|The visible hand of shipping interests in American migration policies 1815-1914|
Feys, T. (2010). The visible hand of shipping interests in American migration policies 1815-1914. TSEG 7(1): 38-62
In: Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis. Aksant: Amsterdam. ISSN 1572-1701, more
The visible hand of shipping interests in American migration policies 1880-1914.As Goldin observed, the perplexing part of us immigration restriction history is that it took so long to close the doors. A key actor in this debate has generally been overlooked. This article argues that shipping interests, including those of the Holland America Line (HAL), were the driving force behind the pro-immigration lobby and successfully helped prevent the early passage of restrictive laws selecting European migrants based on racial prejudices. It also shows that while American authorities improved inspections at the gates, the shipping companies increased their efforts to guarantee the landing of their passengers. The analysis of shipping lines as middlemen between the migrant and the state aims to reassess their influence on migration flows and early migration policies.