country are considered to be stateless. Combining the intent to abandon citizenship with an act of treason, a formal renunciation before a consular officer, an oath of allegiance to another country, service in another country's military, or becoming a naturalized citizen of another country are legal grounds for being judged to have voluntarily relinquished U.S. citizenship.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anhalt, Diana. A Gathering of Fugitives: American Political Expatriates in Mexico, 1948–1965. Santa Maria, Calif.: Archer Books, 2001.

Dunbar, Ernest. The Black Expatriates: A Study of American Negroes in Exile. New York: Dutton, 1968.

Earnest, Ernest. Expatriates and Patriots: American Artists, Scholars, and Writers in Europe. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1968.

Hagan, John. Northern Passage: American Vietnam War Resisters in Canada. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Ross, Ishbel. The Expatriates. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1970.

Warren, Bob. "The Elusive Exodus: Emigration from the United States." Population Trends and Public Policy, no. 8 (March 1985).

CathyCurtis

See alsoAmerican Colonization Society ; Confederate Expatriates in Brazil ; Expatriation ; Immigration .

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emigration

emigration is the departure of persons from their native country to settle permanently in another. This may be prompted by the ‘push’ of religious or political persecution or the ‘pull’ of work opportunities elsewhere. Governments have used emigration as a policy for keeping law and order at home and for populating new overseas colonies when empires expanded.

In the British Isles the first of the relatively large-scale emigrations occurred with the opening up of the New World in the late 16th and 17th cents. Many of those who looked for greater political and religious freedom chose to emigrate. The puritans who sailed to North America on the Mayflower in 1620 sought the opportunity to practise their religion without interference. Sometimes the emigrants had considerable influence. The quaker William Penn persuaded Charles II to grant a charter to the colony, later called Pennsylvania, to provide specifically for freedom of worship and expression. At this time the government also wished to populate and provide workers in the expanding overseas colonies in the West Indies. Initially, emigrants were convicted criminals who worked in the sugar, tobacco, and cotton plantations. Similarly during the 18th cent. the demand for cheap labour in Australia stimulated the government to transport convicts from the 1790s until the 1850s. Convicts, freed after completing their sentences, often preferred to remain and make their lives in the colonies.

Individuals also left Britain voluntarily to seek better opportunities overseas. During the 18th cent., Scottish emigrants took service in the Russian army and settlers from all over the British Isles moved to the American colonies (later the USA and Canada) to take up work in agriculture, commerce, and trade in natural resources such as furs and timber. Among the more prosperous manufactures was shipbuilding in New England for the European market.

During the 19th cent. emigration was on a scale hitherto unknown. The port of Liverpool became the most important departure place for all emigrants and 15 million persons (from the British Isles and northern Europe) were recorded as having left through that port between 1815 and 1914.

Two of the best-documented emigrations were those caused by hardship. In the early 19th cent. the clearances of the Scottish Highlands forced people off the land and large numbers of Highlanders emigrated to Canada and Australia in search of new lives. In the 1840s the Irish potato famine reduced the population by almost half when large numbers settled elsewhere including Britain, the USA, and Australia.

Emigration to all parts of the British empire was encouraged by the government. Commentators such as Gibbon Wakefield in his book A Letter from Sydney argued that emigration was the solution to the dangers of overpopulation identified by Thomas Malthus. In addition, colonial governments, such as that of New South Wales, offered free or assisted passages to emigrants and advertised widely in British local newspapers. Encouragement to emigrate was reinforced by those who had settled earlier in the colonies. Not all British emigrants settled in British colonies. Argentina also had a policy of encouraging settlers and descendants of Welsh emigrants to Patagonia continue to keep alive Welsh culture there to this day.

In the 20th cent. emigration continued to the Commonwealth and to the USA, but at a slower rate. Work opportunities declined as a consequence of the world-wide economic depression, as well as the changing links between Britain and her former empire. After 1945 emigration opportunities were increasingly under the control of overseas governments wishing to select only those migrants who had relevant skills.

Ian John Ernest Keil

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Emigration

EMIGRATION

The act of moving from one country to another with intention not to return. It is to be distinguished from expatriation, which means theabandonmentof one's country and renunciation of one's citizenship in it, while emigration denotes merely the removal of person and property to another country. Expatriation is usually the consequence of emigration. Emigration is also sometimes used in reference to the removal from one section to another of the same country.

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"Emigration." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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emigration

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emigration

emigration: see immigration; migration.

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Emigration

Emigration

emigrants collectively, 1863.

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