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Consequences of no world wars on mass immigration to the US

What would be the consequences of no world wars on the flow of European immigrants to the US? By 1914 most immigrants were either from Southern or Eastern Europe, how does this fact effects the ethnic makeup of the us? Would the great migration of African Americans be severely slowed or delayed?
Keep in mind that I'm assuming no large scale wars between large powers and no revolutions or civil wars, at least in large countries. Economic growth patterns also stay the same as pre 1914 or speed up thanks to freer markets, very important for export driven economies
 

BlondieBC

Banned
WW1 largely reduced the flows of international immigrants and created a labor shortage in much of Europe. It is not just the dead and seriously wounded, it is the lower birth rate that never jumped back. Likely the pre-1914 pattern continues with minor changes. With plenty of additional labor in the northern USA, I doubt we see the great migration of African Americans so 1960 or 2010 population pattern will look much like the 1860 population pattern. Compared to OTL, the USA will end up with a much higher population, many more Eastern and Southern Europeans in the cities of the North, and the blacks population wills still be on the rich soils of the south although urbanized.
 
The First World War, besides temporarily cutting off the flow of immigrants from Europe, also greatly increased sentiment for immigration restriction, because of the belief that the war had shown that immigrant groups were still partial to their country of origin and also that some of them might be vulnerable to Bolshevism. OTOH, pressure for some sort of restriction was growing even before the war. In particular, it seems very likely that a literacy test for immigrants would eventually be enacted; such tests were in fact passed by Congress a number of times but were vetoed by Presidents Cleveland, Taft, and Wilson. In 1917, Congress finally overrode Wilson's second veto. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Act_of_1917

It does seem likely therefore that a literacy test and some other restrictions would be enacted even without the War. Even a literacy test alone--and I doubt that restrictionists would stop there--could have significant effects: "The percentage of illiteracy of all [immigrants] over 14 years in 1909 was 29; in 1907 it was 30; in 1906 it was 28." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10291a.htm But I doubt if the restrictions will go so far as the quotas adopted in the 1920's in OTL.

Another point making restriction likely: Anti-Catholicism (which admittedly is not quite the same thing as nativism but often correlated with it) had already shown itself a force in the 1914 elections, before the founding of the second Klan, and before the War had made much of an impact in the US. To quote an old soc.history.what-if post of mine:

***
BTW, although [James] Cox's 1916 victory [for the governorship of Ohio] was narrow it was after all against an incumbent in a year of prosperity, which would seem to indicate Cox was reasonably popular. An interesting question therefore is why Cox had been defeated for re-election in 1914. And part of the answer lies in a little-remembered phenomenon of 1914 which may have been a harbinger of the Klan revival.

For years Catholic Democratic organizations in cities like New York, Boston, Jersey City, Cleveland, Chicago, etc. had pragmatically nominated Protestants for statewide offices, certain that no Catholic could win. But with the revival of the party in 1910 and 1912 they became less cautious. In 1914 Irish Democrats were running for the Senate from Illinois and Ohio and for governor in New York and Massachusetts. That fall all four candidates and others as well found themselves engulfed in a tide of anti-Catholicism. (Of the four only David Walsh of Massachusetts won, and the religious issue may have defeated his candidate for lieutenant governor.) Cox was unfortunate enough to be on the same ticket with Timothy Hogan, a Catholic running for the Senate. Churches and fraternal organizations, especially in rural Ohio, worked actively against Hogan, and the American Protective Association was revived, with a newspaper called *The Menace* which urged voters to

"Read *The Menace* and get the dope
Go to the polls and beat the Pope."

