Migrant Labour in Europe (1987) examines the movement of workers from less prosperous parts of Europe to areas with demand for their services. The author identifies seven major systems of migrant labour: the North Sea System (mainly Westphalian workers heading for the German and Dutch North Sea Coast and Walloon/French workers bound for the Belgian and Zeeland coasts); the area between London and the Humber; the Paris Basin; Provence, Languedoc and Catalonia; Castile; Piedmont; and central Italy with Corsica. A detailed study of the first of these systems, tracing its development and changes, is brought into a synchronic relation with data for the other regions. The evidence shows major waves of immigration in the seventeenth century, and a rapid diminution of migratory labour to the North Sea in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, a time when new ‘pull areas’ were created by the expanding industrial complexes of Germany and labour began to come in from areas outside Europe.

chapter 1|17 pages


part One|83 pages

A Description and Analysis of the North Sea System: the Northern Region of the French Empire c. 1811

chapter |2 pages


Line of Inquiry and Principal Source of Information, the Questionnaire of 1811

chapter 3|10 pages

Migrants Under Way

chapter |2 pages


part Two|26 pages

The North Sea System in Wider Perspective: Migratory Labour in Western Europe c. 1800