The Great Migration of WW1

Woodrow Wilson

Definition and Summary of the Great Migration of WW1
Summary and Definition: The Great Migration during WW1 was a flow of African American migrants from the rural farmlands in the South to the urban cities of the industrialized north. The WW1 draft caused a shortage of labor in the northern factories and African Americans migrated to take advantage of new job opportunities, better education and modern facilities of the cities. Impact and Effect: The massive demographic shift of the Great Migration dramatically altered African American history culturally, socially and politically.

Great Migration for kids
Woodrow Wilson was the 28th American President who served in office from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921. One of the important events during his presidency was the Great Migration.


Great Migration Map Great Migration Map showing rural to urban migration corridors.

WW1 Great Migration for kids: Fast Fact Sheet
Fast, fun facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about the WWI Great Migration.

What was the Great Migration? The WW1 Great Migration was the movement of African Americans from the farmlands in the south to the towns and cities in the north.

What date was the WW1 Great Migration? The date of the WW1 Great Migration was from 1915 - 1920.

How many people moved during the ww1 Great Migration? It is estimated that between 300,000 and 500,000 migrated during the WW1 Great Migration.

Great Migration Map : The Great Migration map shows the flow of movement along the rural to urban corridors.

WW1 Great Migration Facts for kids: Causes of the Great Migration
The causes of the Great Migration are detailed below:

Causes of the Great Migration for kids

Great Migration Causes: The number of white workers drafted in World War One, and the halt of immigration from Europe, led to a need for additional labor in factories and industries in the north.

Great Migration Causes: The increase in war production led to the increased demand for labor in the North, but the draft had removed many workers from the labor force.

Great Migration Causes: Northern companies and corporations sent labor agents (recruiters) to the South to persuade African Americans to take advantage of new job opportunities, better education and the modern facilities in the Northern cities.

Great Migration Causes: World War One cut immigration from Europe to America in 1914 from 1.2 million to just 300,000. The downward trend in immigration, and fresh labor, continued throughout the war.

Great Migration Causes:  In 1915 and 1916 floods and boll-weevil infestations ruined the cotton crop in Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana causing great hardship to black farmers.

Great Migration Causes: Racial segregation, the Jim Crow system, threats of lynchings, fear of mobs, white supremacy and the climate of violence persuaded Southern families to move to the freedom and greater prosperity in the North

Great Migration Causes: Easier mobility and transportation. People traveled North by train that provided easy access to New York, Chicago and other Northern cities.

WW1 Great Migration Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Great Migration for kids.

Facts about the Great Migration WW1 for kids

WW1 Great Migration Fact 1: Prior to the Great Migration of WWI and the move to the north, another great migration of 30,000 African Americans had taken place in 1879 to Kansas in the west. These migrants were called the Exodusters and were led by Benjamin "Pap" Singleton. The reason for the 'exodus' was to claim and settle lands as provided by the Homestead Act and escape racial segregation and intimidation in the South.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 2: In the years leading up to World War One the African American population were entirely rural. (In the years since 1920 this changed to more than 90% urban city dwellers).

WW1 Great Migration Fact 3: Why did African Americans move from the rural life in the countryside to the urban life in the cities? To seek new job opportunities in the North and leave racism and segregation in the South.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 4: The American Industrial Revolution, and the second period of Industrialization, occured in the latter half of the 19th century when steam power was replaced by electric power and iron was replaced by steel.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 5: Industrialization transformed the United States from an agricultural to an industrial society with  the emergence of mass production techniques in huge factories that required vast numbers of cheap, unskilled labor.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 6: The number of Black Americans employed in the farming industry dropped form 90% to just 50% in less than 50 years.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 7: 400,000 African Americans were drafted during the war, and 42,000 African Americans served overseas as combat troops including the famous Harlem Hellfighters.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 8: During WW1 the newly-formed NAACP led the fight against discrimination and segregation and to prevent mistreatment of African Americans in the military.


Facts about the Great Migration WW1 for kids

Facts about the WW1 Great Migration for kids
The following fact sheet continues with facts about WW1 Great Migration for kids.

Facts about the Great Migration WW1 for kids

WW1 Great Migration Fact 9: African Americans in the South were urged to move to the cities of the North by the black northern press.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 10: Robert Sengstacke Abbott (24 November 1870 February 29, 1940), the editor of a major black newspaper the 'Chicago Defender', encouraged African Americans to leave the South and migrate north by providing information about job opportunities during World War I.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 11: Between 300,000 and 500,000 African Americans left the South during World War I to settle in Northern cities which became known as the "Great Migration". Between 750,000 and one million left the South in the 1920s.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 12: Labor shortages during World War I provided African Americans with jobs in the shipbuilding, steel and automotive industries as well as in ammunition and meat packing factories.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 13: African American migrants settled in cities such as Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, Louisville, Springfield, St. Louis, Detroit and Chicago

WW1 Great Migration Fact 14: The massive influx of people in the cities led to the squalid conditions and problems of Urbanization in America. The majority of the movement to the cities happened during the early 1900s (America was majority urban by 1921)

WW1 Great Migration Fact 15: African Americans and foreign immigrants formed ethnic enclaves in America's cities where members of minority groups lived - referred to as ghettos.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 16: Prominent African Americans such as Marcus Garvey, A. Philip Randolph and Emmett J. Scott all worked to help people who joined the Great Migration to the north.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 17: Impact: The massive demographic shift of the Great Migration dramatically altered African-American history socially, politically and culturally.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 18: Impact: An increase in black political power for men such as Oscar De Priest and new business opportunities.

WW1 Great Migration Fact 19: Impact: During the 1920s a period of black artistic expression in music and literature emerged led by Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and W. E. B. DuBois. The movement became known as the Harlem Renaissance and ushered in the Jazz Age.

Facts about the Great Migration WW1 for kids

For visitors interested in the history of African Americans refer to the following articles:

Black History for kids: Important People and Events
For visitors interested in African American History refer to Black History - People and Events. A useful resource  for teachers, kids, schools and colleges undertaking projects for the Black History Month.

WW1 Great Migration for kids - President Woodrow Wilson Video
The article on the Great Migration provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Woodrow Wilson video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 28th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921.

WW1 Great Migration

● Interesting Facts about Great Migration for kids and schools
Causes of ww1 Great Migration  for kids
● The Great Migration, a major event in US history
● Woodrow Wilson Presidency from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921
● Fast, fun facts about the ww1 Great Migration
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President Woodrow Wilson
● Woodrow Wilson Presidency and ww1 Great Migration for schools, homework, kids and children

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