As David Sarasohn puts it in *The Party of Reform: Democrats in the Progressive Era* p. 177: "Pius X was not actually on the ballot in Ohio, but voters did beat Hogan and, for good measure Cox, although he ran 70,000 votes ahead of his running mate." (p. 177) Anti-Catholicism was also largely responsible for the defeat of Roger Sullivan for the Senate from Illinois. In New York, incumbent governor Martin Glynn, a Catholic, was defeated, and although there were many reasons, anti-Catholicism (spearheaded by a group called the "Guardians of Liberty") definitely played a role, especially because of the independent candidacy of William Sulzer, elected governor in 1912 and impeached in 1913 who said "if I had not been a 32nd degree Mason; that if I had not been a Protestant...the bosses...would never have removed me." (Senate candidate James W. Gerard also lost, but less badly--and even he, though a Presbyterian, was rumored to be a Catholic!) The anti-Catholic wave did not affect Democrats exclusively--in the Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial primary, it helped to defeat La Follette's candidate.

So I think 1914 may give us a clue as to what happened to political anti-Catholicism between the heyday of the APA in the 1890s and the Klan revival of the 1920s. It turns out it was always there...
http://soc.history.what-if.narkive.com/9UOjR7kq/ohio-born-potus-1916#post10
 
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raharris1973

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Monthly Donor
WW1 largely reduced the flows of international immigrants and created a labor shortage in much of Europe. It is not just the dead and seriously wounded, it is the lower birth rate that never jumped back. Likely the pre-1914 pattern continues with minor changes. With plenty of additional labor in the northern USA, I doubt we see the great migration of African Americans so 1960 or 2010 population pattern will look much like the 1860 population pattern. Compared to OTL, the USA will end up with a much higher population, many more Eastern and Southern Europeans in the cities of the North, and the blacks population wills still be on the rich soils of the south although urbanized.

Even if international economic and logistic circumstances permit a perpetual continuation of the 1910s immigration patterns, would the American body politic tolerate that level of flow indefinitely?

I wonder if certain smaller European countries would shrink in population, in a Puerto Rico like situation where more of their nationals live in the US than at home? Last one out of Sicily, turn out the lights!

All that said, if the pattern does work as you described, I think it is perhaps less likely that the U.S. will have had a black President but more likely there would have been a Jewish or ethnically Italian, Slavic or Greek or Lebanese or Armenian President.

Also, while Chinese immigration had been blocked since 1882 by an explicit exclusion act, Japanese immigration was not totally excluded until around the same time that restrictive quotas were imposed against southern and eastern Europeans. Is Japanese immigration still totally blocked on OTL's schedule.

I suspect in the TL, especially without WWII and ideological struggles, Chinese Exclusion may stay on the books decades longer than OTL, although as China develops and becomes more economically developed and geopolitically important, more Chinese would qualify for exceptions to exclusion and eventually the law would be changed.

Since the World Wars led to the Korean and Vietnam Wars, fewer Korean and Vietnamese Americans.

Certain European nationalities might not be in the US in quite as large numbers, no British war brides, no German or Japanese or Korean brides for US servicemen.

So the net effect is likely to be more Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish Europeans coming, but fewer Asians.

Without WWI, Puerto Ricans will not get citizenship in 1917, so their community on the mainland will grow more slowly.

Maybe if "West Side Story" comes out in the fifties George Chakiris plays the leader of an ethnic Greek gang instead of a Puerto Rican one.
 
Does the Spanish Flu still come around in 1917-18? That will throw some serious wrenches into the situation...
 

BlondieBC

Banned
Even if international economic and logistic circumstances permit a perpetual continuation of the 1910s immigration patterns, would the American body politic tolerate that level of flow indefinitely?

I wonder if certain smaller European countries would shrink in population, in a Puerto Rico like situation where more of their nationals live in the US than at home? Last one out of Sicily, turn out the lights!

All that said, if the pattern does work as you described, I think it is perhaps less likely that the U.S. will have had a black President but more likely there would have been a Jewish or ethnically Italian, Slavic or Greek or Lebanese or Armenian President.

Also, while Chinese immigration had been blocked since 1882 by an explicit exclusion act, Japanese immigration was not totally excluded until around the same time that restrictive quotas were imposed against southern and eastern Europeans. Is Japanese immigration still totally blocked on OTL's schedule.

