L'immigration au 18ieme siecle
To what extent was migration responsible for America's emergence as an economic power by WWI?
In our modern world, America's is one of the three poles of the Triad, which also regroups Occidental Europe and Pacific Asia. These three poles are the most influential economic powers of today. America however, created her wealth and influence during a mush shorter period of times than Europe and Asia. During the 19th century and up to World War I, America experienced an undeniable boom in her economy. One can argue that this boom was due to three major causes: migration, ideology and raw material.
Migration in America pre-WW1 is of two distinct natures. The first is the east to west movement, commonly referred to as “the conquest of the west”. This movement started in 1760, but the first established colonies on the west coast weren’t before 1831. The conquest of the west, fueled by the profit motive, played a decisive role in America's emergence as an economic power. The Homestead Act of 1862, when the federal government started giving away 160 acres of land to farmers was a significant milestone in America's westward expansion: it pushed more and more people to migrate to the west, where they could truly settle and create a new, more prosperous life. This Act enabled America to emerge as an agricultural power, however, if the act was the starting point, without migration, the “bread basket of the world” would never have reached the standing it has today in the agricultural world. On top of this, western settlers played an important role in the laying of the transcontinental railroad, which enabled the west to be further settled once it was opened. The treacherous, two month journey was cut down to 7 days, making the West coast, still mysterious and pure, much more attractive than the overcrowded and industrialized East coast. In conclusion, the conquest of the west was not only responsible for the emergence of America as an agricultural power, but