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history cwk Question 1

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Is there sufficient evidence in sources A-E to explain why people immigrated to Britain in the 20th Century? In this essay I will analyse the value of sources A-E to decide whether or not they provide enough evidence to explain why people immigrated to Britain. Source A is an extract from May Laws passed by the British Government in 1882.. From these laws we can gather that the Russian Government wanted Jews to leave Russia, the Jewish community was being used as a scapegoat for the problems at home like the assassination of the Tsar, coupled with the economic problems sweeping Russia. Laws such as "Jews cannot own or farm land" show institutionalised racism. Although the source does not mention any pull factors, we can infer that Russian Jews came to Britain for several reasons, including freedom of speech and worship. The already existing community of Anglo-Jews also appealed to the Russian Jews as they had been living there trouble-free for generations. ...read more.


Britain could offer this as there was no racism in Britain at that time. The push factors would almost certainly have included fear. This source clearly shows why Jews left Russia but it does not say why many Jews chose Britain. Source C is a photograph of three Polish airmen, although it is not clear when the photo was taken. The fact that Poland was invaded by Germany in 1939 would undoubtedly have contributed to the thousands of Polish immigrants who flooded Britain around 1945. Many Poles also came to Britain in order to continue the fight against the Nazis. As the information states, Polish fighters were accountable for one out of every ten enemy planes shot down. When Poland became Communist in 1945 many Poles decided to reside in Britain permanently. Yet again this source is showered with push factors, but no pull factors. Source D is an account of a West Indian who boarded the Windrush in 1948 to immigrate to Britain. ...read more.


This source has minor, and very personal, push factors that would not have featured in the average West Indians' lives. Source E is a picture of Ugandan Asians arriving at Heathrow in September, 1972. Idi Amin (the Ugandan President) ordered forty thousand Ugandan Asians out of Uganda. This is an example of ethnic cleansing and Africanisation that was taking place all over Africa. Photographic sources have limited use and this is reflected throughout source E. It is the least useful source as it can be interpreted in many ways. The people in the photograph could have left Uganda of their own accord, or they could have been forced to leave under the 1972 act. There is very little information about this source and as a result we cannot analyse in depth. To summarise, I do not believe there is enough evidence to explain why people came to Britain in particular during the twentieth century. All sources have many push factors, but lack or have very few pull factors. ...read more.

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