Migration, Inundation… Top Scorers July 23, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Migration – seasonal, circular, forced, permanent… – is as old as history. Folks from one community cross the river and go and live with folks on the other side. They work together, live together and eventually have children together. This stuff has been going on for tens of thousands of years. However, in modern times the rate of migration has grown by several factors and it is often typical in western countries, for around 10% of the population (legal and illegal) of a given country to be foreign born. The purpose of today’s post is to try and establish the largest immigrant influx in history anywhere.
The ground rules.
First, immigration suggests joining a host society: the occupation of, say, Indian territories in the New World must be ignored for the simple reason that Indian societies were practically destroyed and then segregated. There was no amalgamation until very late on, and then the Indians were – however unjustly – the migrants.
Second, thinking again of New World situations, the Pilgrim Fathers do not count as foreign born. They were a uniform cultural-ethnic group who had just shifted the boundaries of England to the west… Foreign born would refer to Portuguese or Danes coming to living among the early British colonials. In fact, the early English colonies had very few foreign immigrants in the sense meant here: particularly compared to their Dutch and French counterparts.
Third, for the purposes of this exercise migration must at least promise to be permanent: the vast migrant communities in the contemporary Gulf, for example, are temporary and shifting; the UAE has just under 84% foreign born population, but very few will die or marry in Dubai. Ditto the millions of Syrians who have, we must hope temporarily, fled to neighbouring states.
Fourth, it goes without saying that as important as numbers is migrant background: a Pole will integrate far more easily in Catholic Italy than a Somali, a Brit will, all things being equal, become ‘American’ more quickly than a Peruvian. But for the purposes of what follows only numbers matter.
Fifth, we are going to ignore, with apologies, very small countries: the Falklands, the Vatican City State…
Finding this data has proved difficult, at least, before the twenty-first century. However, a number of contenders stand out. First there are four Anglo-Saxon countries that began as emigrant magnets, who defined themselves as migrant states, and who have continued as magnets into the twenty-first century: the US, New Zealand, Canada and Australia. The US has today a mere ten percent foreign born population but in c. 1900 one in five Americans had been born abroad. The old British dominions have overtaken the US in this respect: 27.7% of contemporary Australians were born abroad. Wow. Second, you have a number of European countries that have gambled on massive migration: one in four Swiss residents were born outside the country; Austria has a 15% foreign-born population. Then, third, there is, of course, Israel that has had, at different times in its modern history, a majority foreign-born population: at least, if you follow some Israeli demographers, who often ignore, though, the Christian and Muslim Palestinian population. (The matter is very complicated, not least because large numbers of the Palestinian population are abroad, some having been born there).
These figures are overwhelmingly here and now. Surely there are more dramatic nineteenth century or even ancient instances? drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com The problem with ancient population figures is, of course, that they are so damn unreliable.
In pure numerical terms, the crown probably goes to the US c. 1890, Australia now or, by certain definitions, Israel. However, if you want to put this all in a compressed time frame consider, instead, modern Ireland (not the six counties). In the early 1990s Ireland had practically no migrants save a loosely managed asylum seeker population and a sprinkling of the British leisured classes: then, from 1994 to 2008, Ireland was transformed as the country became, in a long decade, almost a fifth ‘foreign’ (best figures 17%): the free movement of migrants within the EU had allowed eastern Europeans to come and settle in the Republic. Consider too that the 2008 crash followed, and that very few migrants went home… It says a lot for the good sense and sanity of the Irish that the situation did not lead to riots: would their neighbours across the Irish Sea in John Bull’s other other island have been so level-headed? Whether the quintrupling of a migrant population in ten years was to be wished for is, of course, another question altogether…
History Roundup 154 including Unicorn Raising July 22, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
Today’s post on Irish court comedy, today’s links follow. 1) Japanese Art on Western Inventors: don’t miss this one! 2) The Dead Heads of Annecy: not for the squeamish 3) Morning Glory Dead: English Witch Queen who ‘raised unicorns’ 4) Silk King of Thailand: then he vanished… 5) Ghost Book: outline (interesting?) 6) Mormon Alphabet […]