I suspect in the TL, especially without WWII and ideological struggles, Chinese Exclusion may stay on the books decades longer than OTL, although as China develops and becomes more economically developed and geopolitically important, more Chinese would qualify for exceptions to exclusion and eventually the law would be changed.

Since the World Wars led to the Korean and Vietnam Wars, fewer Korean and Vietnamese Americans.

Certain European nationalities might not be in the US in quite as large numbers, no British war brides, no German or Japanese or Korean brides for US servicemen.

So the net effect is likely to be more Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish Europeans coming, but fewer Asians.

Without WWI, Puerto Ricans will not get citizenship in 1917, so their community on the mainland will grow more slowly.

Maybe if "West Side Story" comes out in the fifties George Chakiris plays the leader of an ethnic Greek gang instead of a Puerto Rican one.

As to population shrinking in smaller countries, Galacia of A-H had highest immigration rates but I believe the population was always growing.

As to US public tolerating, I have read 10,000+ pages of source material from the era. I have not encounter anti-immigration to any large extent before WW1. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence but it is a good place to start analysis.

As to voting patterns, the ideal American will be more Catholicish and less Blackish or English. Voting patterns will match.

I suspect we will still stop Asian immigrants to USA since there will be plenty of Ukrainians that can work on west coast of USA.

It is also important to note that many other areas will change ethnic groups. By the 1970's or so, Libya will be Italian. i.e. majority speak Italian and majority Catholic. Algeria ITTL will be viewed as French as OTL Nice. Aussies will be pure white since plenty of European settlers. We have possibility of more South Africa like nations in Africa. It has been years since I went over this in detail, so I am going from memory, but I think by now we are talking 250 million plus more European people around the world and 500 million plus fewer non-Europeans around world. So while somewhere like India or all of Africa will not turn "white", you could well see something like the highlands of Angola as white majority.

BTW, without the labor shortages of WW2, you don't see Mexican immigration get started to USA. Big impact here. So while simplestic, best way to view is to replace Hispanics with Eastern Europeans, then think about what the USA looks like.
 

raharris1973

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The First World War, besides temporarily cutting off the flow of immigrants from Europe, also greatly increased sentiment for immigration restriction, because of the belief that the war had shown that immigrant groups were still partial to their country of origin and also that some of them might be vulnerable to Bolshevism.

And ironically, the Second World War helped begin the process of loosening immigration restriction (the big counterpoint of wartime Japanese internment notwithstanding):
a) the wartime alliance with China made the Chinese Exclusion Act embarrassing, and caused gradual loosening of its strictures and eventual replacement
b) humanitarian concerns led to increasing acceptance of European Displaced Persons (DPs)
c) Global deployment in WWII and the Cold War led to more immigration through intermarriage
d) The reaction to Nazi racial ideology and the Holocausts undermined the perceived legitimacy of racial quotas to the American majority

So you had guys like Manny Celler in Congress who both opposed restrictionism at the beginning and lived to see its end.
 
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As to population shrinking in smaller countries, Galacia of A-H had highest immigration rates but I believe the population was always growing.

As to US public tolerating, I have read 10,000+ pages of source material from the era. I have not encounter anti-immigration to any large extent before WW1. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence but it is a good place to start analysis.

As to voting patterns, the ideal American will be more Catholicish and less Blackish or English. Voting patterns will match.

I suspect we will still stop Asian immigrants to USA since there will be plenty of Ukrainians that can work on west coast of USA.

It is also important to note that many other areas will change ethnic groups. By the 1970's or so, Libya will be Italian. i.e. majority speak Italian and majority Catholic. Algeria ITTL will be viewed as French as OTL Nice. Aussies will be pure white since plenty of European settlers. We have possibility of more South Africa like nations in Africa. It has been years since I went over this in detail, so I am going from memory, but I think by now we are talking 250 million plus more European people around the world and 500 million plus fewer non-Europeans around world. So while somewhere like India or all of Africa will not turn "white", you could well see something like the highlands of Angola as white majority.

