TAS203 Transatlantic Migration

Teacher responsible:

Professor Adam Walaszek

Brief course description:

This history course shows how the transatlantic connections were created through the migration processes that began in the colonial times and developed in various patterns over the next several hundred years. The course will conclude with a discussion of the introduction of immigration restrictions that emerged in the 20th century. The examples from various European countries will be discussed in addition to the history of ethnic community formation and the adaptation processes.


This course will show that contemporary migration processes have a long and complicated history. The history of transatlantic migrations can thus only be understood if one looks at both sides of the Atlantic. This transnational history will contribute to the discussion about the concept of American "exceptionalism".


1. European migrations to Americas during colonial times. Indentured servants.
2. Voluntary and un-voluntary migrations. Immigration and ethnicity in the early Republic.
3. 1815-1924 general trends: a critic of "old" and "new" immigration paradigms.
4. European transformations, migration traditions and America 1815-1860.
5. Germans and Scandinavians.
6. 19th century Irish migrations. An example of early nativism.
7. Poles and other Eastern Europeans in the transatlantic economy.
8. Work and life in industrial America.
9. Polish ethnic communities in the US.
10. Italian migrations to the Americas.
11. Characteristics of Jewish migrations.
12. Interethnic relations and American nativism.
13. Return migrations.
14. The impact of labor migrations on both sides of the Atlantic.
15. The end of mass migrations: immigration restrictions of 1921 and 1924.

Reading list:

Roger Daniels, Coming to America. A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life; Leslie Page Moch, Moving Europeans. Migrations in Western Europe since 1965; Donna R. Gabaccia, Immigration and American Diversity. A Social and Cultural History; J. Gjerde, Major Problems in American Immigration and Ethnic History; Walter Nugent, Crossings:The Great Transatlantic Migrations, 1870-1914; Klaus Bade, Migrations in European History; Robin Cohen, Global Diasporas. An Introduction; Jon Gjerde, Major Problems in American Immigration and Ethnic History; Dirk Hoerder, Cultures in Contact, World Migrations in Second Millenium; Dirk Hoerder (ed.), European Migrants. Global and Local Perspectives; John Bodnar, The Transplanted. A History of Immigrants in Urban America; John J. Bukowczyk (ed.), Polish-Americans and Their History. Community, Culture and Politics; Andrzej Brożek, Polish Americans, 1854-1939.