KS3 History Migration Through Time

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

This history textbook is aimed at Key Stage 3 students in the 11-14 age range. Typically, this topic is covered in Year 8/Grade 7 and while written for the English National Curriculum, it may hold value for middle school students from other systems as well. For teachers, complete powerpoint and worksheets supporting this textbook can be found here.

Chapter I. Who are the British?[edit | edit source]

Part 1: Starting off[edit | edit source]

Our big question is, ‘What experiences have migrants had in Britain?’. Let’s begin by thinking about why this is so relevant to Britain’s story. Teachers' note: There are slides for this chapter here.

Task 1: Where do you think these typically British things come from originally?[edit | edit source]

Sir Winston Churchill
Fish and Chips
Cup of tea and teapot
Pints of Beer
The Queen
Marks and Spencer

Task 1 Answers[edit | edit source]

  • Her Majesty The Queen: German heritage. In 1917, the name of the royal house was changed from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor (from Windsor Castle) because of anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom during World War I.
  • Sir Winston Churchill: American mother, French heritage too
  • Beer: Possibly of ancient Mesopotamian/Egyptian origin. Brewing beer was brought to Britain from the Netherlands.
  • Marks and Spencer: Set up by Polish, Jewish refugee Michael Marks in 1884
  • Fish and Chips: Introduced by Jewish refugees from Holland
  • Tea: Originally from India and China

Reflection:[edit | edit source]

We have just seen that far from being new to Britain, migration has shaped British identity again and again in many different ways over hundreds if not thousands of years. There is no story of the British isles without the story of migrants and migration. We will now explore this concept further.

Task 2: Watch the clip and finish these sentences[edit | edit source]

Here is a video clip from the BBC, watch it carefully and take notes as you go using the plus, minus, interesting, note-taking technique. Before you begin:

Define:

  • migration
  • immigration
  • emigration
  • push factors
  • pull factors

As you watch the video, check your definitions with those in the video. You may have to watch it twice, then complete the explain and discuss task below:

Explain and discuss:

What are three reasons why people migrate?

Part 2: Migration isn't new[edit | edit source]

  • When humans first ventured out of Africa some 60,000 years ago, they left genetic footprints still visible today.
  • These great migrations eventually led the descendants of that small group of Africans to occupy even the farthest reaches of the Earth.
  • Our species is an African one: Africa is where we first evolved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth.
  • The earliest fossils of recognizably modern Homo sapiens appear in the fossil record at Omo Kibish in Ethiopia, around 200,000 years ago.

Task 3: Our Global Human Journey[edit | edit source]

Access this timeline of our human migration history from National Geographic. Once you have explored it, complete the four questions and memorize the vocabulary.

Reflection: Think, pair, share: What do you think about this statement?[edit | edit source]

In 1996, the Commission for Racial Equality stated the following:

“everyone who lives in Britain today is either an immigrant or a descendant of an immigrant”

Not everyone is happy to agree with that statement and it is a very sensitive subject to some. However, you don’t have to go back too far in human history to reach the time when the population of Britain was zero! Regardless, when discussing sensitive topics it is important to have some ground rules so the conversation is productive and your teacher will discuss those with you now before we go on to the next section in this chapter.

Full English Breakfast

Part 3: British National Breakfast.[edit | edit source]

The full cooked breakfast is another icon of British culture, but as we've seen already once we dig into the history of what appears to be quintessentially British we find a much more complex and interesting story underneath. Watch and listen to this spoken word piece by Hollie McNish.

Name three things she mentions we might think of as British that come from abroad. There are sentence stems to help you in bold:

  • Three things we might think of as British that come from abroad are …

What do you think is the attitude of the couple featured in the poem?

  • The couple in the poem think that…

Why do you think we watch this at the start of this unit on migration?

  • I think we watch this at the start of this unit because…

What is your own opinion? (Do you agree/disagree with the couple or Hollie McNish? Why?)