BTW, without the labor shortages of WW2, you don't see Mexican immigration get started to USA. Big impact here. So while simplestic, best way to view is to replace Hispanics with Eastern Europeans, then think about what the USA looks like.
You should also take into account the fact that Eastern Europeans will probably stop arriving in the US when their countries will have reached a certain development. I don't see mass immigration from Europe continuing after the 60s. So by now the us would have had like 40 years of non European immigration
 

BlondieBC

Banned
You should also take into account the fact that Eastern Europeans will probably stop arriving in the US when their countries will have reached a certain development. I don't see mass immigration from Europe continuing after the 60s. So by now the us would have had like 40 years of non European immigration

As to predicting immigration patterns (where they go), one looks at jobs at the destination plus subsidies on passage. A job/land plus free steerage attracts a lot of immigrants.

To get the 200 million plus more immigrants, I think I did ramp down population growth but at half the rate.
 
Does the Spanish Flu still come around in 1917-18? That will throw some serious wrenches into the situation...
Honestly I don't think it will, and if it does come probably will be named after the place it started in (some say the US, others have different options) and will kill A LOT less people worldwide
 
WW1 largely reduced the flows of international immigrants and created a labor shortage in much of Europe. It is not just the dead and seriously wounded, it is the lower birth rate that never jumped back. Likely the pre-1914 pattern continues with minor changes. With plenty of additional labor in the northern USA, I doubt we see the great migration of African Americans so 1960 or 2010 population pattern will look much like the 1860 population pattern. Compared to OTL, the USA will end up with a much higher population, many more Eastern and Southern Europeans in the cities of the North, and the blacks population wills still be on the rich soils of the south although urbanized.
Do black Americans benefit from a lesser great migration? On one hand they may not be so heavily linked with gangs and organized violence, but on the other hand they may never influence American culture to the extent they did IOTL
Another thing to take into account is the fact that African Americans would play important roles in the fight between democrats and Republicans over the South, so they may be seen as more important by the two parties
 

BlondieBC

Banned
Do black Americans benefit from a lesser great migration? On one hand they may not be so heavily linked with gangs and organized violence, but on the other hand they may never influence American culture to the extent they did IOTL
Another thing to take into account is the fact that African Americans would play important roles in the fight between democrats and Republicans over the South, so they may be seen as more important by the two parties

No, they are stuck in the south as farming is mechanized. They are much poorer than OTL blacks.
 
No, they are stuck in the south as farming is mechanized. They are much poorer than OTL blacks.
Wouldn't some factories be delocalized to the south at some point? Like textiles or other things? If that doesn't happen, would African Americans be more left leaning? Since there is no red scare we might see a more powerful socialist party in the US, that may replace or be replaced by the democrats
How long can segregation last anyway?
 

BlondieBC

Banned
Wouldn't some factories be delocalized to the south at some point? Like textiles or other things? If that doesn't happen, would African Americans be more left leaning? Since there is no red scare we might see a more powerful socialist party in the US, that may replace or be replaced by the democrats
How long can segregation last anyway?

Sure it is possible. We have many layers of butterflies, but IOTL, it did not happen.

Yes, Socialism might have a good name in the USA.

Black voting patterns are hard to predict. Also, we might never see civil right movement so the Blacks may never vote in large numbers.
 
Sure it is possible. We have many layers of butterflies, but IOTL, it did not happen.

Yes, Socialism might have a good name in the USA.

Black voting patterns are hard to predict. Also, we might never see civil right movement so the Blacks may never vote in large numbers.
I find it very hard to believe that the disenfranchisement of blacks can go on for much longer that it did in OTL, racist theories are going to be discredited at some point. Also there are some segments of American society that sympathize with African Americans
Since eugenics was quite popular in the US, could we see racist eugenics policies being implemented? Things like mass sterilization for example Has anyone ever prosed such a thing?
 
