My analysis began when I came across the table of immigration rates from 1928 to 1944, which I found within the Chicago Daily Tribune from May 17, 1945. It is obvious that the year of 1929 stands out among the following years with a massive rate of Polish immigrants whom migrated to the United States.
Even so, in 1930 the number of Polish immigrants increased by a little over fourteen hundred Poles. The year 1930 was the only year in the time period of 1929 to 1944 in which close to five thousand Poles immigrated to the United States. Beginning in 1931, the Polish immigration rates decreased within the next thirteen years, dropping to only four hundred and thirty four in the year of 1943.
This piece of data sparked my interest to investigate the reasoning behind such a large increase of Polish immigrants in 1930 while America was by then heavily immersed in the Great Depression. However I wanted to explore more than just the causes behind such a dramatic rise in the immigration rates.
I was interested in understanding who the Poles were (as individuals collectively) to make such a journey across the Atlantic to a country with an economy in the midst of falling apart.To begin answering my research question, I first explored what current events were happening in Poland during the years of 1929 to 1930.
Knowing what the economy and political state of occurrences was like in Poland would provide possible answers to why there was such a dramatic rise in the immigration rates of Poles to America. First of all, it is crucial to know that the Great Depression did not affect America only. Though it did originate first in the United States and damaged America’s economy and overall society greatly, the depression spread to other countrie.
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- Wilcox, Walter F. 1929. “Migrations According to International Statistics: Continental Migrations.” National Bureau of Economic Research I:219-227.
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