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Local Migration Systems in Nineteenth-Century Iowa

Michael P. Conzen
Geographical Review
Vol. 64, No. 3 (Jul., 1974), pp. 339-361
DOI: 10.2307/213557
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/213557
Page Count: 23
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Local Migration Systems in Nineteenth-Century Iowa
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Abstract

Two widely accepted generalizations about nineteenth-century settlement of the American interior, the westward movement and the urban frontier, have rarely been studied together as integral parts of a single circulation system. This study employs birthplace data by county-of-origin within Iowa for counties and urban settlements that provide a singular opportunity for testing the relative strengths of contemporaneous westbound and citybound migration in the state. A complex flow structure existed, explicable only in part by the pull of the West and of large cities. Other influences were more localized. In addition, despite the lack of urban primacy in Iowa, evidence indicates that incipient metropolitan dominance operated in rural-to-urban migration streams.

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