Basque diaspora, 18th–20th century
Published Online: 4 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration
How to Cite
Arrizabalaga, M.-P. 2013. Basque diaspora, 18th–20th century. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .
- Published Online: 4 FEB 2013
The Basques have a long history of migration which dates back to ancient times when fishermen hunted whales along the shores of the Bay of Biscay (Gallop 1970). These people, who settled some 70,000 years ago in today's southwestern France and northern Spain, are said to be the early whalers of Europe, Roman documents offering testimonies of their commercial activities in the 4th century ce. Yet early Basque migration never drew seamen away permanently, their activities calling most of them back to their ports of origin. Similarly in the modern era, seafaring drew many Basques off the shores of the Bay of Biscay to expand their fishing activities and their international commercial enterprises across the Atlantic Ocean to America (Álvarez Gila & Morales 2004). These migration trends undoubtedly shaped families’ collective memory and culture, but it was with the birth of new independent nations in America in the 19th century that the extraordinary political and economic conditions were established for massive permanent emigration (Arana Perez & Alzugaray 1990).
- ethnic conflict;