McKeown - Migrations

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Did Empire Matter? Review of Adam McKeown Online Presentation. Tuesday November 8, 2011. 2:00 - 3:30 pm Eastern Standard Time LINK: peid=830f75a04b794876b5dfda06a4012802 By Guillermo Pineda

Why this question? ¤  Because a large literature of colonialism and migration studies in Southeast Asia focused on the British Empire as the main actor during the 18th and 19th Century. ¤  However, ¤  McKeown hasn’t seen a BIG role of the Empire toward migration trends in Asia and/or in the rest of the globe.

¤  Why? ¤  Less than 10% of Indians or 3% of Chinese were indentured to Europeans. (Great Narrative). ¤  Empire has been hardly a coherent unit in Asia. Specially in regard to India during the 19th and 20th Century.

Size matters

Migration played a HUGE role reshaping the world

Where to start the “empire” analysis? ¤ INDIA ¤ IN INDIA less than 10% of the migrations were indentured. ¤ 2/3 were Tamil ¤ At least 97% went to the British Empire ¤ 10% indentured in European plantations ¤ Moved through family and village networks

First BIG WOW!

One more similarity!!!

New Conclusions ¤ The British Empire did nothing to override larger economic cycles. ¤ Once a flow is established the market and its processes continued. ¤ The British Empire was in fact a fragment that had lots of fragmentations (local empowerment) that didn’t allowed for them to control the migration flux. ¤ The Empire DID HAVE strong influence only in the destinations (migration via a laissez faire Asia).

One more Conclusion ¤  MIGRATIONS NETWORKS and the INFORMATION it involved was as fundamental then as it is now.

What about other Empires? ¤  Russian and Japanese were the most interventionists. ¤  Qing opened Manchuria to frontier colonization. ¤  U.S.A. excluded Asians from White Settler territories. ¤  Dutch & French relaxed regulations via the chaos of its un-ruling in the territories. ¤  EACH EMPIRE MATTER DIFFERENTLY.