  • My opinion is that …

Task 4: The importance of migration to Britain[edit | edit source]

Teacher's notes: The PowerPoint slides linked here have a slightly different version of this task suitable for a class activity

  • Read the following statements
  • Identify which ones apply to you
  • When you have finished doing the questions for yourself, try and do them again from the perspective of a friend or classmate or even a famous British person you know so you can compare answers.
    1. If you were born abroad
    2. If you speak a different language at home
    3. If your parents/grandparents were born abroad
    4. If you have friend from a different religion
    5. If you have lived in a different country for more than 6 months of your life
    6. If you regularly eat food from different cultures
    7. If you want to emigrate: to live and work abroad in the future
    8. If you support a UK based football team with players from more than 3 other countries
    9. If some of the shops in your town/estate/city have migrant roots
    10. If you have been to school in a different country
    11. If your family is connected with Africa/Europe/North America/Asia/Australasia/South America
    12. If the music you like comes originally from a different country
    13. If the sports stars you admire or support are from a different country
    14. If you visit a country your family is connected with in the summer holidays
    15. If some of your family members have emigrated to live abroad
    16. If your family have moved from one city to another in the UK (internal migration)
    17. If you have read a headline about migration (positive or negative) in the last few weeks

Plenary discussion: What does this chapter tell us about why migration is so important to modern Britain and therefore important to study?[edit | edit source]

Task 5: Short answer writing[edit | edit source]

Use the following prompt to write at least three sentences or a short paragraph:

Why is migration so important to the story of Britain?

Chapter 2: What experiences have EU migrants had in Britain?[edit | edit source]

Part 1: Starting off[edit | edit source]

In this textbook we are working our way backwards through history to look at migration to Britain. In this chapter, we are focusing on one of the most recent migration stories in the UK, migration from the European Union. For teachers: there are complete slides accompanying this chapter here.

In this chapter we aim to:

  1. Find out a bit more about the EU
  2. Find out how discussion about Brexit linked with migration
  3. Evaluate the experiences of EU migrants in Britain

Task 1: Linking to our prior knowledge[edit | edit source]

Create a mindmap with everything you know about the European Union. Don't worry about accuracy as we will check them later.

Part 2: What is the European Union?[edit | edit source]

The European Union

The European Union grew out of a desire for peace in a war-torn and divided continent after the destruction of the Second World War.

The EU has 4 main aims:

  1. To make everyone citizens of Europe, with human rights and freedoms.
  2. To ensure freedom, security and justice. This means states will co-operate with each other to keep their countries secure.
  3. To help the countries make progress through things like free trade, free movement and protecting the environment.
  4. To promote Europe's role in the world.

Task 2: Filling out our mindmaps[edit | edit source]

  • Read this page from the BBC on the history of Britain and E.U. It is aimed at slightly older students but you will find it well within your ability as long as you make sure and look up any new words as you go.
  • Go back to your mindmap from task 1 and improve it with your new knowledge. Don't forget, the best mindmaps use hierarchy which just means make sure you group your map into categories.

Part 3: The E.U. Referendum[edit | edit source]

On 23rd June 2016, Britain held a referendum on her membership in the European Union and after a highly contentious campaign voted to leave the European Union.

  • Even though it was several years ago, people are still very divided
  • There are very strong opinions on either side
Britain breaking away from the E.U.

Task 3: The referendum results[edit | edit source]

Use these charts from the BBC to answer the following questions:

  1. How close was the final result?
  2. Which areas of Britain voted remain?
  3. Which areas of Britain voted leave?
  4. How did the Kingdoms vote? Were there any differences between Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales?

Part 4: Why did people vote leave in the referendum?[edit | edit source]

  • There are many different reasons why people in Britain voted either to remain or leave the EU in the referendum.
  • However, lots of the campaign was about regaining control of UK borders, preventing freedom of movement and decreasing immigration into Britain.
  • Migration was and is an important part of this political debate.

Task 4: Reasons for voting leave[edit | edit source]

Use this article from the BBC to explore the reasons why people voted leave. Aside from immigration, what other reasons were there for voting leave?

Part 5: What does the EU have to do with migration?[edit | edit source]

  • The EU allows free movement of people between its member states.
  • Freedom of movement allows citizens of the EU to move to, live in, and sometimes access the welfare system of the EU country to which they have moved.
  • But why is this so controversial?

