How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

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gebhk
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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by gebhk » 27 Oct 2020 16:40

Hi Futurist

I am not saying they weren't capable or that it never happened, the issue was whether they would be permitted to. As I recall, since the time of Peter the Great every Russian Empire citizen had an internal passport (known as the propiska system) which had a stamp identifying their place of residence. Should they wish to go elsewhere, they had to obtain a new stamp and it was at the discretion of the authorities whether it was granted or not. It was a means of ensuring serfs could not leave the land to which they were assigned to work as well as a means of controlling the population. It was continued for most of the Soviet era, for much the same reasons and it is debatable, to say the least, whether the modern-day Russian Federation has managed to depart completely from this legacy despite constitutional and legal assurances to the contrary.

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by Futurist » 28 Oct 2020 05:15

Interesting. I didn't know that the propiska system existed before Communism in Russia.

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by henryk » 28 Oct 2020 20:16

gebhk wrote:
27 Oct 2020 16:40
Hi Futurist

I am not saying they weren't capable or that it never happened, the issue was whether they would be permitted to. As I recall, since the time of Peter the Great every Russian Empire citizen had an internal passport (known as the propiska system) which had a stamp identifying their place of residence. Should they wish to go elsewhere, they had to obtain a new stamp and it was at the discretion of the authorities whether it was granted or not. It was a means of ensuring serfs could not leave the land to which they were assigned to work as well as a means of controlling the population. It was continued for most of the Soviet era, for much the same reasons and it is debatable, to say the least, whether the modern-day Russian Federation has managed to depart completely from this legacy despite constitutional and legal assurances to the contrary.
They were permited:
https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sci ... mmigration
Kosciuszko and Pulaski were just the beginning of a long period of Polish migration to the United States. The Poles tried repeatedly to rebel against their foreign rulers and restore Poland as a nation, but the Russians and Austrians were too strong for them. After several major uprisings in the nineteenth century, many members of the Polish upper class chose to escape the new oppressive governments. So many came to the United States that Polish America became known as the "Fourth Province" of Poland, the other three being those areas controlled by Russia, Austria, and Prussia, respectively. (Another term for the Polish community outside of Poland is "Polonia.") A few groups of peasant farmers also came to America, looking for better economic opportunities. They set up Polish farming communities in places like Panna Maria, Texas, the first permanent Polish community in America, founded in 1854.

Polish immigration from the 1770s to about 1870 is sometimes referred to as the "first wave," but more often the first wave is considered to have begun in 1870 when Polish serfs were given their freedom and began to emigrate. Just as the serfs were freed, the United States began encouraging immigration to help rebuild the country after the devastation of the American Civil War. Up to two million Poles immigrated to the United States between 1870 and 1914.

Most Polish immigrants in this first large wave of immigration, also called the "old emigration," were single young men looking for the chance to work at wage-earning jobs, save up their money, and return to Poland. Some 30 percent actually did return to Poland, but the rest stayed in the United States. As uneducated (though generally literate) peasant farmers, they were unskilled and unprepared for the industrialized world of America. They took whatever jobs they could find, working in mines, mills, factories, slaughterhouses, refineries, and foundries. Once established in their new home, many sent for their families or returned to Poland to marry, and then brought their wives back to the United States with them. Women and children went to work then to support the family.
No serfs after 1861:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_serfdom
Serfdom became the dominant form of relation between Russian peasants and nobility in the 17th century. Serfdom only existed in central and southern areas of the Russian Empire. It was never established in the North, in the Urals, nor in Siberia. Historian David Moon argues that serfdom was a response to military and economic factors in Russia. It was socially stable and adaptable to changing demographic and economic conditions; revolts were uncommon. Moon says it was not the cause of Russia's backwardness; instead, backwardness blocked alternative methods that were developed in Western Europe. Moon identifies some benefits for serfs, such as assurances of land and some assistance after bad harvests. Moon argues that Russia's defeat in the Crimean War was a catalyst leading to the abolition of serfdom.[13][14]

Finally, serfdom was abolished by a decree issued by Tsar Alexander II in 1861. Scholars have proposed multiple overlapping reasons to account for the abolition, including fear of a large-scale revolt by the serfs, the financial needs of the government, evolving cultural sensibilities, the military need for soldiers, and, among Marxists, the unprofitability of serfdom.[15]

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by gebhk » 28 Oct 2020 21:18

No serfs after 1861:
Indeed not, however the propiska system continued to the end of the Tsarist reign, continued (bar a year or two in the early twenties) during the Soviet era and many would argue that aspects of it continue today in the Russian Federation. It is also perhaps debatable whether a kolkhoznik was any different to a serf, however that is an altogether different discussion for another time :D .

