*** war and social upheaval -- children and war refugees








War and Social Upheaval: Refugees--Specific Groups

Workld War II refugee children
Figure 1.-- Here 71 fortunate European refugee children arrive in New York harbor during World War II. We have not yet been able to find who they were. They may be Jewish or British. Refugees have been a part of history since the birth of civilization. The 20th century, however, is surely the period with the largest numbers of refugees and the greatest refugee problem. This began withthe Balkan Wars and only increased with World war I. Belgian refugees were a 'cause celbre' and helped create an image of Germsn brutality that they fullu lived up to in World war II. The Axis powers and Soviets pursued policies of forced deportation, ethnic cleanings, mass evacuation and displacement of peoples, racist policies, genocide, slave labor, engineered famines, child kidnapping, and other attrocities in the countries they occupird and controlled. The mirder of adults created many child refugees. The destruction of war and and border changes both during and after the War created more refugees.

Refugees are a part of history from the very beginning of humanity. Humans spread around the world at the very time mpodern humans evolved. It is believe tht the impulse that drive early humans out of Africa was climate change. Early humans probably followed heards out of Africa. And with the development of civilization, wars created refugees. One of the most important mechanisms was early empires moving popultions out of their hime land for security purposes. We note the Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians doing this, in part because of Biblical references. The Romans conquered many people, often enslaving the conquered people. We are not sure they should be called refugeess, But the Jewish Diaspra might be considered the story of refugees. Celts and Picts fleeing the Romans might be comsidered refugees. And the Germns driven into the Roman Empire by savage Steppe tribes surely should be classified as refugees. And the Romanizd Celts fleeing the Anglo-Saxon invaders as well as the Anglo-Saxons fleeing the Vikings seem to qualigy as refugees. Jews were often driven from Western Christian countries to Eastern Europe and Muslim lands during the Medieval era. And with the Reformation and Counter Reformation there were religiou refugees (17th century). The Hugenooughts fled from France. Dissenter groups fled their homelands. tHe Netherlands and England offered refuge. The Puritans were essentially religious refugees. We do not know much about 18th century refufees. The 19th century was, however, was a time of massive population movements. Millions of Europeans moved to the Americas, especially the United States. The first major group was the Irish as as a result of the Potalo Famine. After the Aerican Civil War (1961-65). Huge numbers of Europeans flooded into America. This included Jews and Christian minorities from the Russian Empire. Many different nationalites came from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And large numbers came from the various nation states, especially Italy. The 20th century also saw large numbers of refugees, after both World War I and II. America restricted emigration after World War I. Both Jewish and non-Jewish refugees were involved, but because of the NAZI obsession to killing Jews, the non-Jews were more likely to survive. The largest refugee movement was ultimately the Germans drievn from Eastern Europe, but the re were many more. Jews came from Europe and Arab lands. Palistinians Arabs fled Jewish control in the new state of Israel. Large numbers of refugees fled Comminism in China, Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam. After the American withdrawl fom Viuetnm we have the phenomenomn of the Boat People. In the 21st century, Afghanistan was the largest source country of refugees, a position it has held since the Soviet invasion. Some one out of every four refugees in the world today is an Afghan, living in Pakistan and Iran. In recent years, a major refugee problem has developed in Syria, although today most are still internally displacd.

Pre-History

Refugees are a part of history from the very beginning of humanity. Humans spread around the world at the very time mpodern humans evolved. It is believe tht the impulse that drive early humans out of Africa was climate change. Early humans probably followed heards out of Africa.

Ancient Period

And with the development of civilization, wars created refugees. One of the most important mechanisms was early empires moving popultions out of their hime land for security purposes. We note the Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians doing this, in part because of Biblical references. The Romans conquered many people, often enslaving the conquered people. We are not sure they should be called refugeess, But the Jewish Diaspra might be considered the story of refugees. Celts and Picts fleeing the Romans might be comsidered refugees. And the Germns driven into the Roman Empire by savage Steppe tribes surely should be classified as refugees.

Medieval Era

And the Romanizd Celts fleeing the Anglo-Saxon invaders as well as the Anglo-Saxons fleeing the Vikings seem to qualigy as refugees. Jews were often driven from Western Christian countries to Eastern Europe and Muslim lands during the Medieval era. At the end oif the 15th century, the Spanish and Portuguese drove Jews and Moors from the Iberian Peinsula. In the case of Portugal =there were firced coinversions. Few Christian countries permitted them to enter with the exceotion of the Dutch. Most were dispersed throughout Muslim lands.

The 17th Century

And with the Reformation and Counter Reformation there were religiou refugees (17th century). The Hugenooughts fled from France. Dissenter groups fled their homelands. tHe Netherlands and England offered refuge. The Puritans were essentially religious refugees.

The 18th Century

Ther do not seem to have been major refugee movements in the 18th century. There were some refugees such as Poles after the Polish partitions, but mostly the elite. There was a steady flow of Europeans to the Americas, but relatively small numbers compared to the 19th century. Here technology was a factor. Transort was slow and expensive. Large numbers of people were still tied to the land and unable to move. The forced movement of Africans to the Americas continued. The French Revolution roiled Europe, but there were no major populatiion movements.

