Date of Award
Master of Science
Charles L. Cleland
M.B. Badenhop, Joe A. Martin
Freedom of movement is an American heritage which continues to be important today. Throughout the history of this country many individuals, families, and groups have moved and made needed adjustments. The rapid growth of this country would have been difficult if each local area, state, or region had been forced to depend on the natural increase of its own population to develop its potential. On the other hand, when a region could no longer support its population, migration provided relief. Migration has often occurred in response to the promise of social or economic betterment; this was true of the influx into California in 1849 and has been reflected more recently in the migration of southern Negroes to the North.
Four major streams of internal migration can be identified with the development of America. The westward movement across the United States dominated the picture for more than a century, and it still continues with large-scale migrations into California. Since the Civil War, there has been ever-increasing movement from South to North, involving both whites and Negroes. The movement from rural areas to cities has been taking place since colonial times and has become more prevalent as the country has shifted from an agrarian to an industrial economy. Recently movement has developed within metropolitan areas, with population shifting from the inner city to the suburbs. Thus, the country has been and still is composed of a mobile population. Statistics on mobility from the 1960 Census indicate that nearly half of the people in the United States were living in a different house in 1960 from the one occupied in 1955, 27 per cent in a different county, and 9 per cent in a different state.
Brinkley, Lew E., "Family mobility in rural low-income counties of Tennessee. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1966.