Didactic Commentary: Essen during the Industrial Revolution - Multiethnical structure of population
This unit is about the multiethnic population structure in Essen and the Ruhr area during the industrialisation (1870-1914), Essen’s “golden time”. The section is divided into two subtopics: immigration to the Ruhr area and the social co-existence of the immigrants and the residents in the Ruhr area.
The main example of immigrant groups to the Ruhr area are the so-called “Ruhr Poles“. This heterogenic group accounted by far the largest number of immigrants during the time that is being dealt with here.
The different sources used here offer pupils various perspectives and shows that the process of migration and integration was not without its conflicts. Furthermore, the different ideas for living together are presented.
Links to Classroom Subjects
“Migration”, “Emigration”, “Integration”, “Assimilation”, “Recruitment”, “Population Structure”, “Social Structure”, “Population Increase”, “Structural Changes”, “Industrialisation”, “Demography”, etc.
Connections to other Subjects on the Website
The subject can be treated in addition to any other subjects concerning Essen during the industrialisation (town planning, economy and trade, nature and technology, population and social structures). Especially the topical closeness to population and social structures should be pointed out here. There are a lot of connections between the two subjects allowing one to combine the two sections. The topic multiethnic population structure is also treated by Vilnius in connection with the Russian invasion of 1655 and by Krakow in connection with the Renaissance. Both units concentrate on the co-habitation of different population groups. It is advisable here, in due consideration of the relevant historical context, to compare these with the situation in Essen.
Working with the Teaching Unit
The units consist of two subtopics 1. immigration to the Ruhr area; 2. co-habitation of immigrants and residents). It is best to combine these topics as they complement each other. It is possible, however, to treat them separately.
Pupil Competences and Educational Objectives
Cognitive Educational Objectives
The unit serves as an introduction to the topic of “Migration”. Various sources are given for pupils to analyse. The first step should be for them to concentrate on the reasons for immigration to the Ruhr area. The next is to take a look at the German and Polish views on co-habitation. The pupils will come to realise that there were different concepts of co-habitation and that it was not without its difficulties.
Affective Educational Objectives
The various sources allow the pupils to see how the process of immigration shaped the Ruhr area during the industrialisation. Both the motives of the migrants and the reactions of the people in the Ruhr area are portrayed.
Is this unit, the methodical approach to interpreting and analysing texts is practiced, sometimes using statistics. By using materials that allow an affective approach pupils are trained to use empathy. As well as this, there are two possibilities for projects. When working with the sources it is advisable to additionally make use of the method pages on this website.