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Spaces and exchanges : What is immigration, specially in England?

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Par   •  15 Mai 2019  •  Fiche de lecture  •  753 Mots (4 Pages)  •  266 Vues

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          Before I start, I will present to you my definition of notion. The notion is spaces and exchanges.  This notion deals with the geographical and symbolic areas that all societies occupy, so space, and the interactions between men and different societies., so exchanges. Exchanges or flows can be continuous movement or circulation, all types of exchanges (people, trade, media...). Our world is built on the exploration and conquest of new spaces. The different cultural, economic, sociological and language interactions have shaped and characterised our modern-day world. To illustrate this notion I am going to speak about multiculturalism in Great Britain, a phenomenon which is present for several decades. This phenomenon can be defined as a cultural and ethnic diversity where the immigrant population lives alongside the predominant native group, the British. And more exactly I would speak about immigrants. I will deal with the part “Immigration” and tackling the question : “What is immigration, specially in England?”

I/ In search of a better life

Before beginning my development I think that it is important to note the various waves of immigrants that Great Britain experienced. For hundreds of years, immigrants have brought great economic benefits to Britain. In the late 17th century French protestants called Huguenots came to England. Then, it was the Jewish who came in the 19th century. The position of Protestants in France - a Catholic country - was always precarious in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Although they were tolerated for much of the latter, in 1685, King Louis IX revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had granted Protestants the freedom to worship in specified areas.  Stigmatized by oppressive laws and facing severe persecution, many Huguenots (Protestants) fled France. In 1681, Charles II of England offered sanctuary to the Huguenots, and from 1670 to 1710, between 40,000 and 50,000 Huguenots from all walks of life sought refuge in England. For the case of the Jewish,  More than 2 million Jews left Eastern Europe between 1881 and 1914, prompted by economic hardship and increasingly ferocious persecution.  Many Jews landing in England actually intended to go to America, but about 120,000 stayed in this country. Again attracted by the area's reputation as a place for cheap living, and by the fact that it had been home to a Jewish population in previous centuries, large numbers settled in Spitalfields .

II/ From dream to reality

The Jewish community was not as warmly welcomed as the Huguenots. The sheer numbers arriving prompted the first Aliens Act (1905), which restricted immigration into the country. Jews were accused of taking jobs from locals, of pushing up rents by accepting overcrowded conditions, and of aggravating the appalling working conditions in many of the local trades. There was more trouble in the 1930s, when Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists became strong in the area, and used violence to instil fear in the Jewish population.  With time, however, the Jews became more integrated a Board of Trade Report in 1894 said that children left the Jews' Free School on Bell Lane 'almost indistinguishable' from English children. Religious rituals also gradually became less distinctive, and fewer people spoke Yiddish. 


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