Would the great migration of African Americans be severely slowed or delayed?


On the effects of immigration on African American migration to the North, there is an article by William J. Collins, "When the Tide Turned: Immigration and the Delay of the Great Black Migration", The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 57, No. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 607-632. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2951192

Here's how I summarized it in soc.history.what-if:

***

Anyway, Collins notes that European immigration as a deterrent to black migration from the South to North has often been mentioned, and certainly seems a plausible hypothesis, but had never really been tested rigorously. Collins attempts to do this through regression analysis. Some of his findings:

"Finally, the issue at the heart of this article is the extent to which European immigrants to the North deterred potential black migrants from the South. Does a closer look at the data support Brinley Thomas's rough correlation, and if so, does the magnitude of the relationship suggest that the prevalence of immigrants delayed the Great Migration? All of the regressions reported in Table 3 estimate a statistically significant negative coefficient relating foreign-born immigration and black migration--a strong
confirmation of the immigrant-as-deterrent hypothesis. But are the coefficients of such a magnitude that they place immigration at the center of our understanding of black migration to the North?

"The size of the coefficient varies from one specification to another (especially with respect to the fifth column), and for the following calculations the coefficient from the second column will be used to size up the impact of immigration on the magnitude of black migration. In the hypothetical million-person state, an additional 100,000 foreign-born migrants over the course of a decade are associated with 8,400 fewer black migrants, an impact that at first glance might appear small. The impact appears to be much more substantial if one compares the number of actual black migrants with the number that might have migrated in the absence of foreign immigration. For example, supposing this hypothetical state had the sample's average foreign-born migration rate of 54.88, the coefficient predicts that the black migration rate would have been 4.60 lower than would have prevailed without immigration. Given that the average black migration rate was approximately 8.76, it appears that the size of the black migrant flow might have been 50 percent larger were it not for labor market competition from recently arrived foreign immigrants.

"The impact appears even more substantial when considering states that received huge influxes of foreign-born migrants. For example, between 1900 and 1910 New York received 1,195,000 foreign-born, implying that 100,000 potential black migrants might have been crowded out of the labor market. In fact only 40,000 black migrants came to New York in this period, and the regression suggests that this flow might have more than tripled in the absence of foreign-born immigration.

"Finally, suppose immigration quotas had been established in 1900 at 165,000 immigrants per year; also suppose that all of these immigrants would have located in the set of northern states employed in this study. Between 1900 and 1910 the immigration rate would have been 49.87 compared to the actual rate of 106.85, implying, ceteris paribus, that more than 150,000 more black migrants would have moved north in that decade with earlier immigration quotas, an enormous addition to the 161,000 who actually did move. Supposing instead that foreign immigration had been banned altogether in 1900, then 295,000 more blacks might have migrated than in the free immigration case. *Indeed, it appears that the Great Migration could have been greater and occurred earlier had there been controls on foreign immigration before the 1920s.* [emphasis in original]

"What if foreign immigration had continued unimpeded in the 1920s? The average foreign-born migration rate to the northern states in this sample from 1880 to 1920 was 81.61 per thousand population, but the rate in the 1920s was only 38.64. If the rate of 81.61 had prevailed in the 1920s, the coefficient estimate suggests that about 165,000 fewer blacks would have migrated to the North than with the foreign migration rate at 38.64. This would have reduced black migration by about 20 percent. If the 1920s foreign-born migration rate had achieved the rate that prevailed in the 1900s, then about 260,000 fewer blacks might have moved northward than when the foreign-born rate was 38.64, reducing the black migration rate by about 30 percent...."