Task 5: Arguments for or against migration[edit | edit source]

  1. Identify which of the following arguments are for immigration
  2. Identify which of the following arguments are against immigration
  3. Identify which of the following are facts and which are opinion?
  • Some people do not like ‘multiculturalism’ and believe that immigration is taking away from British values and changing British culture.
  • Refugees and asylum seekers are in need of help and some feel the UK should use its privileged position to provide aid, shelter and refuge to these people.
  • Immigrants are essential to the running of the NHS providing safe staffing levels in hospitals across the country.
  • Some people feel that the UK is a small island and there is not the space or infrastructure (housing, hospitals, schools) to have more immigration.
  • Workers from other countries bring skills, opportunities and ideas.
  • The rise of religious extremism and terror attacks have led to some being afraid of immigrants.
  • European immigrants from the EU have contributed more than £20 Billion to the UK economy since 2000.
  • Workers in certain industries feel that low paid immigrants take work away from UK citizens.
  • Some people believe that we should be sorting out the issues we have in Britain instead of helping people from other countries
  • European immigrants are on average better educated than UK citizens.
  • Immigrants tend to rely less on the welfare system; immigrants arriving after 2000 were 43% less likely than UK workers to receive state benefits.
  • Germany and France have more space than us so some people feel they should take more immigrants.
  • Some think we should celebrate the amazing diversity of Britain the multi-culturalism that immigrants have brought with them – it creates an interesting diverse place to live!

Task 5: Answers[edit | edit source]

You can find the answers on slide 8 here

passport

Part 6: Is freedom of movement new?[edit | edit source]

  • In a way, opening up of borders is a return to the past.
  • Before the start of World War I in 1914, there were virtually no border controls or restrictions across the continent.
  • During the war, however, the crossing of borders by foreigners began to be considered a security concern, and it was at this time that passports and visas were introduced in Europe.

Task 6: Reading-The History of the Passport[edit | edit source]

Read this extract from the Guardian newspaper and answer the questions. The full article is here if you wish to read more.

"From 1540, the granting of travelling papers became the business of the Privy Council. By this point the term "passport" was being used, although whether it originated with the idea of people passing through maritime ports or through the gates in city walls ("portes" in French) remains a matter for debate. A passport from this period, issued on June 18 1641 and signed by Charles I, still exists. From 1794, the office of the secretary of state took control of issuing passports, a function that the Home Office retains today. Records remain of every British passport granted from this time, although they continued to be available to foreign nationals and were written in French until 1858, when the passport first acquired its role as a British identity document. Nevertheless, passports were not generally required for international travel until the first world war.

It was in the early 20th century that passports as we would recognise them today began to be used. The first modern British passport, the product of the British Nationality and Status Aliens Act 1914, consisted of a single page, folded into eight and held together with a cardboard cover. It was valid for two years and, as well as a photograph and signature, featured a personal description, including details such as "shape of face", "complexion" and "features". The entry on this last category might read something like: "Forehead: broad. Nose: large. Eyes: small." Remarkably, some travellers claimed to find this dehumanising. Following an agreement among the League of Nations to standardise passports, the famous "old blue" was issued in 1920. Apart from a few adjustments to its duration and security features, the old blue remained a steady symbol of the touring Briton until it gradually began to be replaced by the burgundy-coloured European version in 1988."

  1. When were passports required for international travel?
  2. When did the first modern passports appear?
  3. When did the first British European Union passports begin to appear?

Part 7: Migration and the news[edit | edit source]

To help us find out more about the experiences of migrants, understanding people's attitudes towards them might be helpful. o do this, we are going to look at some recent newspaper headlines. Use the slides from 10 down to complete this task.

Part 8: Plenary-‘What experiences have migrants had in Britain?’[edit | edit source]

Write a short answer to address this prompt: What experiences have migrants had in Britain?

Sentence stems to help you are in bold:

  • The experience of EU migrants to Britain has been ….
  • Evidence to support my view is.....

