Regarding the previously cited illiteracy statistics, I would like to see
the source of these statistics and the data profile. I suspect that these
are aggregated numbers.
Of course, the highest literacy will be in the towns and cities, which
indeed have large populations. City folk were in the minority of
immigrants - jobs and resources were more available and people had lesss
reason to leave. As such, an aggregation, where one averages city
statistics with country statistics provides broad-sweeping numbers which
cannot be used to characterized the immigrant population.
Consider the rural educational system of the late 1800s, early 1900s. Run
by the church, education usually ran until about 4th grade. The parents
were free to extract the children when they were needed for labor, which
they often did.
I have looked at thousands of immigrant records and the majority of them
were illiterate, probably in the range of 70 to 80 percent. I have seen
hundreds of documents signed by immigrants in their early years and a
great number of them signed their names with an "X".
Even comparing statistics within one county, such as Zemplin is deceiving,
when one finds the majority of Ruthene immigrants came from the
impovershed northern section of the Carpathian Mts. Note that the large
cities of Kosice and Satul. were in the central-south sector.
Male population illiteracy, 1900: http://www.bogardi.com/gen/g099.shtml
Average Increas of Population 1869-1900 http://www.bogardi.com/gen/g081.shtml
Emigration from Hungary to the USA 1899-1913. Emigrants / 10,000
Source: A magyar szent korona országainak kivándorlása és
visszavándorlása 1899-1913. - Budapest : Magyar Királyi Központi
Statisztikai Hivatal, 1918. (Magyar statisztikai közlemények ; 67.) p. 53.
[Emigration and remigration from the countries of the Holy Hungarian Crown
1899-1913. - Budapest : Hungarian Royal Central Statistical Office, 1918.
- (Hungarian statistical publications ; vol. 67) p. 53.]
On Fri, January 20, 2006 10:05 am, Bill Tarkulich said:
> Percentage of Illiteracy amoung immigrants 14 years of age and over
> for the year ended June 20, 1900
> 41 Turkish 78.7% (Highest)
> 36 Ruthenian (Russniak) 49.0%
> 33 Croatian and Slovenian 37.4%
> 29 Polish 31.6%
> 27 Slovak - 28.0%
> 26 Romanian 25.1
> 19 Magyar 16.9%
> 7 Bohemian and Moravian 3.0%
> 1 Scandanavian 0.8% (Lowest)
> Source: Industrial Commission, Volume XV pages 282,-3, Cited by Balch
> "The Slovak Counties range from Gomor with 28 per cent of the
> population illiterate to Ung, with over 67 percent. Twelve of the
> Slovak counties are worse than the general Hungarian average (50.6
> percent) of illiteracy, four are better"
> The book delves into the multitude of reasons why this is so, ranging
> from lack of government support, Magyarization policies, excessive
> number of holidays, church-based education often meant an emphasis on
> learning prayers and hymns to the detriment of literacy. Various
> regions responded differently to the problem.
> Balch reflects my sentiments: "One must remember that illiteracy does
> not necessarily connote either stupidity or lack of desire to learn,
> and that it is comaptible with all such culture can be transmitted
> orally, which is much more according as a society is more primitive.
> The printed page was not necessary to the composition of the Iliad and
> the Odyssey nor to their circulation. "In Every village", I was told
> in Croatia, " there is a library bought by peasants alone, and in the
> winter they often come together to have some one read to them, not
> only newspapers, but more solid literature such as translations of
> Tolstoy, Turgenieff, and Dostoyevsky." Such glimpses suggest what a
> different thing illiteracy is under different circumstances."
> "Our Slavic Fellow Citizens"
> Emily Green Balch, Associate Professor of Economics, Wellesley College
> 1969 Arno Press, Inc.
> LCC # 69-18758
> To unsubscribe from this group, go to
> http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to
> Yahoo! Groups Links