My family’s migration story isn’t very unique or special. From what I know, my mother’s side of the family came from Sweden. They moved to Andersonville in Chicago, the Swedish area. My father’s side came from Ireland. I’m not exactly sure the reason for moving to America, but it very well could have been due to the potato famine as I believe they immigrated in the 19th century. For both sides of the family, I don’t know the exact reason for immigrating, besides the overarching idea of looking for new opportunities. Both sides immigrated in the 19th century though. I do know more about my mother’s side when they first lived in America.
That side of the family moved to Andersonville in Chicago. Andersonville is the Swedish area of Chicago, so they lived around other Swedes who had moved to Chicago. My family opened a hardware store called Lind Hardware (Lind is my mother’s maiden name). It was called a hardware store, it was more of a general store, people could buy groceries and toys there too. Eventually, that store was closed and became the home to the Swedish American Museum. The building is still the Swedish American Museum today, after 40 years.
I don’t know much of the difficulties my family faced when immigrating from Ireland or Sweden, but I’d imagine that both sides had to deal with the cultural differences of America.
This past week, we learned about Britain’s imperial rule in South Asia, specifically Pakistan and India. In the reading, India at 70, the author discusses the promises and the failure to meet them 70 years after India gained independence from Britain. They talk about W.E.B. DuBois and how he believed India could become a “superior alternative” to the other world powers in the West. But that hope never came to fruition according to this author, specifically noting the rise of hate crimes against Africans in India. This article dealt mainly with the hopes for a better India, better than the world powers of the time. But India did not reach that level, instead perpetrating violence against Africans in India, to the extent of 40 African nations calling out India and the United Nations beginning an investigation.
In Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, the author discusses British rule in India in modalities: historiographic, observational, survey, enumerative, museological, and surveillance. These different modalities were used by Britain to collect extensive data and use that data to administer the region and push the population towards hatred; pinning religious groups against each other. Dividing the population and pinning religious groups against each other aided Britain in maintaining the populations focus away from them and their taking of resources in India, as well as their oppressive rule. The tension that the British started in India created a lot of violence within the nation.
This past week we learned and discussed Latin America and the effects of colonialism and American intervention. Western intervention in developing countries has been a theme of other weeks as well. In Latin America, it was generally the United States that was intervening with political affairs. As we learned from Professor Holt’s lectures, the Bayly reading, and the Galeano reading, the United States was not always intervening on the basis of creating democracies. The U.S. also attempted to overthrow and remove democratically elected officials that they did not agree with or support. You also saw the U.S. supporting dictatorships if it meant keeping who they wanted in power and not someone they disagreed with.
When looking at Cuba, the United States on many occasions attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro. By any means necessary. For example, they attempt to kill Castro by putting LSD in his scuba mask. The United States was trying to get rid of Castro because of his communist ideals and ties to the Soviet Union, the red scare was a strong motivating factor for the U.S. Their economic intervention only strengthened those ties to the Soviet Union. The economic blockade of the US sent Cuba to rely on the U.S.S.R. Seemingly all the U.S. was trying to stop, happened because of their attempts to stop it. The U.S. wanted Castro removed and Cuba to have no ties to the Soviet Union, but instead failed at removing Castro and sent Cuba to directly rely on the Soviet Union, the opposite of what the U.S. wanted.
The process of decolonization in Africa changed the course Africa was on forever. From a continent largely occupied by European powers to a continent of independent nations. One of the negative ramifications of the decolonization was the power vacuum created in many African nations and the potential for unruly governments and leaders to fill those voids. Political turmoil has been a constant in Africa since decolonization as the newly independent nations are trying to find their way. Many African nations have seen dictators, protests, uprisings, war much of what Europe went through in the 19th and 20th century. Much of this political turmoil and war can still be seen in recent years.
The Economist article, A Hopeful Continent, talks about the hope that Africa is turning a new leaf. A new leaf in terms of less political turmoil, wars and fighting, and improvement of governing. The Economist may not be the most unbiased news source, they still provide evidence for a shift in Africa, a shift for the better. Specifically, with war, the article highlights the point that “several big conflicts across the continent have died down” (4). It highlighted the end of wars in Ethiopia and Mozambique. The article also points at though that general violence is down across the country, that does not mean it is over. In general, the article is discussing the upward trend they see in Africa, while many might not see it yet, it is there. Not that it is completely changed and perfect, there are still much political turmoil and violence but it is improving.