Chapter 3: What experiences did migrants from the British Empire have in Britain?[edit | edit source]

20190125013851!The British Empire fix.svg

Part 1: Starting off[edit | edit source]

We have the following learning objectives for this chapter:

  1. To be able to define the British Empire and Commonwealth
  2. To evaluate the importance of the Windrush generation to Britain today
  3. To encounter personal stories of migration from the Commonwealth

Teachers' notes: There are slides for this chapter here

We begin by examining the question of what was the British Empire?

  • The British Empire was vast and powerful.
  • At its height, it covered 1/3 of the planet
  • There are lots of controversies surrounding the British Empire and the way people were treated in it. We will explore these in more detail later on

The reason why we are looking at the Empire is because it had a big impact on migration, connecting us with lots of countries around the world.

Task 1: Reading: The British Empire[edit | edit source]

Read these extracts from the BBC on the British Empire, you can read the rest of it here

An empire is a group of countries ruled over by a single monarch or ruling power. An empire doesn't need an 'emperor'. The British Empire comprised of Britain, the 'mother country', and the colonies, countries ruled to some degree by and from Britain. In the 16th century Britain began to establish overseas colonies. By 1783, Britain had built a large empire with colonies in America and the West Indies.

Task 2: Video: The British Empire[edit | edit source]

Watch this superb video from the BBC on empire as a concept and the British Empire in particular. As you watch it take notes using the Cornell note taking technique. You may wish to watch the clip at least twice. Then complete a short writing, there are sentence prompts in bold to help you:

  • Empire is …
  • Some people see the British Empire as positive because…
  • Some people see the British Empire as negative because…
  • The British Empire ended in …

Part 2: The Commonwealth[edit | edit source]

  • A WW2 Poster which used the term "commonwealth".
  • People often view the period after WW2 as the start of mass migration to Britain.

* After WW2, Britain began to decolonise following nationalist movements across the Empire.

* The British needed help rebuilding after the war and so they gave citizenship to all those formerly part of the Empire in the British Nationality Act of 1948.

* This group of countries is known as the Commonwealth although as you can see by the WW2 poster the term was in use earlier.

Part 3: The Windrush Generation: Why is the Empire Windrush a famous ship?[edit | edit source]

Empire Windrush
  • The arrival of the Empire Windrush is possibly the most famous example of post-WW2 migration to Britain.
  • The migrants who arrived on the Windrush and after in the 1960s and 1970s, are known as the ‘Windrush generation’.
  • In 1948 the Windrush sailed from the Caribbean taking more than 500 passengers bound for England.
  • On board there were hundreds of multi-ethnic passengers including men and women, young and old, former soldiers, and musicians.

Task 3: Why did people board the Empire Windrush?[edit | edit source]

  • A pull factor is when there is something which is attracting you to go to another country (e.g. a job).
  • A push factor is something that forces you away from your home country (e.g. war).

Go through the list of factors below and decide if each is a push or a pull factor:

  1. There weren’t enough people to do all of the jobs that needed doing after World War Two, especially in the transport network (trains and buses) and the newly created NHS (hospitals)
  2. Large areas of the main cities, particularly London, had been destroyed by bombs in World War 2.  Lots of re-building was needed, and this meant there were lots of jobs for builders
  3. The British government actively invited people from the Commonwealth to come and work
  4. The economy of the Caribbean islands was not doing well.  The British who were in charge had not tried to improve it. There were lots of people without jobs, and with not much money.
  5. Many people from the Commonwealth had previously been stationed in the UK as members of the army, navy, and airforce during the war.  They had liked living in UK and wanted to move there.

Part 4: Is it important to study the Windrush generation?[edit | edit source]

  • There is the common misconception that the Windrush marked the first of the arrivals of black people in Britain, and the first arrival from citizens of the Empire
  • However, this is not the case. Can you remember where else we have seen people of colour and migrant communities in Britain?
  • The Windrush Generation has been back in the news recently, because they were treated very badly by the government, and told they did not have a right to be in Britain.
  • Some were deported and not allowed to stay in Britain, even though they had been here for most of their lives.
  • A report into this found that the British government showed ‘ignorance’ of race.
  • Perhaps if more people were taught about the Windrush generation and migration at school, this ignorance might not have happened.

