Change and Continuity in Immigration Essay

All throughout history immigration has been present either as a problem or causes of a vast change. In many places and in different time periods immigration was caused by many things and began many significant events. In the 1800s and now many new immigration happenings have occurred that change everything.

Around both these time periods in Ireland and Africa people have migrated for many different reasons which has continued as shown in the present problems with immigration and other countries around the world like in the United States, Russia and Spain, with such events like the immigration around now, the Irish potato famine and the Atlantic slave trade in Africa things have changed such as the reasons why people migrate, but many parts remained the same as in the discrimination and hardships the migrators faced.

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Places such as Africa and Ireland had many problems with immigration due to different things. In Africa the Europeans came and took slaves later the same native Africans captured them and sold them to the Europeans because of the high demand of slaves in Europe. In the 16th to 17th centuries Portugal, Britain and France reached Africa then the demand for “free labor” increased because of the new land colonized by the Europeans in the Americas (Wright). This meant that these new powers needed more and more slaves to work the new land in the age of exploration.

Now it has changed from this because the reasons most people migrate then were mainly due to the fact that most of these Africans did not go by themselves often times the Europeans or some other Africans themselves would capture and sell these people as slaves. Most of the Africans who facilitated and benefited from this slave trade were political or commercial elites generally members of the ruling leaders of African states or members of large trading families (Wright).

These changes were probably due to the constant back and forth trading of slaves from Africa and Europe. Another place that suffered a different was in Ireland around the 1800s that started in 1846 where a harvest of potatoes went bad and almost destroyed Ireland’s population. Potatoes were Irish peoples main part of their diet so when a few days after potatoes were cultivated, they began to turn into a slimy, ecaying, blackish (Mintz) this drove them to starvation. Many people did not survive this “plague” but some accomplished to migrate to the United States. These were terrible times for Ireland the population from 1845 to 1848 had declined by about two million people, of that bunch 300,000 starved to death and almost 5,500 people died per day (The Famine), if they would’ve stayed it would be hard to say what Irelands population would be now at that rate.

Compared to how it is now, most people don’t migrate to other countries because of massive starvations anymore, now dreadfully the hungry are poor and the poor with no other support can’t really make it to other countries such as the United States. Although from then to now the reasons for migration have changed what remained the same was the type of treatment the immigrants receive now (in a way) to how they were mistreated back then. This was probably due to the huge famine that demographically murdered the number of people in Africa.

The treatment from back then and now were strikingly similar although with many laws and progress since then some old habits and racism are still apparent in these times we’re in. in Africa this treatment was visible even between themselves where the captives were faced with the nightmarish transatlantic crossing to get to the Americas. The depths of human wretchedness and the shocking number of deaths of men and women packed in the ships are difficult to believe.

They were stripped down naked and bereft of their every belonging; they boarded the ship, also brandishing with hot irons to also mark their captives in a horrible way was done to mark them as slaves forever (Berlin). Besides that the amount of injustice and discrimination they passed through while already in the United States was devastating. The majority of people at that time had slaves or thought it was acceptable, even some of the most famous people in history, few slaves could marry, have a family, testify in court, or own property legally.

Some slaves were able to make money to free themselves (Slavery). This mistreatment was also distinguishable in what happened in the Irish potato famine, where the new immigrants came to the US with nothing and were segregated into their own parts of towns and cities and treated badly at times. Unlike other peoples that came to America seeking wide open spaces, the Irish chose to huddle in the cities partly because they were the poorest of all the immigrants arriving (The History).

This great movement of Irish people from Ireland to the United States was cause for a big commotion in these areas. In a peculiar occasion the catholic church welcomed all the catholic Irish people migrating in, just that the protestant mobs disagreed because Catholicism was becoming huge in places where the Irish settled like in new York, the Irish peoples had a hard time adapting to the united states because they decided to exclude themselves in their little niches,.

This caused an exclusion from everyone else and a view of the Irish a little less than accurate, Americans in that area were slow to accept the Irish as equals, preferring instead to judge them by the cartoon stereotypes of drunken and brawling Irishmen published in newspapers day to day. Irish immigrants were also derided in the press as ‘aliens’ who were mindlessly loyal to their Catholic leaders in place of any allegiance to America (The History), with images such as these it made it even harder to assimilate themselves to society.

Compared to now these places felt more of a harder time to get used to the situation but still continued in that now they face much more political struggles like racism and laws against working etc. than abuse as in these older times. These places had a hard time getting used to the new environment although, Africans faced a much harsher treatment they both had to assimilate themselves into society and eventually achieved a type of equality present now, but still with some racism and such.

So in conclusion, these places faced a huge problem with forced immigration whether a do or die situation as in the Irish or a violent forced immigration in Africa. These two peoples eventually grew to dislike each other because they both basically moved there around the same time periods, relations between Irish immigrants and African Americans in New York had never been good. From their earliest arrival in the U. S. the Irish had competed with freed slaves for the most menial jobs and cheapest housing (The History).

In both these time periods Ireland and Africa experienced horrible events people migrated forcibly as in Africa and for their lives in Ireland to places like Britain and the United states. These reasons have continued in present problems like political freedom, religious freedom and new economic opportunities, the Irish potato famine and the Atlantic slave trade in Africa things have changed such as the reasons why people migrate, but many parts remained the same as in the discrimination and hardships the migrators faced, as in racism here and segregation here in the 1800s.