Migration Terms: | Getaway to the USA: | Christianity: | Islam: | Communism:

Migration Terms:

  • Immigration - arriving from another country
  • Emigrate - leaving a country to live in another country
  • Out-Migration - leaving a town or area to live somewhere else in the same country
  • In-Migration - arriving in a town or area from somewhere else in the same country
  • Seasonal migration - moving to an area for part of the year ie. fruit picking
  • Commuting - travelling into town each day for work and returning at night

  • Push factors - Negative things that make you want to leave your home area such as high unemployment, poor pay, expensive housing etc
  • Pull factors - Positive things that attract you to your destination such as better jobs, higher pay, cheaper housing, more entertainment etc
  • Obstacles - Things that you may have to overcome in order to be able to move such as costs, languages differences, visa requirements etc

Getaway to the USA:

The USA was a symbol of hope for many Europeans. 27 million people immigrated there during the great migration that began in the 1820's. People went there with the hope of a better life. Because there was a lot of land in the USA many people were able to migrate there. People could own farms and towns and cities could be built because there was more space in comparison to places like Europe. The first settlers there were the Native Americans. They were followed hundreds of years later by groups of Spanish, French, British and Dutch that established colonies. When people living in the USA needed workers to help them run their businesses and plantations they bought workers from Africa via the slave trade.


Many Irish moved to the USA after the Great Potato Famine in Ireland in 1846 - 47. The potato famine meant that thousands of peope were starving because there was a shortage of potatoes due to the fact that they had got a potato disease called blight. This caused the potatoes to rot when they were dug. Ireland was also over-populated and many people lived in poverty and could not afford to pay their rent.

The USA was a good choice for many Irish people to migrate to because there was a lot of ships going there and the fares were cheap. Some people were able to get passages as assisted migrants. Assisted migrants had the cost of their trip paid by their employers. Many people had family already in the USA that helped them with the cost of their fares.

When the Irish first arrived in the USA they faced many hardships. A lot of Irish lived in slums and found it difficult to find jobs. People were suspicious of them because they were Catholic and from overseas. Most Irish could neither read nor write. When they did find jobs they were often in construction, working as servants and in factories. This said the Irish were better off in the USA. There was no famine or reliance on potatoes and wages were much higher than they were back in Ireland.


There are many religions in the world. A religion is a set of beliefs that explains the meaning of life and death. Christianity is one of the main religions in the world. Christianity began when Jesus was about 30 years old and gathered some supporters to teach and preach to people. According to the bible Jesus was the son of god. People that followed him thought that he was the 'chosen one'. Jesus was said to have gathered 12 followers who spread the Christian message. He promised his supporters that after they had died they would live forever with God. By the time he had died he had a few thousand followers.

Missionaries then took Jesus' teachings and passed them on to people all around the world. They encountered some problems in some places because people had different approaches and beliefs about Jesus. In the early years the Roman's tried to wipe out the Christians because they had their own gods. It is ironic that later on Christians used Romans roads to promote their ideas. Christian churches became popular later on because they promoted love, mercy, forgivness, helping others and hope for the future. They were also well organised with leaders such as archbishops and bishops. Some people liked Christianity because it was a religion for people of all classes.


Islam has many followers around the world. Islam started with Mohammed. He was a camel driver who had several visions of the angel Gabriel who told him about God and how people should live their lives. Mohammed believed it was his duty to pass this information on to other people. He was driven out of his hometown of Mecca when he tries to pass his message on to the people there. He then moved to Medina where he gained support. When he had enough support he returned to Mecca and removed everything people used for worship. The only thing he left was the sacred stone of Abraham. Islam spread very quickly after this and within 100 years of Mohammed's death it has spread throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa and even as far a field as Spain.

The holy book is Islam is called the Koran. This book tells people how they should live their lives. Islam is a whole way of life not just a religion. The five central pillars of Islam are:
  1. Faith - God controls people's faith and all Moslems must accept this fact.
  2. Prayer - Prayer keeps the mind fresh in Moslem society. People pray five times a day in the direction of Mecca.
  3. Almsgiving - Wealthy Moslems are expected to support the poor by giving money.
  4. Fasting - Once a year during Ramadan (the nineth month of the Moslem year) people do not eat during daylight hours. This is designed to help people focus on their lives and their faith.
  5. Pilgrimage - At least once in their life all Moslems should try to make a pilgrimage (journey) to the Haj.


Communism is a political ideaology based on the writing of German Karl Marx. With industrialisation in the 19th Century Marx believed two social classes emerged. Firstly there was the rich capitalists who made large profits from industry, business and trade. Then there was the poor workers. These workers produced the goods but got paid very little.

Marx believed that a communist system of government would mean that everyone looked our for one another and had a share of the profits. He stated that there would be thre stages needed to get to a communist state.
  1. Revolution - A group of workers would overthrown the capitalist government.
  2. Socialism - The land and factories would be owned by the workers. There needed to be a lot of control at this stage to get rid of any troublemakers.
  3. Communism - A perfect society would develop with no bosses and social classes, no property owners and everybody would work for the needs of each other.
Marx's idea appealed to people all over the world. In 1917 Russia became the first country in the world to establish a communist government. Communism was attractive to the peasants in Russia because nothing could be worse than the situation they already lived in. Under communism Russia went from being a backward agricultural society to being a world super power. This appealed to revolutionaries in other countries and in 1949 China established a communist government.

The USA started to see communism as a threat and in 1950 when the Korean war broke out the USA tried to help the Korean non-communists fight the communists. Three years later this resulted in Korea being divided into a communist North Korea and a capitalist South Korea. The same was to apply when the USA went to war to stop communism spreading further in Vietnam. The USA were unsuccessful and Vietnam remains a communist country today. The other country that is still communist today is Cuba.

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