Migration Control in the North Atlantic World: The Evolution of State Practices in Europe and the United States from the French Revolution to the Inter-War Period

By Andreas Fahrmeir; Olivier Faron et al. | Go to book overview
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Chapter 6
‘Beggars appear everywhere!’
Changing Approaches to Migration
Control in Mid-Nineteenth Century
Munich

K.M.N. Carpenter

In 1843, Munich’s Police Direction suggested that the bourgeoisie post guard dogs and affix bells in their homes so that they could alert neighbours in cases of emergency. Middle-class residents were also advised to station one person at home constantly and to lock all doors. As far as police officials were concerned, these measures had become critical for preserving the city’s ‘public safety’. Authorities further noted that they hoped such defensive policies would encourage only ‘hard-working men’ to reside in Munich.1

This last remark is perhaps the most revealing part of the Police Direction’s recommendation, for it indicates the city government’s real motivation. Lower-class men hardly represented a significant threat to Munich’s middle classes and their property; they were, however, becoming an uncontrollable segment of the population. Since 1810, the number of residents had more than doubled to ‘100,000 souls’.2 By the middle of the nineteenth century, journeymen comprised roughly half the adult male population. Only 19 percent of these men had been born in Munich. The rest were considered ‘foreign’, even though the majority came from the surrounding Bavarian countryside. (By the 1840s, 69 percent of journeymen listed their birthplaces as elsewhere in Bavaria, while only 12 percent came from outside the country entirely.3) So rapid was the influx of migrant workers into the Bavarian capital that the Police Director commented: ‘The Munich of 1800…no longer exists’.4

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