I would only point out that just because the regime was happy to see Poles emigrate to, say, America (especially if they were seen as 'trouble makers')does not necessarily mean it would have been happy for them to move into the heartland of the mother country or man militarily sensitive industrial production. I am not saying it couldn't happen, merely that official sanction was required although I have no idea how likely it was that it would be given.

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by henryk » 29 Oct 2020 21:43

With millions relocating, it would be impractical to signicantly control movements.

There is a Polish folk song on an emigration to the US pre WWI: Montaineer, Moutaineer, do you regret leaving family and friends, to never see them again? He replies: it's for the bread. It's for the bread.

Here is an account of my family relocations.

Paternal great-grandfather moved from Austrian Galicia, with two sons, to Russian Poland Sokolina (about 50 km from Kraków) in 1890. My grandfather lived 1912-3 in Chicago, returning to Poland. My father emigrated to Canada 1927.

My maternal Grandfather's brother moved about 1880 in Russian Poland from Sokolina Parish 50km northeast to Kargów Parish: 3 sons emigrate to US 1910-1913. My maternal grandfather lived in Kargow 1907-1909, one son born there, returning to Sokolina.

Another maternal grandfather's brother: one son moved to Chicago 1905. another 1910.

An maternal uncle emigrated to Chicago 1913,. Another to Canada 1926. My mother to Canada in 1933.

A paternal uncle lived mid-war in France, returning before 1939. A son was born there. The family moved to the Wrocław area about 1946.

A paternal aunt moved to Darłówko near Baltic, about 1946.

A maternal first cousin moved to Kłodzko, near Czech-Slovak border about 1946.
It's for the bread. It's for the bread.

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by gebhk » 30 Oct 2020 09:29

Hi Henryk

I am sure that all of the above is true. However it does not answer the question whether the Tsarist regime would have permitted unskilled peasants from Poland to move to industrial centres in other parts of the empire. Say, to St Petersburg to work in the weapon's factories there? It is not about emigration abroad.

Futurist:

I think the question about basic assumption (ie whether there was, in fact, overpopulation) is even more pertinent in this context. I am merely speculating, but would suggest that on the whole, the backward farming practices of the Russian Empire would have been highly labour-intensive and so it is unlikely that there was surplus labour. After all, the propiska system was in the first place primarily invented to keep adequate numbers of people working the land, which suggests there was at least a tendency for under rather than over-population on the land.

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by Futurist » 02 Dec 2020 19:41

Do you know when the propiska system was developed? It looks like something equivalent to it already existed in Tsarist times, but did it always exist ever since serfdom was abolished in Russia--with serfs being prohibited from leaving their lands before that, in the era of serfdom?

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by gebhk » 02 Dec 2020 20:16

AFAIK it originated under Peter the Great.

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by Futurist » 04 Dec 2020 00:28

And before that free migration was allowed for Russians who weren't actually serfs?

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by wm » 04 Dec 2020 01:02

Borders between the Russian partition and Austria-Hungary basically didn't exist till the ww1.
I don't know about the border with Russia proper.
Polish peasants migrated to Austria-Hungary at will.

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by Futurist » 04 Dec 2020 01:17

And Austria-Hungary willingly and eagerly let them in and gave them Austro-Hungarian citizenship?

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by wm » 04 Dec 2020 01:33

The local nobleman and landowner (former serfs owner) was the law there.
You registered with him, you leased or bought a piece of land from him, you paid your taxes to him and he was a happy camper.
Later it changed but the bureaucracy wasn't especially onerous I think.

That was good times, no borders, no passports, you could own a gun, artillery piece, or an entire warship and nobody even batted an eye.

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by Futurist » 04 Dec 2020 01:44

But those good times couldn't last indefinitely even without any World Wars since migration would eventually become easier and easier--including for non-whites/non-Europeans--no? Were racist early 20th century Europeans actually willing to have open borders with the entire world once huge numbers of people of different races and ethnicities, with different cultures, et cetera could move to Europe?

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by wm » 04 Dec 2020 02:28

Certainly, an example is the mass emigration of Galician Jews to Vienna and their conquest of the local economy there.

It's not about differences but the fact that local resources are limited and can't be shared with many.
There were limited opportunities for doctors to practice in Vienna, they had a zero-sum game there. Ten new Jewish doctors meant ten unemployed German doctors.

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Re: How much was the overpopulation problem in Poland alleviated by the migration of Poles to the Recovered Territories?

Post by Futurist » 04 Dec 2020 02:40

That makes sense and also might help explain why some or even many non-Jews might have been supportive of or at least ambivalent towards various anti-Semitic legislation and measures that were implemented by countries such as Nazi Germany, Horthy's Hungary, interwar Poland, et cetera after 1918. Basically, it meant less competition for them in their own professions!

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