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Baden, Wuerttemberg, Hohenzollern
- Emigration

Immigration to south-west Germany in 17th century

After the Thirty Years’ War (1618 – 1648), many emigrants from Switzerland and other areas came to south-west Germany bringing life back to the depopulated areas. Some of the local Lords even recruited the emigrants. The population grew again.

Emigration from south-west Germany from 18th century on

In the 18th century workers were recruited from the Habsburg kingdoms, even during the reign of Maria Theresia of Austria (Empress 1740 – 1780), in order to bring life to the new areas in the east („Banater Schwaben“, „Donauschwaben“). Additionally, many people emigrated to Russia (under Katharina the Great, Empress 1762 - 1796) and also some left for North America.


Baden-Wuerttemberg
around 1789 (from: Harms Atlas)

In the 18th century, primarily families or groups of families emigrated, but the greatest migration was in the 19th century, when more and more individuals were forced to leave their home countries – often for America. This was due to the increasing population, wars, starvation and political and religious discrimination.

In 1815, the population in the south-west was approximately 2.45 million (comprising 1.4 million in Wuerttemberg, about 1 million in Baden and about 56,000 in Hohenzollern). By 1850 the population had increased to 3.2 million, with Baden showing the highest growth. In 1882, the combined area of todays’ Baden-Wuerttemberg counted a population of about 3.6 million in 1882 andalmost 4.5 million in 1907 (population today is 10.8 million).

According to official records, approximately 200,000 people emigrated from southwest in the 19th century. However, the real number could be up to 500,000 people (only within the 10 years around 1850 130,000 emigrated from Baden), as many people emigrated illegally.
On the one side emigration means high risk (lack of information, emigrants had to renounce their civil rights, dangerous and long journey), but on the other side people had good reasons to leave their homeland: increasing population, wars, avoid military service, poverty, political and religious discrimination.

Between 1820 and 1890 about 5 million Germans (from whole Germany) emigrated to America. This means up to 30 % of the US-Americans have German roots.