Yasmin Ghobadi 10SPN 26th January 2003
With reference to the period 1880 to the present day, explain why people chose to migrate to Britain?
Even before the 1880’s people came to Britain for a number of reasons; to flee poverty, religious persecution and, for social reasons. People came from a variety of different countries including Afghanistan, Poland and even Ireland. I am going to write about some of these issues from 1880 to the present day.
The Russian government made it very difficult for Jewish people to earn a living so most moved (some moved to America), thousands of Jews moved to Britain during 1880 to 1940. Many left the Russian Empire and Eastern Europe to escape religious persecution and the threat of war (and leading to eventual war) made by ‘Hitler’. England offered a chance to practice their religion (safely), and earn a decent living with new technology and transport, including the invention of the car. They left a poor living with hardly any work, which meant hardly any food. The Russian government sent many threats including pogroms. Jews also had to face persecution in Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
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Today people are fleeing countries for religious reasons for example; partly why people are leaving Afghanistan is due to the way a religious group had been leading them, this could also be a political reason (the group known as the ‘Taliban’) are the political leaders. The ‘Taliban’ made male men grow beards, and girls were not allowed to go to school, that is also another reason came to Britain for the education system in Britain is very high and many people want the best for their children.
After the Second World War Britain needed help to rebuild and the only way they could do this by gathering people to come and help them. This was a major economic problem which needed to be sorted. A loss of men made us short of labourers; posters were put up all over the common wealth including countries like India and the Caribbean. Such slogans as ‘Come to your mother country’ was used; over a quarter of the worlds population at that time had a free right to be in this small island known as Britain. At this time the Caribbean had a high unemployment rate, they were offered transport and accommodation paid for (if they came to their ‘Mother Country’), so many came.
In 1948 the start of the ‘Windrush’ (Windrush was a passenger boat) came. Most passengers were young men in their twenties, very few people came to live in Britain but only earn some money to take back. Most never made enough money to go back to their own homes. Some came for social reasons, they were curious about the country they had fought for during World War Two, some returned for sentimental reasons (of the country they had worked for).
The main reason people flee for sanctuary in Britain is because of their government, for example since 1979 to the current day Iraq has supposedly abused its human rights laws against the Kurdish minority. Asylum seekers from China and Tibet have come to Europe seeking refuge from abuses of their human rights. Chinese citizens do not have full freedom of speech, as well as lacking other democratic rights. They cannot criticize the government without fear of imprisonment and possible
execution. Since 1950, the Chinese army has occupied Tibet, denying its citizens human rights including freedom of worship. Refugees have been fleeing Somalia since 1988. Many have fled to Europe (including Britain), many have stayed in Somalia but have lost their homes, and about 200,000 were displaced within Somalia in 2000.
To conclude most people immigrate to Britain on grounds of persecution of either religious or by force of government. Asylum seekers came because they thought of Britain as a safe haven from war and poverty, to make use of our excellent educational and health system. Every refugee contributes to our economy by working hard. If these people had not have come and today’s asylum seekers, we would never have the Britain we know today. This is a multicultural society, with in having every one learning off each other.