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The Dynamics Of Labor Migration And Raw Materials Acquisition In The Transatlantic Worsted Trade, 1830–1930

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Chapter Summary

European overseas migration grew massively between the middle of the nineteenth century and the First World War. This chapter identifies and describes one important counter-force on the supply side, a factor which explains why demand and supply did not meet before the late nineteenth century. The terror of distance was for long a major obstacle, and the price and effort to overcome that obstacle influenced the costs of migration. Already three centuries before the migration boom of the nineteenth century, the West European increase in ocean navigation had initiated seaborne connections with other continents. The European nineteenth century overseas emigration surpassed all earlier mass movements, even the Atlantic slave trade, by a huge margin. Improving efficiency and achieving economies of scale normally result in lower unit costs. The chapter treats shipping as an independent variable, a factor of supply that developed irrespective, or almost irrespective, of the forces of migration.

Keywords:Atlantic slave trade; European; ocean navigation; overseas emigration; overseas migration; shipping



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