The migration of my family has been wildly different on my paternal and maternal sides. I’ll begin with my mother’s side as I know less about it. My great-grandparents on her side were from India, part of the Marajh caste. At some unknown point to me, they moved to Trinidad and Tobago and had my grandmother. She then married some higher-up in Texaco Oil and had my mother. She lived in Trinidad for her early years, going to a vocational school for the end of high school for an electricians certificate. She moved to Canada under a work visa, living with one of her friends and working at a Tim Hortons, making a resumé for herself. She then was hired to KFC in Canada as a shift manager, then a general manager, before moving back to Trinidad for an arranged marriage which she did not go through with. Some years passed and then she met my dad, then later moving back to the States with him.
I know more about my dad’s side’s history, which the earliest I know of begins in Europe. My grandfather was born in 1895 in Yugoslavia, and for reasons that I can only assume to be finding a job during the Industrial Revolution in Cleveland, immigrated to the United States via the Lusitania. He worked in Cleveland and at age thirty-four, with his wife Olga being twenty-one, had my dad in Cleveland. Born in 1929, the Great Depression had just begun to strike the United States. They then moved to the land where my house sits today and farmed fifty acres of land and cared for livestock to make a living, scraping by as the Great Depression left them without coins to rub together.
My mom, after meeting my dad and sailing back to the U.S. on his boat, went through the last immigration my family experienced, coming on a green card, then a marriage visa, then the long and expensive process to become a citizen of the United States of America. All of these migrations by my mother and my grandfather showed an attempt to find some economic solace in a foreign place, trying to make a life for themselves and other people in their lives, which seeing as I am now attending college as a first-generation student, seems to have worked wonderfully.
The impossibility of an Indian state without racial, religious, and social discrimination has been nearly entirely caused by British meddling in Indian politics since the 1700s, stemming from the institutionalization of a foreign power in Bengal. This Bengalese takeover began the widespread misappropriation of “native” people, also known as the entire population of India. After a liberalist form of governing collapsed following the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, the British radically oversimplified the diverse religious and ethnic demographics of India. This caused a new form of hatred between newly separated social orders, or castes, sparking tensions by region, by birthplace, and by religion. Muslims and Hindus were pitted against each other, with Hindi nationalist movements beginning due to an overextending world power reaching their hands into the lives of millions that they did not understand.
World War I signified a great deal of disdain brewing for the British by the Indians, specifically the end of the war forgetting about the Indians that fought as British soldiers. After these soldiers were forgotten about, reparations left unpaid and recognition left behind, nationalism grew even stronger. Once the British realized the threat of their subjugated population turning against them, they enacted an emergency measures act to attempt to limit the power of the people. This began protests to the silencing of an angry, frustrated population, eventually ending in the Amritsar massacre of hundreds of civilians. Not until the end of the Second World War did India finally declare their independence from Britain, but not without their own issues of government structure, right-wing nationalists, and strife between social classes constructed by the British. The Indian people may not have experienced certain levels of industrial growth as early as they did without British economic demand, but it is almost certain that these oversimplifications created an artificial internal discourse in the once much more harmonious South Asian continent.
Throughout the article, the correspondent travels Africa to document the state of the countries that are seen as impoverished, war-torn nations that are impossible to reconcile into civilization. Statistics that the number of democratic nations in Africa from the Cold War to the present day shows that there were only three were democratic has now risen to over twenty, with twenty-two holding elections for president or prime minister. Chinese trade has increased from $11 to $116 billion; while some of this money is still stolen to be put into the pockets of corrupt officials, this new income has gone towards the construction of schools and hospitals, infrastructure, and social programs. This infrastructure has made the continent more easily traversed, and cell-signal is nearly constant across the continent. Borders can be crossed with on-site or through the capital visas that are purchased for a few dollars.
War-ravaged countries do still exist, such as Guinea-Bissau, however, the number of armed conflicts, near thirty after the cold war, has reduced to a little over ten. Sierra Leone is experiencing fewer murders than NYC, partly due to the ban on private guns. Since this ban, newfound peace has given UN peacekeepers the chance to leave Sierra Leone to help Sudan instead. The correspondent writes, “Peace isn’t here yet, but it’s on its way.”
Governments are becoming more educated, the bar of political debates is rising, but some problems are fixed easier using bribes instead of meetings. Embezzlement of export incomes still causes problems, but some money is still reaching communities in countries such as Kenya through the construction of previously mentions amenities and infrastructure. Africa’s landlocked central countries still face the worst poverty and conditions in the continent. These countries sit on a wealth of natural resources, and private organizations and the government fight for individual mines and ports. Money from these ventures would go towards improvements in these countries, but each side beefs up their fighting power to keep the other side in check. Algeria jails political dissidents and exists without democratic elections. Due to a lack of trade, and therefore a lack of income, these countries remain in the poverty-stricken state they have had for decades.
Even though there are still many problems that all of Africa faces, the continent as a whole is on an economic rise, governments are learning to control their states while allowing their citizens to create a life for themselves. Tech startups are pushing for a more advanced continent, investors are reaching out to take advantage of untapped markets, and the GDP of nearly every country is increasing yearly. Cold War Africa is a thing of the past, and people are realizing this slowly, but surely.
The 1900s are the most notable years in history for modernization of less-developed countries. While this is true, the beginning of modernization in Japan started in their Kaei years, described as the period from 1848-1854. This era opened Japan to the Western world, where influences of political, social, and economic nature started to encroach on the customs and traditions of old Japan. Yukichi equates this eastward cultural expansion to measles, with the culture of the western world having the possibility of disrupting “ancient manners and customs has changed little for the past hundreds and thousands of years” (Yukichi 131).
One of the reasons why Yukichi defends Japanese ideals so vehemently, setting aside his national pride, is because of Western civilizations grouping East Asian countries into one block of ideologies, not caring for the great history, and differences, between China, Korea, and Japan. Western society tries to push their technology and politics into a world that they have no place in, forcing these East Asian countries to feel that they need to adapt or be left behind. Yukichi argues that instead of trying to keep the same traditions and refuse the technology of the western world, Japan should remember their tradition and accept the new parts of the world into their lives so they can continue to progress without losing values that are important to them. He goes as far to say that “Rather, we should leave their ranks to join the camp of the civilized countries of the West,” (133) which he rationalizes as the best course of action for Japan to keep up with the Western world in leaps and bounds of technology.
Globalization is definitely a misused term in the modern world, where the trend in the last century has been countries having more effect over each other with every action taken between them. However, the Western world has definitely made the charge into modernity, with less-developed countries following behind, “catching up” to the rest of the world. This idea of catching up to other countries technologically or ideologically places a negative connotation on the state of the country, which Bright and Geyer respond to with the idea of an “explosive chain reaction,” which illustrates the cause and effect nations have with one another, pushing and pulling each other to the global norm, however slowly.
This is achieved through the simple breakdown of geographic and knowledge barriers between nations. Bright and Geyer explain that as distances could be traversed more quickly, culture pervaded into new areas more quickly, leading to greater interconnectedness between nations that originally remained closed-off from the global scene. They then move to explain that these countries who were originally thinking of “a matter of whether or not to be a part of a global history and more and more a contestation over the terms of that engagement and over one’s placement in it.” This is entirely evident in the constant power struggle through the first half of the 1900s, where empires, nations, dictatorships and small countries were vying for the best seat at the metaphorical negotiation table.