Why people came to Britain during the twentieth century

Topics: EconomicsEconomic Problems

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Last updated: November 12, 2019

The twentieth century was a phenomenal landmark for Great Britain; it would have a huge effect on the core infer structure of Britain for decades to come.

Millions of immigrants migrated from around the globe in search of a better life. Both push and pull factors broadened the horizons of many, sources A to E can give one an insight into why many immigrants felt so compelled and ultimately drawn to Britain.Although the sources do reveal some valuable information, the sources lack potency and depth, for instance the five sources are ripe with push factors but the scarcity of pull factors combined with the reliability issue raise many questions. Despite this however, the five sources are extremely diverse, for example, source A which quotes the May laws is all in text format, whereas source B ,a drawing of a pogrom, is mainly graphical.With the apparent lack of information, the five sources are limited in many different ways, for example there is no mention of the Irish or Chinese immigrants, without naming countless other ethic groups that came to Britain in the twentieth century. Source A is an extract from May Laws which were passed through the British Government in 1882. This source is a prime example of what I mentioned earlier, it is littered with push factors but contains no pull factors whatsoever.From these six laws we can gather that the Russian Government wanted the Jews to leave Russia, the Jewish community was now being used as a scapegoat to account for the problems at home like the assassination of the Tsar coupled with the economic problems that were sweeping Russia.

“Jews cannot own or farm land”,” Jews are not allowed to hold Government jobs”,” Jews will not be allowed to train as lawyers”. This shows institutionalised racism.Although the source does not mention any pull factors, we can infer that the Russian Jews came to Britain for several reasons, including the freedom of speech and worship-Britain was of course democratic. The already existing community of Anglo-Jews also appealed to the Russians as they would give them a sense of security, the Anglo-Jews had been living there trouble free for generations. As well as the basic necessities that the Jews wanted, Britain also offered better jobs.

Britain could also be used as a ‘stepping stone’ for Jews wanting to travel to America from Britain.Although this source contains no pull factors we ca use our own knowledge to complete the jigsaw, it is very useful but source A is limited in many carried ways. Source B on the other hand is a drawing of a Pogrom in Kiev, 1881. The biggest problem with this source is that we do not know its origins. As a result of this, the drawing may have been made to look more dramatic than it actually was- and vice versa. Despite this however, the most intriguing thing is that several soldiers are standing by, watching the events unfold helplessly. This again shows institutionalised racism.

When was the source drawn?Shortly after the pogrom? Years after the pogrom? Did the artist witness the pogrom first hand? These questions show that there are many vital pieces missing from this source. As the motive for this drawing is unknown, we cannot rely on this source to heavily. For example if a Jew drew this picture then it could have been made to look worse than it actually was, so as to make people sympathetic towards the Jewish, whereas if a Russian drew this picture then it could have been toned down in order to draw attention away from the Jewish. This source is again full of push factors but contains very little pull factors.

We can infer that the pull factors are closely linked to source A. Jews would want to have the right to walk around the street without another pogrom progressing. Britain could offer this as there was no institutionalised racism in Britain at that time. The push factors would almost certainly have included fear. This source clearly shows us why Jews left Russia but it does not say why many Jews chose Britain Source C is a photograph of three Polish airmen, it is not clear when this photo was taken but we do however know that Poland was invaded by the Nazis in 1939.

This would undoubtedly have contributed to the thousands of immigrants that flooded Britain at around 1945. (As the Polish was the largest number of refugees in that particular year) Many Poles also came to Britain in order to continue the fight against the Nazis. As the information states, the Polish fighters were accountable for one out of every ten enemy planes shot down, this was quite a remarkable feat. When Poland became Communist in 1945 many Poles also decided to permanently.Yes, as you may already have guessed, this source is yet again showered with push factors, but we cannot account for any pull factors. Source D is an account of a West Indian when he boarded the Windrush in 1948 o immigrate to Britain. Unlike the other sources, this one has no catastrophic events, i.

e. poverty and invasion that would push him away from his homeland. As a matter of fact the man tells us that he had quite a ‘reasonable’ job and that ‘things were looking for him’ and that the only reason he wanted to move was to ‘get away from the control of his parents’ and the fact that ‘the island was too small’.These reasons combined caused the imminent departure of this man from the West Indies. These reasons are push factors, all be it very small reasons but they all pushed him from his home in search of a more exciting life with a greater scope of choices, Great Britain could offer this.

This source does again miss out some vital information, like the 1951 hurricane that would almost certainly have driven thousands from their home. The 1948 nationality act also gave nearly one quarter of the world’s population the right to live in Britain, spurring many to emigrate here.At that particulate time the USA was restricting immigration, so many people may have came here as a second choice. The labour shortage in Britain was also helped by the advertising campaign abroad that would have featured abroad.

This is not even mentioned. This man also describes Great Britain as being the ‘Mother Country’; this suggests that he has a lot of affection for Britain, this however is only one mans account, and the Windrush is not explained in full detail, therefore we cannot get a full picture of this mans account.Overall this man suggests that Britain was superior and that he aspired t be British. This source has a few minor push factors that would not have featured in the average West Indians lives.

There are a few push factors but none are major issues, along with the lack of information, this is not a reliable or detailed source. Source E is a picture of Ugandan Asians arriving at Heathrow in September, 1972. Idi Amin (The Ugandan President) ordered forty-thousand British Asians out of Uganda.This is an example of ethnic cleansing and Africanisation that was taking place all over Africa. In general, photographic sources have very limited uses and this is reflected throughout source E. It is the least useful source of all as it can be interpreted in many different ways.

The people in the photograph could have left Uganda by 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 go into much depth about source E.In conclusion to the original question, no I do not think that that there is enough evidence to establish why people came to Britain during the twentieth century. All sources are full of push factors, but many sources lack in or do not have any pull factors.

Also, inferring from my own knowledge I know that a lot of information is missed out from sources A-E. For example, the Irish and the Chinese are not mentioned throughout the sources – that are a major fact that has been missed out here. When all the sources are combined together we can gain a good understanding of the reasons why people left their native homelands.

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