Nobs and Plebs in Irish Courts July 22, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Nineteenth-century Ireland was a rum place. The vast majority of the population was poor, Catholic and uneducated. The ruling, largely Protestant minority also described themselves as Irish: and many died and fought in the cause of Ireland. But the gulf of communication between these two worlds was immense and this was rarely so evident as […]
History Roundup 153 including Female Ninjas July 21, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
Today’s post on magic books and today’s links follow. 1) Johnny Appleseed on the Road: Exhibit 2) Tomb Painting Gaza: near GP 3) 8000 Year Old Brain Matter: Norway 4) The Lucky Villages: no great war casualties 5) The Longstone and the Mower: timber! 6) Iram of the Pillars: Atlantis in the desert 7) Mansion […]
Review : The Book of Grimoires July 21, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Claude Lecouteux is one of the world’s most interesting writers on folklore and magic: his work on the wild hunt, for example, is perhaps the best we have. However, this new book by CL, The Book of Grimoires: The Secret Grammar of Magic (2013 Inner Traditions, from the French original, 2002) is not strictly by […]
History Roundup 152 including Medieval Church Graffiti July 20, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
Today’s post on meteorite weapons and today’s links follow: 1) At 60 to Ceylon: new life, new photographs 2) Armana under Spade: the lost Egyptian city 3) Confederate White House Keeper Photo: beautiful 4) Medieval Church Graffiti: new project 5) Islamic Sacred Springs: short but interesting 6) Restoring Medici Tapesteries: good old Gucci 7) 325 […]
Meteorite Weapons July 20, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
***Thanks to Radko for inspiring this post*** Imagine a blade made from a star. Now this is not actually as far fetched as it might first seem. After all, ‘stars’ (aka meteorites) sometimes fall to earth and some of them have enough iron content to make a blade practical. These blades are not necessarily exceptional: […]
History Roundup 151 including Cannibal Clubs July 19, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
Today’s post is on papal magic and links follow 1) Iconic 1970s Poster of Tennis Girl Sells: for thousands with white dress… 2) Most Overlooked Scientists: 23 3) Dracula and Safe Sex: not sure what to make of this one 4) Strange Skin Purses: including human… 5) Nottinghamshire Giantess: Georgian England 6) Cannibal Clubs: 19 […]
Papal Sorceror? July 19, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
***Thanks to an old friend of the blog, Stephen D. for this one*** Urban VIII (obit 1644) was one of the most exquisitely cultured popes ever to sit on the throne of Peter. He is famous today for being the man who brought Galileo to Rome to rap his knuckles very hard: but that is […]
History Roundup 150 including Army of the Dead July 18, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
Today’s post on kissing Satan’s bottom and today’s links follow 1) Isleta Pueblo: Incorruptible 2) Who Was the Ulster Man: Great Train Robbery 3) Smoked Corpses: Papua 4) Cochno Carvings: revealed… 5) More on Children Skulls and Lake Gods: gulp 6) Why You Got Sent to A Mental Asylum, c. 1800: ‘fright of fires’, tobacco… […]
So You Want to Become an Early Modern Witch: 16 Steps July 18, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
We are back in the seventeenth century and your neighbours are really getting on your nerves, money is tight and, frankly, you want to let down your hair and deny God and the mother Church. How do you get involved with early modern Satanists and impress at the Sabbat? Well, luckily for you someone was […]
History Roundup 149 including Poison Lady July 17, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
Today’s post on mutilated statues and today’s posts follow: 1) The Drunkard’s Coat of Arms: 1717 2) 6500 Peruvian Child: Death explained? 3) Spontaneous Combustion at Bedfordshire: newspaper clipping 4) Making Swords the 18 cent Way: Saguto 5) Misjudged Gypsies: Georgian England 6) Poison Lady: poison proof 7) 10 Exceptional War Memorials: UK 8) Kurdistani […]
Image: The Hands Haven’t It July 17, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
What is wrong with this picture? We have here two Elizabethan nobles: Sir Thomas Wroughton (d. 1597) and Lady Anne Wroughton of Broad Hinton in Wiltshire: their manor house would in later centuries host and house such notables as John Evelyn and the Iron Duke of Wellington. Thomas was a member of the upper ranks […]
Today’s post is on a 19 cent practical joke and the links follow: 1) 112 Year Old Ham: good old BBC 2) Pink Sultanas: don’t normally do clothes but… 3) Livestock Disease: in a medieval Italian skeleton 4) Frontier Scout: early Dakota newspaper, fascinating 5) Mantraps: grrrr 6) Elephant for Dinner: Paleo Diet 7) Tonga […]
Practical Joke: The Wife Hunter July 16, 2014Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Practical jokes were often fairly of poor fare in the nineteenth century. However, there is something amusingly diabolical about this one, particularly if you remember that no one died and that the wife hunter learnt that there were probably better ways to find true love . It appears that a Manchester tradesman short time ago […]