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The East End throughout history has been an area where immigrants have first migrated. There are many reasons why, immigrants were and are attracted to the East End. For instance pull factors such as Britain being very rich and prosperous. Also Britain was short of workers after the Second World War, so immigrants were welcomed. There were also many push factors such as food shortage starvation, poverty, many natural hazards like cyclones and floods.

East End was targeted as it was a very cheap area and other immigrants had already settled in that area.

In this assignment I will be focusing on large groups of fairly recent immigrants, the Jewish and Bengalis. The Jews were the first to arrive fleeing maltreatment the in Eastern Europe and Russia areas. An immense number of Jews also came because of Hitler. Jews also came to London for economical reasons like the Bengalis. The Bengalis aim was to come to London open a business make some money and go back, to Bangladesh rich and prosperous. I this assignment I will be looking at why this did not happen. The 4 main areas, which I will be mainly focusing on, are

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1. Patterns of immigration

. Immigrant Experience

. Racism

4. Immigrant Influence

Section A Patterns of immigration

Looking at source A1 the Bangladeshi immigrants settled in the East End as they had jobs as seaman, in the British ship ports, this is said in the source “Bangladeshi seamen from the First World War, stayed on in Britain, working as English articled seamen from British ports”. Also there were already a reasonably large number of Bangladeshi immigrants, settled in the East End, as it says in the source “Comparatively large numbers of Bangladeshis were living in the East End of London”. Near the end of World War II the “garment manufacturing industries in the U.K began to pick up” this meant that there were large number of vacancies available in the rag trade. Bengalis who were young had joined the trade and had experience in it.

Another important factor mentioned in this source is that the Jews welcomed the Bengali’s. The Jews “were sympathetic and kind to the local Bangladeshi’s”. The Jews not only “provided the Bangladeshis with jobs if they had vacancies but also let their top rooms of their shops to the Sylettis to live in”

Looking at sources A and A I can see that it supports source A1 and further strengthens the source. Source A is a photograph of Lascar seamen working in the docks as described in source A1. Source A1 is also supported by source A as the reason they give for the immigration of the Bengalis is “colonial ties” which supports source A1 because it mentions, “seamen stayed on from the first world war” and “ the number did not increase much until the end of World War II”. Source A also mentions that Bengalis “went to work in the docks” in India and “later recruited as seamen by British”. Source A1 says that “large numbers of Bengalis were living in the East End of London” and in source A we are told that Bengalis settled in, in “Stepney area of the East End”, and “Spitalfields”. And finally it also mentions that after the Second World War the Bengalis took interest in industrial work and later on in the “rag trade”

The idea of not returning back to their homeland and instead bringing their families over to “Britain slowly gained credence and plausibility”. The pattern in which they would come is as follows “Sons were the first to arrive, followed by wives and the remaining children”.

According to source A4 the Jewish community fled Eastern Europe and Russia for three main reasons “fleeing from impossible economic conditions”, escaping “anti-Semitic persecutions which most of them had experienced” and “running away from conscription into the army which were obligatory at that time in the Old Russian Empire”.

Immigration patterns are always the same whether it may be the Irish the Jews or Bengalis and no matter how far the immigrants come from. In this section the sources show that the pattern for Bengalis and Jews are very similar.

The Jews fled from Russia and Eastern Europe into Britain. Source A4 gives us the reasons to why the Jews had fled from these places. The source tells us about the push factors that drove the Jews out of these areas, “Economic conditions” Jews faced “anti-Semitic prosecution” and fled from the “Russian empire” as “conscription” was “obligatory”.

The Bengalis similarly migrated like the Jews because of Economic conditions” as “an escape route out of poverty”. We know that during the period in which the Bengalis migrated into Britain the Bengalis were facing many economical problems. I am going to take a look at the push factors that made the Bengalis migrate into Britain. As we know from history that Britain had colonised India and made it a part of her empire. In 147 the British left India leaving it divided between the Muslims and the Hindus. The Muslims were separated into two West and East Pakistan. The majority of sailor lived in East Pakistan with their main port just over the Indian border in Calcutta. They feared that they might lose their jobs and decided to settle in Britain as they were “recruited as seamen by the British”. Bangladesh’s independence from West Pakistan in 171 left the people in poverty, homelessness, and misery that persuaded them to migrate to Britain. Furthermore Bangladesh suffered from cyclones, floods, and famines. And Bangladesh had only one doctor to every 000 people, one hospital bed to every 7000 people and one teacher to every 50 students.

