FlashASI - Flash Asile

A comparative and transnational history of migration policies towards exiles and refugees in nineteenth-century Europe (1815-1870) – AsileuropeXIX

The project AsileuropeXIX - A European history of political exile and asylum in 19th-century Europe

In 19th-century Europe, political exile began to emerge as a form of mass migration and political commitment. In order to tackle that major shift, the research project focuses on the 1830s-1870s, a time period which was a crucial for the gradual definition of political exile and asylum, but also for the implementation of new policies towards foreign victims of ideological repression.

The AsileuropeXIX program tries to write a European history of asylum during the 19th century by highlighting welcoming policies towards foreign refugees in six European countries.

After the Congress of Vienna, the increasing number of dissidents expelled from their home countries for political reasons led to major shifts in the migration policies of Great Britain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and to a lesser extent of Sardinia-Piedmont and Spain, the main countries providing asylum to such refugees between 1815 and the 1870s. Adopting a comparative and transnational approach, the research project aims at studying the tools elaborated to select and welcome this specific population of foreigners compelled to migration for political reasons. The migrations were triggered by the repression of liberal and radical insurrections (for instance, Italian insurrections of the early 1820s and early 1830s, Polish insurrections in 1830-31, 1846 and 1863, “Communes” of the early 1870s), but also by the independence wars and civil conflicts that burst out in Europe during that time period (the Greek war of Independence in the 1820s, “carlist” wars in Spain between 1833-39 and 1872-76). What were the pioneer States that first welcomed political exiles in nineteenth-century Europe? Can the time lags observed between European host countries be attributed to the uneven construction of their administrative structures, or to ideological, cultural or even religious factors? How did the exiles themselves influence these migration policies, especially thanks to the use of petitions, and more broadly by their multiple forms of political commitment in exile? Finally, what were the reactions and initiatives observed among the civil society in order to welcome foreign exiles and refugees, or on the contrary in order to protest against their presence? These are the main issues that the research project addresses thanks to its team.

The AsileuropeXIX project adopts a comparative and transnational approach. The field of investigation that allows us to analyze political exile through the lens of migration policies includes the main European countries that provided asylum to foreign refugees between 1815 and 1870s (France, Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Piedmont-Sardinia). The research project aims at studying the tools elaborated to select and welcome this specific population of foreigners compelled to migration for political reasons. But it also seeks to go beyond the traditional approaches of political history by offering a “bottom-up” story of the reactions and initiatives observed among the host civil society in order to welcome political exiles and refugees.

Four scientific axes have been delimitated. The first aim is to establish a European glossary of exile and asylum in the nineteenth century through a lexicometric analysis of the legal and administrative vocabulary thanks to a large corpus of dictionaries, codes, legislative and ministerial texts. A second goal is to study the administrative and sanitary migration controls of political exiles at the border, through the use of passport controls. The project also tackles the welcoming policies that were implemented towards foreign refugees, thanks to a history of public policies but also by highlighting the civil societies’ reactions towards that specific foreign immigration. A final part of the project examines a posteriori migration controls, especially deportation measures but also incentives given to refugees encouraging them to immigrate to European colonies.

Between 2016 and 2018, the AsileuropeXIX team achieved their first results:
- The team organized two workshops: the first in January 2017 (“The words of exile in 19thcentury-Europe«, National Museum of the History of Immigration, Paris); the second in January 2018 («Removing foreigners during the nineteenth century”, Colegio de España of the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris). The presentations given during the first workshop have already been published in the peer-reviewed journal Hommes & Migrations.
- The team designed and created a website intended for a wide audience, hosting lexicographical articles (10 texts currently online); iconographic material (16 texts presenting images selected by the team); commented cards created by team members (19 maps online); realization of timelines on the 19th century history of the countries covered by the program The website scientific announcements on the history of migrations and exiles in the nineteenth century. Each online publication is relayed by the Twitter account @asileurope which is followed by more than 500 subscribers.
- The team designed and created a database on foreigners expelled from France during the 19th century. The database «ExpulsionsXIX« gathers the nominative information on 2,573 foreigners expelled from France between 1815 and 1870. The data were compiled from files of expulsion preserved in several funds of the French National Archives (Pierrefitte-sur-Seine), Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (La Courneuve) and several Departmental Archives (Bas-Rhin, Bouches-du-Rhone, Calvados, Gironde, Nord, Somme). Users can find on the website a presentation of the database and can query it from a multi-criteria search form.

