Derick Buffum
Migration became a major aspect of the twentieth century for a couple reasons. Migration numbers greatly increased just before the twentieth century, and throughout the century. Historian Richard Bulliet and the College Board both have ideas of just how important migration was in the twentieth century. Both could agree that many different types of people migrated from one country to another for many different reasons. Migration certainly experienced much change as the first migrations were made to unknown and unsettled lands, yet in the twentieth centuries migration was not for exploration. Migration became a matter of new opportunities as well as pursuits of happiness for the individual and the masses. Bulliet puts less stress on the importance of migration than the College Board does. However the College Board proves the high importance of migration, but leaves out important details of migration in the twentieth century.
The College Board portrays how migration was a major effect of changing economies and improved technology in the twentieth century. The even display migration as a key concept. In the AP key connects the fact that migration created drastically different societies in both countries that were migrated to and from, as well as challenges to governments that had to create solutions for the large flow of people coming in. In the late nineteenth century there was not only external migration but internal migration as well. This was because of the improved medical conditions and food production. So in turn, people migrated to cities increasing urbanization. This urbanization set the path for booming economies to rise in the twentieth century. College Board presents reasons why people migrate with stronger economies. They reveal that many migrants relocated in search of work. These migrants were often already manual laborers. Even in the nineteenth and twentieth century there was still slavery. Indentured servants and slaves were moved to different countries and continents. Another type of migrant was the large amount of temporary migrants who often returned home. AP points out the examples of Japanese agricultural workers in the Pacific, who returned back to Japan after a certain number of years in the Pacific. The Migration in itself created many consequences that started in the nineteenth century and continued throughout the twentieth century. With a strong demand of physical labor in many countries many men migrated to work, leaving women with jobs and roles in the home society formerly had by men. Receiving societies were not always accepting to immigrants. Mixed ethnic societies created much tension between races and ethnicities.
The College Board then moves into the twentieth century without displaying the important impacts technology had on immigration. AP shows that modern communication and transportation eliminated the geographic distance on many countries. People were able to move across long distances in many different and faster ways. The Green Revolution produced more food for a growing population. Much medical advancement were made which increased humans ability to survive throughout the world. Also new energy technologies such as nuclear power and oil use accelerated the production of material goods.[1] However it accelerated the need for jobs as well. AP set the stage up with a growing population, better transportation, and an increase for open jobs. It seems they left out an important result of these factors that opened up in the twentieth century. A growing population had to have spread throughout the world, as it couldn’t be too concentrated in too many areas. Richard Bulliet offers some results of these factors that the College Board didn’t.
Richard Bulliet concentrates on the consequences of migrants changing countries, and doesn’t give much importance to migration. Migration has only less than a page in Bulliet’s The Earth and its Peoples. According to Bulliet immigration caused many problems in countries on the receiving end of immigration. Before he illustrated the negative points of immigration Bulliet does point out a change in Immigration that the College Board doesn’t cover. During World War II the United States actually recruited Mexican workers and European countries created guest worker programs. The United States and Europe did this because they had a labor shortage due to the war. However in the short amount of migration that Bulliet covers, he concentrated on its negative aspects for countries. After World War II immigrants became much less welcomed in Europe and the United States. Especially during hard economic times native born workers saw immigrant workers as competitors who were willing to work for lower wages. Immigration expanded quickly in some countries such as Germany. In many cultures having a large family is a popular way of life. In 1975 in Germany the immigrant population only made up for seven percent of the population. However that seven percent accounted for fifteen percent of all births in Germany at the time.[2] Bulliet analysis of migration does not expand or go any farther than 1975. The continuities of ethnic tensions and competition for work as consequences of migration are illustrated. There is more continuity in that the people who are migrating are doing it for work, or are doing it temporarily. However Bulliet still seems to be missing a piece to migration. Although he doesn’t stress migration nearly as much, he seems to be missing why migration occurred in the twentieth century.
Large-scale migration became a product of improved technology, which is pointed out by the website Eye Witness History.[3] Richard Bulliet stresses improvement in technology in the twentieth century, but not the large-scale migration that resulted from technology. Russians, Greeks, Italians, Irish, and Polish all immigrated to the United States due to a lack of economic opportunity in the homelands. How was all this migration possible? Larger, faster, and more efficient ships carried them across the Atlantic. Medical, technological, and increased food production created a huge population in Europe. Not all of these people could have well paying jobs. So migration to the land of opportunity became the best option.
The College Board addresses the topic of Migration with High Importance and a key concept, and Bulliet doesn’t view migration with as much importance. However AP doesn’t explain why migration occurs, they simply just say migration is an important aspect of the 1900s to know. Migration occurred because of improved technology, a growing population, and better transportation but the College Board did not make that link. With many of our diverse societies today, it is important to know where they came from and how. Many of our societies consist of people with many different backgrounds and ethnicities. Understanding how these came to be and the initial consequences of the migrations could be key to solving any present day conflicts. Perhaps Bulliet missed this in his thinking. The College Board understood, but couldn’t provide all the information needed about migration.
Eye Witness History, "Immigration in the Early 1900s."

College Board, "AP World History Key Concepts."

Bulliet, Richard. The Earth and its People. Boston: Wadsworth, 2011.

[1] College Board, "AP World History Key Concepts."
[2] Bulliet, Richard. The Earth and its People. Boston: Wadsworth, 2011.
[3] Eye Witness History, "Immigration in the Early 1900s."