Migration

I mainly know where my mother’s side is from. My great grandfather was from Croatia. At the age of either 14 or 16, his oldest brother died in a war for Hungary. His mother decided she was not going to lose another son so she gave my great grandfather and his younger brother money and told them to leave the country. My great uncle went to Argentina and my great grandfather came to Cleveland where he joined a Croatian Club and met my great grandmother who was also Croatian. It is crazy to thing how at such a young age he moved across the world to a country he knew nothing about nor could he speak the language. He started working in a mill in Cleveland but as the depression hit he stopped working there and became a farmer. This is where he raised his eleven children, my grandmother being the youngest. Since my great grandfather was now the oldest child, after his parents died, he was eire to his families land in Croatia which sparked conflict with his younger brother who wanted it all for himself. My great grandfather had to go back to Croatia and properly divide up the land amongst his younger siblings.

My family and I have had the opportunity to stay in touch with our family in Croatia. We have visited them a few times and hope to see them come to the United States for a time. My family still owns the land where my great grandfather started his life and for my grandmother it was satisfying to finally see the place her father had always talked about when she was a child. It’s crazy to think about the amount of opportunities my cousins and I have here is the U.S. compared to my family in Croatia where still today their economy and education system are far from the United States. It gives me a lot of respect for my great grandfather and his parents who overcome difficulties to find a better life for themselves and now for me and my future.

My great grandfather’s story of immigration is rooted in a pushing force of war that was brewing in Europe but also a pulling force from a growing United States. As the growth of empires in Europe was coming to a head, war began to define Europe. This forced him to flee the divided continent in homes for a more peaceful life.

Israeli and Palestinian Blog Post

1.) Both documents start by claiming they have the best right to the land. This right they both claims is granted by God and their historical connections to the land. They also both present their declarations to the UN and ask for recognition and support in their efforts. Lastly, they both claim to desire a peaceful resolution and desire a country where discrimination based on sex, race and religion are not allowed.

2.) Religion is very important in each document as it is presented in the first paragraph of each. Religion was used to justify their rights to the lands as their connection to God in this area is used to justify their claims. Religion is also in the desire for their nations. The Israeli’s want a Jewish state while the Palestinians want an Islamic state.

3.) The Israeli people define themselves as Jewish people while the Palestinians identify themselves as Palestinian Arabs. Both groups define themselves by their religions and cultural qualities. They also present themselves as victims in history and use this as why they should be allowed to claim their right to the lands.

4.) The Israeli people call the Palestinians “the Arab inhabitants” and the Palestinians call the Israeli’s just Israelis. Though, both Declarations have limited dialog about the other’s which I thought was interesting as they claim their right to the lands but do not specifically claim why the other group does not have a proper claim.

5.) Both see their new state as singular Jewish or Islamic, but also identify that persecution by race, sex, gender and religion would not be tolerated. This is seen as the governments  will be based on principles of social justice, equality and non-discrimination in public rights of men or women, on grounds of race, religion, color or sex”.

South Asia Blog Post

The British control over South Asia created social and religious tensions still seen today. The British did enter India in a time of instability created as a result from Aurangzeb’s rule where Islam was placed at a higher status than Hinduism which led to Mughal dissenters and in result let to decentralization. With the spread of orientalism, the British became interested in the history, language, and cultures of Southern Asia. Along with this was the rise of liberalism ideas to Britain’s other lands that it was invested in. Britain felt that it had a civil responsibility to help develop Southern Asia into a liberal democracy because of these ideals.

Tensions in Southern Asia grew until the Sepoy Rebellion where the British defeated the rebels and extended their control of the subcontinent from an indirect to direct rule. Britain and now the crown, with its belief of understanding South Asia’s complicated cultures and religious diversity, began to identify people mainly as Hindu or Muslim while also having the natives identify themselves in traditional cast systems. This push back to traditionalism thoughts began to raise old tensions in Southern Asia that had seemed to be declining.

South Asia saw a rapid decolonization from Britain along with a rise in nationalism and anti-modernism. This quick shift in power created social distress as seen in India. One of India’s first rulers Nehru had “never let go of the British-created colonial state and its well-oiled machinery of repression” (Mishra) as it forced individuals to keep a specific identity, making it easy to identify those who dissent. Today a rise in the Hindu Right has created social distress as they have become violent and have destroyed the Babri Masjid Mosque for example.

Outside of India, the Radcliffe line border led to mass immigration as it forced families to move from either to or from Pakistan and India to leave potential discrimination in their native counties. Also, Kashmir has been a conflict between India and Pakistan because it was never controlled by the British so both countries now claim a legitimacy to control it. The choices of Britain’s involvement in South Asia can still be seen today.

