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Title: Emigrants  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Little Blue River (Kansas/Nebraska), Maria Ilieva
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


"Emigrant" redirects here. For the band, see Emigrate (band). For the butterflies, see Catopsilia.

Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region with the intent to settle permanently in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement in general is termed migration. There are many reasons why people might choose to emigrate; these reasons can be divided into "pull" factors and "push" factors. Better economic opportunity is an example of a "pull" factor, as is a quest for a better climate. Fears of poverty or of religious or political discrimination are "push" factors. Seeking refuge from conditions not directly of one's making is interim to possible emigration.

Emigration has had a profound influence on the world in the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Some noted examples include the millions of people who left Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries or the recent emigration of Mexicans into the United States.

The term "emigrate" usually suggests voluntary movement. However, involuntary migration refers to groups that are forced by their enemies to leave through population transfer or ethnic cleansing.

Factors leading to emigration

Motives to migrate can be either incentives attracting people away, known as pull factors, or circumstances encouraging a person to leave, known as push factors, for example:

Push factors

  • Lack of employment or entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Lack of political or religious rights
  • Persecution or intolerance based on race, religion, sex or sexual orientation
  • Lack of freedom to choose religion, or to choose no religion
  • Shortage of farmland; hard to start new farms (historically)
  • Oppressive legal/political conditions
  • Struggling or Failing economy
  • Military draft, warfare
  • Famine or drought
  • Cultural fights with other cultural groups
  • Expulsion by armed force or coercion

Pull factors

  • Better opportunities for acquiring farms for self and children
  • Cheap purchase of farmland
  • Instant wealth (as in California Gold Rush)
  • More job opportunities
  • Higher pay
  • Prepaid travel (from relatives)
  • Better welfare programmes
  • Better schools
  • Join friends and relatives who have already moved
  • Build a new nation (historically)
  • Build specific cultural or religious communities
  • Political freedom
  • Cultural richness

Emigration restrictions

Some countries restrict the ability of their citizens to emigrate to other countries. After 1668, the Qing Emperor banned Han Chinese migration to Manchuria. In 1681, the emperor ordered construction of the Willow Palisade, a barrier beyond which the Chinese were prohibited from encroaching on Manchu and Mongol lands.[1]

The Soviet Socialist Republics of the Soviet Union began such restrictions in 1918, with laws and borders tightening until even illegal emigration was nearly impossible by 1928.[2] To strengthen this, they set up internal passport controls and individual city Propiska ("place of residence") permits, along with internal freedom of movement restrictions often called the 101st kilometre, rules which greatly restricted mobility within even small areas.[3]

At the end of World War II in 1945, the Soviet Union occupied several Central European countries, together called the Eastern Bloc, with the majority of those living in the newly acquired areas aspiring to independence and wanted the Soviets to leave.[4] Before 1950, over 15 million people emigrated from the Soviet-occupied eastern European countries and immigrated into the west in the five years immediately following World War II.[5] By the early 1950s, the Soviet approach to controlling national movement was emulated by most of the rest of the Eastern Bloc.[6] Restrictions implemented in the Eastern Bloc stopped most East-West migration, with only 13.3 million migrations westward between 1950 and 1990.[7] However, hundreds of thousands of East Germans annually immigrated to West Germany through a "loophole" in the system that existed between East and West Berlin, where the four occupying World War II powers governed movement.[8] The emigration resulted in massive "brain drain" from East Germany to West Germany of younger educated professionals, such that nearly 20% of East Germany's population had migrated to West Germany by 1961.[9] In 1961, East Germany erected a barbed-wire barrier that would eventually be expanded through construction into the Berlin Wall, effectively closing the loophole.[10] In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, followed by German reunification and within two years the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

By the early 1950s, the Soviet approach to controlling international movement was also emulated by China, Mongolia, and North Korea.[6] North Korea still tightly restricts emigration, and maintains one of the strictest emigration bans in the world,[11] although some North Koreans still manage to illegally emigrate to China.[12] Other countries with tight emigration restrictions at one time or another included Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia, Afghanistan, Burma, Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia from 1975-1979), Laos, North Vietnam, Iraq, South Yemen and Cuba.[13]

See also



External links

  • Translation from Galician to English of 4 Classic Emigration Ballads
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