The 19th Century

The 19th century was a time of massive population movements. One movement ended. The British Royal Navy after the Napoleonic War began a campaign aginst the African slave trade. The effirt would take much of the century. The British began population transfers within the Empire. Millions of Europeans moved to the Americas, especially the United States. At first the numbers were relatively small and mostly from Protetstant Northern Europe. The first major Catholic group to migrante ennmsse was the Irish as as a result of the Potalo Famine (1840s). After the American Civil War (1861-65). Huge numbers of Europeans flooded into America. This included Jews and Christian minorities from the Russian Empire. Many different nationalioes came from the Austro-Hungaoian Empire. And large numbrs came from the various nation states, especially from Italy. These people are generally reffered to as migrants, but many werereally refufees--especially the Jews. All were fleeing religious and political repression and lack of economic opportunity. Steam power ships and the screw propeller comf ocean trabsport. There were not only economic refugges there were alsp political refugees. Tsarist reoression of Poles and Jews set large numbers of people in motion. Terrible pogroms were perpetrated agaunst the Jews. Christians and Jews wre targeted in the Ottoman Levanbt by Arabs and Druzes. One such action was the Mount Lebanon Civil War (1860). It began as a peasant uprising, which began in the north of Mount Lebanon. Maronite Christin peasants rose up againsg their Druze overlords. It ebded with a terrible massacre in Damascus. The conflict spread to the south where the matgure of the rebellion changed. The Druze and Muslims attacked Maronite Christians. Some 20,000 Christians were killed and 380 Christian villages and 560 churches destroyed. The Ottomans at the end of the century began killing large numbers of Armenian Christians-the Hamidian Mssacres.

The 20th Century

The 20th century also saw large numbers of refugees. This began in the Balkans before World war I. Both World War I and II created large numbers of refugees. Thee German invasion created Belgian refufees in the Netherlanbds and and northen France. The Turkish genocide turned the survivors into refugees. The fall of the multi-ethnic empires created refugees. Greece and Turkey exchnged popilations. Amercica restricted emigration after World War I. Both Jewish and non-Jewish refugees were involved, but because of the NAZI obsession to killing Jews, the non-Jews were more likely to survive. The largest refugee movement was ultimately the Germans drievn from Eastern Europe, but there were many more. The Soviets drive Poles east. Jews came from Europe and Aran lands. Palistinians Arabs fled Jewish control in the new state of Israel, although thevnumbers were relatively small. Indian independence created millions of refugees following cimmunal rioting. Large numbers of refugees fled Comminism in Cambodu, China, Cuba, Hungry, Korea, and Vietnam. After the American withdrawl from Vietnam +we have the phenomenomn of the Boat People.

The 21st Century

At the onset of the 21st century, Afghanistan was the largest source country of refugees, a position it had held since the Soviet invasion (1979). Some one out of every four refugees in the world were Afghans, primarily living in Pakistan and Iran. Gradually this began to shift, although Aghanistan continues to be a problem. The United Nations tells us, "In general terms, the number of refugees in the world is broadly a function of the number of wars and human-rights-abusing dictatorships at any given time. Today, there are a series of internal and regional armed conflicts around the world. Most of these are in two regions, the Middle East and Africa." [Betts] There are currently humanitarian emergencies in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. The UN high commissioner for refugees, Ant´┐Żnio Guterres, has described what he calls a 'world at war'. A British journalist makes the obcious satement, "If we were able to address the root causes of those conflicts, the number of refugees in the world would decline significantly. [Betts] And he provides a good basic assessment of the problem: 1) failed states and 2) economic failure. But typically for ideological reasons many oliticabs, academics, and journalisrs leave out to the two critical elements in the equation: Islam and the lack of economic freedom. The first major factor driving the 21st century refugee flow is the failure of many goverments, especially the Middle East and Africa. Weak governments unable or unwilling to provide even the most fundamental human rights of citizens. Some strong governents do not provide basic civil rights, but they are not driving the refugee flow. Some of these failed states include: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Congo, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria, but many other counties are involved. The medi focus on the refugee issue has been on the filure of Europe and nerica to simply open theur borders and very little on what set the refugees in motion. It is notable the number of these countries in which Islam plays a role in either driving the refugeee flow or in destabilizing secular government. Islam is not the only factor, but it is a very important factor that the Left (mainline media, academia, and Demoratic Party) not only refuse to address, but actively attempt to hide. Many people in these failed states have no other option but to flee their homeland, not only to obtain civil rights but often in fear of their lives. And notice the failure of Muslim countries other than the borser states to take in Muslim refugees. The second major factor driving freuggee flow is economic failure. Here we have and even wider problem than failed states with major problems not only in Africa and the Middle East, but also Asia and Latin America. The United Nations estimates that here were 70 million migrants worldwide (1970). Current estimates suggests that there are noe more than 200 million migrants (2015). Globalisation and modern communication and transport hs increased the opportunity and motivation to migrate. Here it is important to point pout that there is a difference between refugees and migrants. The media focus has again been on the failure of America and Eutope to open its borders and very little on the reason for the setting the migrant in motion which is the lack of economic freedom in poor countries. And this is largely the result of the sovialist and anti-market attitudes of the elites that that led the de-colonization efforts the development efforts in Latin America One of the ironies here is that the people who most vocal about ned to help immigrants are the same people who gavor the failed economic policies who set the immigrants in motion.

Sources

Betts, Alexander. "Human migration will be a defining issue of this century. How best to cope?" The Guardian (September 20, 2015).







CIH








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Created: 11:34 PM 4/24/2014
Last updated: 7:19 PM 2/9/2017