The AsileuropeXIX team will pursue several scientific goals until March 2020:
- The journal issue resulting from the second workshop organized by the program, “Removing foreigners during the nineteenth century. Expulsions, deportations, relegations” is being prepared. Edited by Delphine Diaz (Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne) and Hugo Vermeren (École française de Rome), it will be published by the peer-reviewed journal Diasporas. Circulations, migrations, history (2019/1).
- The AsileuropeXIX team are preparing the writing of a book of synthesis, entitled _Les Réprouvés. Sur les routes de l’exil dans l’Europe du XIXe siècle_, edited by Sylvie Aprile (Université Paris-Nanterre) and Delphine Diaz (Université de Reims-Champagne-Ardenne). Sylvie Aprile, Constance Bantman, Fabrice Bensimon, Catherine Brice, Delphine Diaz, Alexandre Dupont, Antonin Durand, Laure Godineau, Romy Sánchez and Hugo Vermeren will contribute to the book.
- The website of the program will continue to be fed by new texts and resources: new maps as well as lexicographical resources will be uploaded and will feed the section of the site on the “European vocabulary of exile”.
- The AsileuropeXIX team are organizing a closing international conference, which will be entitled «Exile, Gender and Family in the Nineteenth Century«, to be held in Reims, 5-7 September 2019 (organizing committee: Delphine Diaz, Antonin Durand, Alexandre Dupont and Hugo Vermeren). The conference will tackle that topic looking at the long 19th century and adopting a global perspective.

The AsileuropeXIX team members have already published two special issues of peer-reviewed journals:
- Delphine Diaz and Catherine Brice (ed.), « Mobilités, savoir-faire, innovations », Revue d’histoire du XIXe siècle, n° 53, 2016/2 (some articles have been translated into English for Cairn International with the support of the ANR) ;
- Delphine Diaz and Alexandre Dupont (ed.), « Les mots de l’exil dans l’Europe du XIXe siècle », Hommes & Migrations, n° 321, April-May-June 2018.

Our website (https://asileurope.huma-num.fr/) provides educational resources on the European vocabulary of exile and asylum during the 19th century, twenty maps on the exiles’ migratory routes through Europe, but also commented images of 19th-century refugees. It gives access to a database of nominal information on foreigners expelled from France between 1815 and 1870.

In nineteenth-century Europe, political exile began to emerge as a form of mass migration and political commitment among both the “liberal international” and the counter-revolutionary “white international” that developed after the Congress of Vienna. In order to tackle that major shift, the research project will focus on the first half of the century, which was a crucial time for the gradual definition of political exile and asylum, but also for the implementation of policies towards foreign victims of ideological repression.
After the Congress of Vienna, the increasing number of dissidents expelled from their home countries for political reasons led to major shifts in the migration policies of Great Britain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and to a lesser extent of Piedmont-Sardinia and Spain, the main countries providing asylum to such refugees between 1815 and the 1870s. Adopting a comparative and transnational approach, the research project aims at studying the tools elaborated to select and welcome this specific population of foreigners compelled to migration for political reasons. The migrations were triggered by the repression of liberal and radical insurrections (for instance, Italian insurrections of the early 1820s and early 1830s, Polish insurrections in 1830-31, 1846 and 1863, “Communes” of the early 1870s), but also by the independence wars and civil conflicts that burst out in Europe during that time period (the Greek war of Independence in the 1820s, “carlist” wars in Spain between 1833-39 and 1872-76). What were the pioneer states that first welcomed political exiles in nineteenth-century Europe? Can the time lags observed between European host countries be attributed to the uneven construction of their administrative structures, or to ideological, cultural or even religious factors? How did the exiles themselves influence these migration policies, especially thanks to the use of petitions, and more broadly by their multiple forms of political commitment in exile? Finally, what were the reactions and initiatives observed among the civil society in order to welcome foreign exiles and refugees, or on the contrary in order to protest against their presence? These are the main issues that the research project will address.
This project will first reconstruct the vocabularies used to describe and thus categorize these exiles and refugees, showing how new categories were elaborated to designate the political migrations’ actors during the nineteenth century. That lexical approach will also be used in order to analyze the legal tools and administrative practices that were thought for exiles and refugees. Another dimension of the research conducted by AsileuropeXIX will highlight the migration controls that affected political exiles at the borders, when these foreigners arrived in the country where they sought asylum: controls at the borders will be studied through administration and police records on the one hand, and through personal archives on the other hand (memoirs, correspondences, autobiographies). The project will also tackle the welcoming policies that were implemented towards foreign refugees, thanks to a history of public policies – ways of selecting, helping them and restricting their movements through space – but also by highlighting the civil societies’ reactions towards that specific foreign immigration. Finally, the last lead that the research group will follow relies on the a posteriori migration controls in nineteenth-century Europe: whereas migration controls at the borders were based on passport controls until the 1860s, the a posteriori migration controls relied on deportation measures but also on incentives given to refugees encouraging them to immigrate to European colonies.

Project coordinator

Madame Delphine Diaz (UNIVERSITE DE REIMS CHAMPAGNE-ARDENNE)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

URCA UNIVERSITE DE REIMS CHAMPAGNE-ARDENNE

Help of the ANR 232,200 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2016 - 36 Months

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