As Bengalis were looking to escape from their difficulties Britain was short of workers at the end of the Second World War. And immigrants from the “New commonwealth” were welcomed like India and Pakistan. And another pull factor was that the British Nationalities Act in 148 declared Commonwealth citizens to be citizens of the UK and the colonies. So Bengalis as British passport holders had the right to live and settle in Britain.

The pattern of settling in the East End is again almost the same; the Jews came before the Bengalis and settled into the East End. The pattern in which they came was first the men because “a large number of young men were running away from conscription”. After the men had come we are told in source A4 they were followed by their “wives, sweethearts, parents and other relatives in large numbers”. Similarly Source A tells us “Most Sylettis saw themselves as ‘sojourners’ rather than ‘settlers’, fully expecting that in time they would return home as rich men of high status”. But this was not able to happen as they were paid “low wages” so they were not able to go back. “The ideology of returning crumbled” as in the 160s “Reuniting families in Britain slowly gained credence and plausibility”. And similarly like the Jews the pattern of settling was that “The sons were the first to arrive, followed by wives and the remaining children”.

I found source A and A4 to be of most use to me as they provided me a lot of information which I needed to go about this assignment. They both provided me with the push and pull factors for example source A4 tells us that Jews fled from “Economic conditions… anti-Semitic persecutions… running away from conscription”. And source A tells us the Bengalis fled form “Political instability… Escape route out of poverty… greater opportunities in sea-going employment. The sources also tell us about the settlement of the Jews and Bengalis. In source A the pattern of settlement is as follows “The sons were the first to arrive, followed by wives and the remaining children” and in source A4 “followed by wives, sweethearts, parents and other relatives in large numbers”. They also tell us as to where the migrants settled for example in source A4 “Aldgate, Spitalfields, Whitechapel, and parts of St. Georges, Mile End, Shoreditch and Bethnal Green” and in source A “Stepney area in the East End of London”.

Source A is supported by sources A1 and A, in source A1 we are told that Bengalis worked in garment (clothes) manufacturing” and in source A we are told they worked in the “rag trade”. All three sources support each other about the Bengalis working in “Sea-going employment” as said in source A, this is very reliable, as photo evidence cannot be contradicted. Similarly A4 is supported by A5 as it confirms that the Jews had come form “Eastern Europe” and source A5 says that the “Jews faced numerous pogroms and increased economic hardship” which is backed by source A4 “fleeing from impossible economic conditions, to say nothing of pogroms and anti-Semitic prosecution”. And it also supports source A4 when it says that Jews came to the “East End of London…later migrants settles in and around Whitechaple”.

The Bengalis followed in the footsteps of the Jews, as another similarity was that they both had settled in into the East End “joining those who had earlier established the chain of migration”. Source A4 tells us that the Jews had packed “themselves into a small area consisting of Aldgate, Spitalfields, Whitechaple, and parts of St. Georges, Mile End, Shoreditch, and Bethnal Green” all these areas within the East End of London. The Bengalis also settled in to the East End their presence was their “from the First World War” they lived in area like “Stepney… in the East End”. The Jews were already settled and were “sympathetic and kind to the local Bangladeshis”; they “let their top rooms of the shop to the Sylettis to live in”.

So far we have seen that the Jews and Bengalis faced the same push factors, and settled in the same areas. One difference between the Jews and Bengalis was that the Jews had migrated from a wider area and not just from one place like the Bengalis. The Jews came from Eastern Europe and Russia, and during the Second World War all over Europe. In source A4 we see Jews migrating from “Eastern Europe”, “Poland”, “Kiev” and “Russia”. Unlike the Jews the Bengalis only came from Sylhet who saw “themselves as ‘sojourners”.

Sources A1 and A5 I have also found extremely useful as they were supported by other sources and both are reliable sources. Source A1 tells us that there were Bengali seamen that remained after the “Second World War” it also tells us that the relationship between the Jews and Bengalis was good as the Jews “were sympathetic and kind to the local Bangladeshis”. Source A5 is supported by A4 and tells us something that is different to what the Bengalis had intended, the Jews “Priorities were somewhere to live and a place to work”.

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