Social and Demographic Prerequisites for Mass Migration in Italy and Spain in the XIX Century

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Institute for Latin American Studies, RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameNovaia i noveishaia istoriia
EditionIssue 1

In this study the author analyses the causes of mass emigration from Southern Europe in the nineteenth century, which had a profound influence on the formation of the modern composition of the population of several Latin American countries. The study is based on the push/pull migration model proposed by Everett S. Lee, as well as on the model of interrelation of migration and employment diversification by sector of economic activity developed by Gustavo Cabrera, where the mono-industry specialisation of employment in a region stimulates the population outflow. Despite slow demographic growth, lagging industrialisation in Italy and Spain could not cope with the surplus labour force that emerged in the agrarian regions. The gap between the agrarian South and the industrialising North, characteristic of these two countries, had an important impact on the formation of internal mobility. Political upheavals – the unification of Italy, the dynastic confrontation in Spain – also increased the outflow of population. Unresolved agrarian issues, population growth and lagging modernisation increased the push-factor effect. The author notes the structural similarity of the internal causes of mass migration but, on the basis of statistical data, emphasises the geographical diversity of the resettlement areas chosen. The collapse of the Spanish Empire brought an end to the colonial type of migration, which had its greatest impact on the situation in Cuba in the period indicated. Further dynamics were determined by the socio-economic motivations and policies of the host countries, especially in Latin America and the USA, where migrants found new opportunities.

Keywordsransatlantic migration, social modernisation, demographic growth, Italy, Spain, migrants, industrialization
Publication date28.02.2023
Number of characters37916
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