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date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The essay begins with the “imperial intrusions” into Native Peoples’ cultural spaces and the eighteenth-century (re-)peopling of the American colonies. It discusses the caesura and new patterns from the Revolution to industrialization. It emphasizes migrant agency and decision-making in the frame of Europe’s societies-economies of origin. The arriving, fully socialized men and women form ethnocultural groups with fuzzy borders and acculturate according to gender and class but face racialization, demands for Anglo-conformity, and “melting pot”–discourses. It is argued that they form a “transnational America.” The policy of “closed doors,” the Great Depression, and World War I and II (1917–1945) disrupt the Atlantic migration system. After a brief resurgence of immigration of “displaced persons” from Europe, the system ends in the mid-1950s. Continuing migratory connections do not assume the proportion of a migration system. In conclusion, the scholarship on European immigrants is critically evaluated.

Keywords: European immigrants, atlantic migration system, migrant decision-making, exclusion, acculturation, transnational America

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