Collins then uses the same type of analysis on individual northern cities, and again finds a significant negative correlation between European immigration and black migration. Collins' conclusions are as follows:

"The Great Migration stands as one of the great watersheds in African American economic history, and the complexity of its causes and consequences merits study from a variety of perspectives. This particular study focuses on northern labor markets and attempts to account for the dispersion of black migration rates across space and over time using a straightforward empirical strategy. Of special interest is the econometric evaluation of the immigrant- as-deterrent hypothesis that until now has stood as a plausible though unexplored assertion in the Great Migration literature. From the analysis of state and city level data, it is clear that on average blacks moved at times and to places where foreign-born immigrants were less prevalent. In fact, the size of the estimated coefficients suggests that the Great Migration would have gotten underway earlier than it did if strict immigration controls had been adopted earlier. Given the political environment of turn-of-century America the adoption of such a counter-factual policy is not at all far- fetched, and the ramifications of an earlier Great Migration for black economic progress in the twentieth century might have been considerable."
 
Without WWI, Puerto Ricans will not get citizenship in 1917, so their community on the mainland will grow more slowly.

Just because the Jones-Shafroth Act passed in 1917 doesn't necessarily mean it was a product of the war:

"On this day in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act, granting Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship. Wilson acted nearly two decades after American forces ousted Spain from the Caribbean island.

The act’s congressional sponsors were Rep. William A. Jones, (D-Va.), chairman of the House Insular Affairs Committee, and Sen. John Shafroth, (D-Colo.), chairman of the committee on Pacific Islands and Puerto Rico.

At the time, many Puerto Ricans believed the act’s true purpose was to conscript them into the armed forces. (About 20,000 Puerto Ricans served in the U.S. Army during the World War I.) Congress, however, weighed the legislation long before the United States entered the war. Moreover, all male U.S. residents, including Puerto Ricans, were eligible for the draft whether or not they were citizens." https://www.politico.com/story/2008/03/puerto-ricans-granted-us-citizenship-march-2-1917-008771
 

raharris1973

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Monthly Donor
Do black Americans benefit from a lesser great migration?

Wouldn't some factories be delocalized to the south at some point? Like textiles or other things?

I would say no and say that blacks suffer economically and politically from the lesser great migration. Their economic opportunities are limited to a smaller area and a smaller set of jobs. Sure many may work in factories that move south. Urban consequences of concentrated poverty and difficulty accumulating capital would just be translated from northern ghettoes to rural or urban southern settings.

Politically, the lesser migration *might* have the effect of keeping one or two states black majority, theoretically increasing the prospects for favorable reform or at least patronage. However, even if states remained black majority any path to majority political rule would be long and hard fought. The whites would react to the "threat" of black majority rule with even greater solidarity and repression than OTL. Any black majority that did exist would be far narrower than say the scale of the black majority in South Africa. If black majority rule comes to pass in any state, white flight will likely be the reaction, reducing available capital and connections with the rest of the national economy.
 

raharris1973

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"What if foreign immigration had continued unimpeded in the 1920s? The average foreign-born migration rate to the northern states in this sample from 1880 to 1920 was 81.61 per thousand population, but the rate in the 1920s was only 38.64. If the rate of 81.61 had prevailed in the 1920s, the coefficient estimate suggests that about 165,000 fewer blacks would have migrated to the North than with the foreign migration rate at 38.64. This would have reduced black migration by about 20 percent. If the 1920s foreign-born migration rate had achieved the rate that prevailed in the 1900s, then about 260,000 fewer blacks might have moved northward than when the foreign-born rate was 38.64, reducing the black migration rate by about 30 percent...."

Well taking Collins' figures at face value, would 165,000 fewer blacks moving north in the 1920s, or 260,000 fewer blacks moving north in the 1920s, make Mississippi or South Carolina majority black in the mid-20th century? Even if the numbers have a big impact on the demographic balance, might the white population in those states increase even more proportionally in the mid and late 20th century due to: "Sunbelt" appeal of warmer climate, lower cost of living, and there being more European people (and their descendants) in the United States overall, available to move to the south at some point and falling on the white side of the color-line.
 
Another thing I'm interested to discuss it's the possible consequences on American culture in this timeline, what happens in fields like music and entertainment in general?
 
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