On the Move: Mobility, Migration, and Nation, 1880–1948

Sebastian Conrad and Philipp Ther

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199237395
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 On the Move: Mobility, Migration, and Nation, 1880–1948

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This article charts the trajectories of this cross-border mobility, both inward and outward-bound, keeping three general issues in mind. After the late nineteenth century, Germany was on the move. Population growth, the increasing pull of the cities, and economic opportunities in the industrial centers all contributed to a flight of people from rural areas. These massive and frequently overlapping forms of mobility demonstrate the degree to which German history was embedded in transnational processes. Migration was one of the forms through which large segments of the population experienced global entanglement first hand. Mobility connected different levels of experience and tied the local and regional to the national and the global. Secondly, migration was framed in the logic of economic order and labor markets. Mobility operated in a contested field in which the dynamics of cross-border movement constantly undermined, and at the same time dialectically reinforced, senses of nationality. This article concludes with a note on mass migration during and after the Second World War.

Keywords: mobility; migration; economic order; cross-border movement

Article.  8543 words. 

Subjects: History

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