Migration is not a new thing. People leave for a lot of reasons like war, business opportunities, and so much more. Our ancestors have migrated from one place to another even before we were homo sapiens sapiens.
Today, let us take a look at the massive migrations that happened in the last 100 years. We will revisit the things that jumpstarted these massive movements, and why we still migrate today despite many countries having an advanced civilization.
The Transatlantic Migration
This mass migration happened when people started moving towards America. More than 65% of the migration that happened also involved movement towards Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Cuba. It was in the 1870s when this happened, and most people who moved were from the British Isles.
During this period, new transportation technologies made it easier to move from one country to another. Steamships were introduced, and this made it possible to ferry many people at a lesser cost. Steamships also covered longer distances, and this started the migration in the 1880s where people came from various locations.
These locations included Southeast Asia, Portugal, Russia and Syria. The estimate is that more than 2.5 million people migrated to the Americas—not necessarily the United States, but both the North and South American continents.
The cause of this migration was the intensive need for workers. Chinese people went to America to build railroads. However, by 1885, there was a decline in the need for labourers. It was also in this period when anti-Asian laws were put into place.
Southeast Asian and North Asian Migrations
This migration refers to the movement of the people from the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. Over 29 million Indians and 19 million Chinese people moved. Migrants from India and China moved to British territories. The migration was not caused by labour. Rather, the Brits had a large number of territories, and they encouraged migration from one place to another. They wanted merchants from other territories to go to other dominions of the British empire.
Many say that indentured labour was the reason, but it was not really so. Indenture labour refers to a kind of work where the worker owes money. If the borrower could not pay, he has to serve. The labourer has to work until he has paid off his debt. Indentured labour at this time was gradually being restricted. It was in 1908 when laws against it were passed, but the real restriction happened in 1920.
After the restriction, there was even a higher influx of migration. Records have it that nearly 4 million people from India moved to Malaysia, 8 million to Ceylon, which is now called Sri Lanka, and 1.5 million to Burma. Many Indians also moved to Africa and Southeast Asia.
Why Do People Migrate?
In a time like this when you can pretty much access everything online, including shopping, online education, online entertainment on the gaming sites like GGbet, why do people still move?
1. Socio-political Issues
This refers to the current treatment of a nation to a type of person. If a person is being persecuted because of his beliefs, he/she has a reason to move to a society where he/she is accepted. People can also be persecuted in terms of their political and religious beliefs.
This usually happens at the height of the persecution, which often involves war and conflict. Sometimes, it is the government that singles out the people and makes them suffer. Armed conflict is the main reason why people move under the socio-political issue. They do not want to get in the middle of the heat, and many of these migrants are political refugees.
2. Demographic and economic factors
The second biggest reason is the economy. If a country cannot provide adequate jobs to its people, the people will migrate to lands where their skills are needed. There are countries where the people are either ageing or they have too many children—they need young adults to keep their economies moving.
From time to time, there is also a massive need for labourers. In the US, there was a time when they needed a large number of nurses. This prompted people from countries like the Philippines to migrate.
Some countries also offer a higher standard of living. They offer bigger salaries that are commensurate to the person’s talent. For example, a carpenter in the Philippines can earn perhaps only $10 per day, but he will earn $10 per hour or more if he offers his skill in the United States.
Economic frailties and uncertainties are the most common reasons for migration today. Although war is also a contributing factor, war does not happen in a majority of countries. Economic conditions, however, always change.
Migration is part of humanity. In ancient times, migration was referred to as peopling of the world—a process where humans moved to uninhabited areas on the planet. Today, people migrate because of political and economic reasons. Many people move at will because they do not have a lot of opportunities in their country. They need jobs, and they have no other option but to move.
On the other hand, wars and changes in political regimes force families to move out. If the government fails to protect its democracy from political entities, then there is going to be a significant change in how things work, thus prompting people to move out.