This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.
Until the middle of the 19th Century migration from the Nordic region was reasonably small. I have divided the topic into what I have called “Push Factors” and “Pull Factors”. Some of those elements will replicate across other European countries, and that might be variable across different time periods.
The image below is taken from my notebook where I focused on specifics for this series.
Looking at the “Push Factors” it is easy to see why the option to migrate was appealing.
Land grants in countries around the world – United States, and Australia as two examples, made it possible for migrants to quite literally build a future for themselves. In the migrants native countries there was low wages and little opportunity to diversify their occupations or skills, coupled with limited alternatives to agricultural work. Furthermore, there was also population growth, which, when coupled to the other elements, added to the “Push Factors”. There were restricted intolerance to religious practices and freedoms. Many did not like the political structures and conscription requirements to military service.
The choices of the individuals of this region were relatively limited; either remain and deal with the challenges of daily life, or take a risk and seek a new life. As we have already seen, millions decided on the latter.