History of Immigration

A view from Ellis Island, a point rich in history around immigration.

Photo Credit: Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, July 2, 1887

A view from Ellis Island, a point rich in history around immigration.

Parker Winn, Reporter

In the colonial era of the eighteenth-century, a massive influx of immigration took place. Europeans moved from their known world into a new unknown one.

The Americas became known as a land synonymous with religious freedom, opportunities for private enterprise, and a new world brimmed with riches. This mass immigration spawned the ideas of modern immigration, where those who believed they were unsafe or in jeopardy could simply remove themselves from their current environment, and start somewhere new.

Nowadays, immigration is largely political, and much more controlled. Rather than businessmen and stowaways managing overseas journeys, you have government sponsored and illegal immigrants.

Throughout history, people have displaced themselves. From moving into new lands in search for riches, to looking to influence others beliefs, or to simply have some new scenery, people have migrated around the world. Take for instance, the diffusion of Grecian influence from the Greek isles to the Roman Empire, the movement of people, the shifting of ideas. This type of migration has less to do with the people moving, and more with the ideas, philosophies, governmental tactics, as well as the Pantheon and its significance.

Diffusion such as this is not uncommon, western influence took root all around the world through the expansion of various empires. Japan and Russia spent a large amount of resources to modernize and westernize themselves, with both adapting themselves into the international ring of superpowers at similar times.

In very separated instances, nations and their people have migrated, perhaps not in the dictionary sense of the term, but the adaptive meaning of the word. The same is true for Irish immigrants into America, a large population were forced into another country. They immigrated into a country they knew nearly nothing about, but with that immigration, they established an entire Irish subculture in America. And now, some major cities are known for this subculture, each with their own flavor of hardy, gruff highland dwellers of gaelic origin.

If not for such repeated instances of both external and internal migration and adaptation, the world would be such a different place. Scholarly types as we know them today would be immensely different. A huge population of the world-both eastern and western-would live differently, perhaps each without their own unique ideas at their disposal. Migration is what you make of it, it’s not a static function of the world, its ever-changing, perpetually-functioning.

The complexities of the world will likely never be fully discovered, but thankfully, diversity of the world is at an all time high. Worldly citizens repeatedly balance each other out, no matter how effectively or ineffectively you may see that balance actually being scaled.