Latin America Blog Post

Two major points I saw from this week of lectures and readings was the cosmopolitan culture of Latin America and also the impact the cold war had on post-colonial Latin America. Latin American is a mix of indigenous peoples, Europeans and Africans. These three extremely broad culture and racial groups lead to a great exchange of culture that altered Latin America, nations and groups involved. The natives to Latin America were devastated by disease as about 90% died from interactions from Europeans, while the rest were subject to racial segregation. Africans were brought to Latin America via the Atlantic Slave Trade since a work force was needed to obtain raw materials for the European powers that controlled the lands to gain a profit and fuel their ongoing conquest and wars.

After both World Wars, European powers struggled to keep their lead in the world. This resulted in a shift of power to the capitalistic United States and the Communist Soviet Union. Their political war was fought in vulnerable nations of Latin America. This was seen as “the U.S. veto has blocked or closed off to the point of strangulation most of the political experiments that have sought to get at the roots of violence” (Galeano) that was underway in Latin America, Though the Soviet Union also played similar roles to aid their Cold War motives. The people of Latin America were finding their own ways to govern themselves, but the world powers saw them as pawns. This was seen in Cuba with the Cuban Revolution. Both the United States and the Soviet Union aided a side they felt was right for the Cuban people, or more likely what was best for them. As Cuba elected Fidel Castro in a legal and democratic  manner, the United States felt afraid of his socialistic tendencies and cut off relations while also attempting to murder and overthrow him. The Soviet Union saw Castro as a way to expand their Communist power and even placed nuclear weapons in Cuba faced towards the United States.

Judt Response Blog

1.) One of these thematic shapes was the ‘European Model”. This model was “a mix of Social Democratic and Christian Democratic legislation” in the “European Community and its successor Union” (Judt 7-8) that created unity in Europe. It emerged after a weak and tired Europe that was tired of war-torn states. They did not want their lives to be as bad as they had become during and after the war. Europeans began to hope for societies that would focus more on the happiness of the citizens than European or world domination. This resembles welfare states that focuses on the improvement and wellness of its citizens.

2.) The reduction in extreme right and lefts was a change in political topography. During both world wars there were extreme left and right political parties. From the Nazis in Germany to the Soviets in the USSR. Though after the World War I and World War II Europe saw the destructive nature of these extremist parties. The result of this shift was a more liberal society were “abortions and contraception were almost universally available” (Judt 785) in Western Europe. It was also seen that no longer could “publicly engaged intellectuals play their once-crucial role in mobilizing opinions at large” as seen in the Atlantic rift of 2003 (Judt 786). The tired Europe was no longer interested in any extreme ideologies that had previously led to the destruction of the World Wars.

3.) The post-national ideals were focused on the betterment of a society internally. Though, some began to see that to better their societies they must prevent immigration from other societies that they viewed was dangerous to the stability of their own. This is seen in the posters which show how nationalistic political parties struggled with the idea of immigrants, especially Muslims and people of middle eastern descent. They depicted them poorly with one having a man screaming that says “Islam and Terror” as if they are synonymous while the other showed a family flying ‘home’ on a flying carpet implying that Germany couldn’t be home for individuals depicted as Muslim or of middle eastern descent as if they belong somewhere else because of these qualities. Though post-national ideas may desire for the betterment of a society, they can be taken to an extreme nationalistic level that becomes consumed by an ethnicity or religion qualifying someone’s level of citizen.

Week 6 Blog Post

Imperialism created the Africa we see today. For example, in British colonies, “colonial policy also depended on constructions of racial differences” (Pierre 18) and in the French colonies as “’Blacks’ (or ‘Africans’) [were racialized] through both its political and juridical practices” (18). These racial divisions created racial distress between Africans. The north, seen as white, and south, seen as black, was created by Europeans. At the same time, Ancient Egyptian culture was decided to be a European history and written as a white society, practically stealing it from African culture and dividing Africans in classes they did not construct themselves. Europeans saw black Africans as unable to create such culture meaning that ancient Egyptians must have been white. Simultaneously, this division by European imperialistic powers created a Pan-African identity as Africans began to construct an identity based around the anti-imperialism efforts that is still seen today.

During the depression, white settlers in Africa “used local political power and influence to deny Africans access to land effectively ‘proletarianizing’ them” and using them as an inexpensive labor pool. (Bayley 89-90) After the depression and World War II, a push towards African independence occurred as European countries were more tired, had less money, and no longer wanted to put the work into maintain their colonies. This led to a tumultuous decolonization process as these African colonies were not prepared to rule themselves. They were not industrialized nor educated how to nor did they have easily available resources as Europeans had taken them. As new African countries scrambled to create an economy, ethnic division rose as European powers created come countries that divided cultural groups, and some that forced together hated people. As African groups fought each other, power voids were created as Europeans fled the continent. This is seen in Guinea-Bissau as “no president has served a full term since independence from Portugal in 1974.” (The Economist)