Death of a Nation? Debating the Great Transatlantic Emigration from Hungary, 1900-1914


  • István Kornél Vida University of Debrecen



The turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century was witness to an unprecedented wave of emigration from East Central Europe, with an estimated 1-1.5 million people leaving for the United States from the territory of Hungary. Such loss of population, mostly young males in their prime, shocked the nation and served as a subject for discussion in various forms and on multiple levels of discourse, from the newspaper reports through literary depictions, to scholarly publications and conferences. In this paper I examine significant monographs as well as conference volumes and proceedings, analyzing the major opinions and debates surrounding the causes and consequences of the Great Transatlantic Emigration. I discuss the most significant publications that appeared before the coming of the First World War, which put an end to mass emigration from Europe. These works in a sense represented the best that Hungarian migration studies had to offer for more than half a century, which makes them particulary worthy of scholarly attention.






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