Date of Award:

5-1992

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)

Department:

History

Advisor/Chair:

Carol A. O'connor

Abstract

Most Utahns spent the years between Mormon entry into the Great Basin and statehood for Utah pursuing the traditional frontier-rural life, a mode which had been an integral part of the American experience since earliest colonial times. After the Mormon capitulation and statehood, Utah moved into a transitional phase, a phase between the traditional and the modern in which elements of each were mixed and mingled. This phase ended with the Second World War.

This transition to modernity affected migration behavior. Seen in light of migration theory, the Utah experience is something of an anomaly. One theory says that migration is the result of pushes from one place-- unemployment, low wages, poor climate, and similar conditions--and pulls to other places--available jobs, better pay, and lots of sunshine. The history of Utah migration during prewar years suggests another kind of pull, the pull not from outside to leave but from within to stay. The need and commitment to remain in what some call Zion {the Mormon culture region} was strong until the Second world War. After the war other needs and commitments intervened. Government-funded G.I. Bill education and a new sense of personal efficacy caused some to leave Utah for larger industrial and commercial centers. This study concludes by focusing on the experience of a few Utah veterans who migrated to California during the early 1950s.

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