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This pioneering study of migrant journeys to Britain begins with Huguenot refugees in the 1680s and continues to asylum seekers and east European workers today. Analysing the history and memory of migrant journeys, covering not only the response of politicians and the public but also literary and artistic representations, then and now, this volume sheds new light on the nature and construction of Britishness from the early modern era onwards. It helps to explain why people come to Britain (or are denied entry) and how migrants have been viewed by state and society alike. The journeys covered vary from the famous (including the Empire Windrush in 1948) to the obscure, such as the Volga German transmigrants passing through Britain in the 1870s. While employing a broadly historical approach, the book incorporates insights from many other disciplines and employs a comparative methodology to highlight the importance of the symbolic as well as the physical nature of such journeys.
This book is a study of the history and memory of Anglo-Jewry from medieval times to the present and explores the construction of identities, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in relation to the concept of place. The introductory chapters provide a theoretical overview focusing on the nature of local studies. The book then moves into a chronological frame, starting with medieval Winchester, moving to early modern Portsmouth, and then it covers the evolution of Anglo-Jewry from emancipation to the twentieth century. Emphasis is placed on the impact on identities resulting from the complex relationship between migration (including transmigration) and the settlement of minority groups. Drawing upon a range of approaches, including history, cultural and literary studies, geography, Jewish and ethnic and racial studies, the book uses extensive sources including novels, poems, art, travel literature, autobiographical writing, official documentation, newspapers and census data.
This introduction explores the concept of migration and the contested nature of Britishness. The aim of the book is to explain famous and obscure migration to Britain, which includes migrants who were denied entry or those who have passed through only briefly, and groups who were allowed permanent settlement in Britain. The book discusses the history of British migration and presents eight case studies from the seventeenth century onwards. It explores how race, religion, ethnicity, place, gender, age and class are utilised in selecting which groups are granted or denied entry to the nation's borders.
This chapter explores the concept of Britishness and discusses British migration starting with the Huguenots onwards, including the responses of the state and public to these newcomers in Britain. It discusses the intensification of later migratory movements to Britain and the immigration process implemented for the entry and restriction of migrants. The chapter also explores cases reflecting intense anti-alienism of British society to immigrants and refugees.
This chapter discusses variations in the nature of migrant journeys. It presents cases of forced migration, including the migration of Vietnamese refugees and the traumatic journeys of the Jews and Irish people. The migrations of the Jews and the Irish represent the largest European migrations of the nineteenth century. In this chapter, both the emigration of the Jews from the Russian Empire and the horrors of Irish famine emigration are discussed in detail.
This chapter explores the migrant journeys of Huguenot refugees escaping French persecution in the last quarter of the seventeenth century. It discusses published memoirs and escape accounts of Huguenot refugees who suffered religious persecution in France. One example is Reverend Jacques Fontaine's autobiography, A Tale of the Huguenots, which details the intense persecution in 1685 and his journey of escape following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
The decline of the grain trade, high population growth, and the threat of military service in the Russian army led ‘Volga Germans’ from the 1860s onwards to consider emigration. From the mid-1870s, 4,000 Volga Germans went to Brazil to seek better opportunities in the Americas. This chapter discusses the migratory movement of the Volga Germans in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. It describes the experiences of these Russian refugees and illustrates the complexity of the nature of their migration patterns.
The Kindertransport was a voluntary movement organized by the British government in 1938 that brought 10,000 Jewish and other children from Nazi Europe to Britain. This chapter discusses narratives of the Kindertransport journeys, which allowed for the movement of refugee children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland rescued from Nazi persecution. It highlights the generosity of the British people towards Jewish refugees during the Holocaust period, and explores the reasons why the Kindertransport was subjected to widespread public and media attention since its arrival in 1938.
The St Louis was a German cruise ship that left Hamburg in May 1939 carrying 900 Jewish refugees on board bound for Cuba. It was forced to return to Europe following not being allowed to disembark at the port of Havana, Cuba. In contrast to the Kindertransport, St Louis present a case where Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany were abandoned by the world. This chapter presents the case study of the St Louis and the refusal of Canada and the USA to grant asylum for the Jewish refugees. It also illustrates the complexity of British immigration procedures during the 1930s and the problems that emerged during the selection and exclusion of refugees on board St Louis seeking entry to Britain.
This chapter discusses the emigration of West Indians after the Second World War. It describes the arrival of black West Indians, generalised as Jamaicans, aboard the Empire Windrush to Britain in 1948. The chapter explores the significance of the migrant journeys of the West Indians, the beginning of black presence in Britain and the contributions of the migrants to the nation's chronological evolution.