Global Migration and Land Legislation, 1800–1945



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Project Description

This research project examines the evolution of immigration-related land legislation around the world, from c. 1800 to World War II. This phase of the project focuses on the British, French, and Spanish empires and postcolonial societies in the Americas, Africa, and the Indian Ocean world. Research questions include the following: which laws did imperial and national governments enact to encourage immigration? What types of land did they offer new immigrants and on what terms? And which other benefits, exemptions, and subsidies did the immigrants receive? This comparative project examines the legislation that underwrote colonization, or settler colonialism, in many parts of the world.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate researchers will be gathering and examining different pieces of legislation, such as land acts, that imperial and national governments enacted between 1800 and 1945. Researchers will be compiling a comprehensive database of land codes and scholarly literature on the topic, and will examine key differences between regional laws.
The ability to read Spanish and French is essential for those who will focus on Latin America and the French colonial empire.

Requirements and/or Application Instructions

Applicants should have experience using library databases and have interest and/or background in studying global migration, history, and law.
Those with advanced reading skills in Spanish and French are particularly encouraged to apply. Readers of other languages are welcome too.
Please submit your CV to Prof. Hamed-Troyansky at