Rising rents in segregated areas and the resurgence of KKK activity after 1915 worsened relations between blacks and whites across the country. The summer of 1919 marked the beginning of the greatest period of interracial conflict in U.S. history at that time, including a disturbing wave of race riots. The Great Migration was the widespread migration of millions of African Americans from the South to the North and West during the 20th century. Historians differ on the duration and duration of the Great Migration; However, it started as a net in the 1890s and grew in size until the 1970s. This was primarily the result of economic opportunities in the North and racism and discrimination in the South. The volume of migration has increased and decreased in line with economic opportunities in the north. The two most difficult periods took place during the World Wars. Demand for labor in northern industrial centers increased, and many more African Americans migrated north. The Great Migration caused such a dramatic demographic shift that in 1970, more than 50 percent of African Americans lived in the northern regions, while in 1900, only 10 percent lived there.
The economic impulses behind the Great Migration were very similar to the impulses underlying the migration of other groups in American history. In the 1840s and 50s, hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrated from Ireland due to the growing need for cheap labour to build the booming railway system. During the same period, Germans migrated along the Great Lakes due to internal unrest in their home regions due to the availability of cheap land in the Upper Midwest. In addition, the modern industrial revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries will continue to flourish. The migration of millions of southern and western Europeans to the Americas has led to the migration of millions of southern and western Europeans. The economic pull factors and political push factors behind these large mass migrations are similar to the Great Migration. The economic pull factors and political push factors behind these large mass migrations are similar to the Great Migration. Beginning in 1916, the need for millions of workers to make munitions for war was the incentive that brought hundreds of thousands of African Americans north.
Migration declined during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when more than 25 percent of American industrial workers were unemployed. Black migration slowed considerably in the 1930s when the country sank into the Great Depression, but increased again with the onset of World War II and the need for war production. But returning black soldiers found that the GI Act didn`t always promise the same postwar benefits for everyone. When World War I broke out in Europe in 1914, industrialized urban areas in the North, Midwest, and West faced shortages of industrial workers as the war ended the steady flow of European immigration to the United States. The Great Migration was primarily the result of economic opportunities in the North and racism and discrimination in the South. Beginning in the 1870s, the South restored economic dominance over the newly freed slaves. With the introduction of sharecropping and leasehold farming, African Americans were trapped in an economic system somewhat more advanced than slavery. Politically and socially, the black codes prevented African Americans from accessing “white-collar jobs.” Therefore, the main occupation that allowed African Americans throughout the South was agriculture. Because of the black codes, the main occupation of African Americans throughout the South was agriculture. Beginning in 1916, the need for millions of workers to make munitions for war was the incentive that brought hundreds of thousands of African Americans north. After the Civil War and the Reconstruction era, racial inequality in the South persisted into the 1870s, and the policy of racial segregation known as “Jim Crow” quickly became the law of the land.
Because of racial discrimination in most northern states, the areas where African Americans were allowed to settle were limited. This is how cities within cities emerged. Harlem in New York, for example, has become a destination for thousands of people. It became the center of African-American culture and art. This Harlem revival of the 1920s and 1930s gave voice to the aspirations of African Americans. According to the United States, the Supreme Court declared race-based housing ordinances unconstitutional in 1917, and some neighborhoods have issued agreements requiring white landlords not to sell to blacks; These remained legal until the court struck them down in 1948. The changes brought about by this demographic change have been enormous. The cultural characteristics of these groups significantly changed the cultures of the regions in which they settled, as evidenced by the Harlem Renaissance. In the 1970s, when the Great Migration ended, its demographic impact was undeniable: while in 1900, nine out of 10 black Americans lived in the South and three out of four on farms, by 1970, the South lived only half of the country`s blacks, and only 20% lived in rural areas of the region. The Great Migration was captured in Isabel Wilkerson`s The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America`s Great Migration.
Due to housing tensions, many black residents established their own cities within major cities, fostering the growth of a new urban black culture. The most striking example was Harlem in New York City, a once all-white neighborhood that was home to about 200,000 blacks in the 1920s. One of the most prominent African Americans of the post-Reconstruction era, Booker T. Washington, in his speech at the Atlanta Exposition of 1895, demanded that American capitalists “throw their buckets” among the millions of African Americans in the South and employ them in their factories. However, competition with immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe during this period kept the number of African Americans employed to a minimum. And although the Ku Klux Klan was officially disbanded in 1869, the KKK continued underground thereafter, and intimidation, violence, and lynching of black Southerners were not uncommon practices in the Jim Crow South. There were many effects of the Great Migration. With the postwar depression after World War I and the resulting lack of jobs in northern cities, reactionism against African Americans increased, leading to violence against African-American communities in northern cities. Most notorious were the Chicago riots of 1919, which claimed 38 lives, injured hundreds, and displaced thousands of black families.
The Great Migration also marked the beginning of a new era of growing political activism among black Americans, who, after being disenfranchised in the South, found a new place in public life in cities of the North and West. The civil rights movement benefited directly from this activism. On July 27, 1919, an African-American teenager drowned in Lake Michigan after violating unofficial segregation of Chicago beaches and being stoned to death by a group of white youths. His death and the refusal of the police to arrest the white man, the eyewitness like. Read more Did you know? In 1916, when the Great Migration began, a factory wage in the urban north was generally three times higher than what blacks could expect to work the land in the rural south. The black experience during the Great Migration became a major theme of the art movement first known as the New Negro Movement and later as the Harlem Renaissance, which was to have a huge impact on the culture of the time. In the decade between 1910 and 1920, the black population of major northern cities grew by percentages, including New York (66%), Chicago (148%), Philadelphia (500%) and Detroit (611%). Because of racial discrimination in most northern states, the areas where African Americans were allowed to settle were limited. This is how cities within cities emerged. Moreover, with the increasing concentration of African Americans in urban areas, their political and economic concerns have shifted into traditional political arenas.
Protests and activism to overcome discrimination have gained prominence. The most serious was the Chicago race riot of 1919 – it lasted 13 days and left 38 dead, 537 injured and 1,000 black families homeless. By the end of 1919, some scholars estimated that 1 million blacks had left the South, usually by train, boat, or bus; A smaller number had horse-drawn carriages or even carts. This will change with America`s entry into World War II. Here, too, the need for industrial jobs in the north will be the impetus to move hundreds of thousands more north. The continued economic benefits of the postwar period, combined with continued Southern segregation policies, led to a steady flow of blacks from the South to the northern regions in the 1950s and 1960s. Most African Americans leased their land to former forced labor camp owners as tenants or had “sharecropping” agreements with them. In addition, Jim Crow laws established racial segregation as a cultural characteristic. Moreover, the existence of the secret KKK and other white supremacist groups in the South has kept African Americans in an eternal state of Pentecostalism.
About the author: Christopher Averill has been teaching U.S. history for 27 years and has been actively involved in APUSH notation® for 22 years®. Christopher has worked as an APUSH exam reader®, table leader, exam leader and question leader. Christopher was instrumental in setting up the best practice workshops for PA teachers at the annual AP®® History Reading in the United States.