Extension: Explore these oral histories of the Windrush generation using this video clip and interview transcripts from the BBC

Task 4: Reading profiles of migrants[edit | edit source]

Read these two profiles of migrants to Britain. You will use details from their stories in both the next two tasks

Task 5: Video[edit | edit source]

Watch this video on the end of Empire and the arrival of the Windrush generation in Britain[edit | edit source]

The video has an optimistic tone about multicultural Britain and the end of Empire. Answer these questions:

  • Which parts of the video and the narrator's speech suggest that it is an optimistic view? Make sure you refer to specific points.
  • Why might some people agree with this optimistic view?
  • Why might some people disagree with this optimistic view?

Plenary Task: Short writing[edit | edit source]

Use the evidence from this chapter to either support or challenge this statement. There are prompts in bold to help you

‘Those that arrived from the British Empire in the years after World War 2 were fully welcomed in Britain’

  • Evidence that agrees with the statement is…
  • Evidence that disagrees with the statement is…
  • Overall I think that...

Chapter 4 Have migrants been welcomed in Britain since 1900?[edit | edit source]

Part 1: Starting off[edit | edit source]

Teachers' notes: Slides for this chapter are available here

Task 1: Connecting to prior knowledge[edit | edit source]

  • What does it mean to feel welcome in a new country? Give some examples.
  • What does it mean to not feel welcome in a new country? Give some examples.
Task 2: This is famous American Civil Rights Leader Malcolm X, why did he visit Smethwick (Birmingham) in 1965?

When we think of segregation, we tend to think of America but there’s a hidden story here that involves Malcolm X and his visit to Smethwick.

Task 3: Watch this video about what happened in Smethwick. There is more on this below.

Part 2: The Aliens Act - 1905[edit | edit source]

Keywords: pogrom, paupers, undesirable aliens, Act of Parliament

What was it?

  • This Act introduced controls on immigration to Britain for the first time. The government said it was to stop “undesirable aliens” such as lunatics, criminals, or paupers coming to Britain
  • In reality, it was mostly targeted at Jewish refugees who had began arriving in the 1880s due to pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe.

How were the Jews being treated?

  • In the 1900s people turned against the Jews living in Britain due to racism and a lack of jobs. Newspapers wrote racist articles, and in Wales Jews were physically attacked.
  • A group called ‘The British Brothers League’ were created. They said that Britain should not become "the dumping ground for the scum of Europe“. They were supported by some politicians who created the Aliens Act to try to get rid of the poorer Jews.
  1. Summarise in 2-3 sentences, what the Aliens Act was and what was happening to migrants at the time
  2. Can you see any similarities or differences between the situation then and now?
The Aliens Act of 1905


Part 3: The Second World War 1939-45[edit | edit source]

  • During World War 2 many people from the British Empire helped Britain out in various ways.
  • People in Britain from all over the world who wore a military uniform—signalling that they were fighting with or alongside the British—were generally welcomed

One example is the Irish (Southern Ireland had already left the British Empire by this point), who provided nurses and soldiers. Mary Morris was an Irish nurse working in England. After the war, she and her husband settled in Britain.In her diary, she wrote that during the war, 'We mingled with the multi-national crowd in the West End for a couple of hours. There are many Polish and Czech soldiers here at present’. She also wrote about 'a marvellous feeling of international camaraderie in London' and 'great friendliness'.

Part 4: The British Nationality Act - 1948[edit | edit source]

  • When the British began building their Empire, they decided that everyone born in the Empire would be regarded a British citizen.
  • Britain began losing her Empire after 1945. They then formed the ‘Commonwealth’. This was a group of countries that used to be part of the British Empire.
  • This act meant that all those in the Commonwealth would continue to be subjects and could live and work freely in Britain.
  • However, later this was slowly taken away when people felt uncomfortable with the number of immigrants coming to Britain.

Task 4: Summarise[edit | edit source]

Summarise in 2-3 sentences, what the British Nationality Act was

Part 5: The Bristol Bus Boycott 1963[edit | edit source]

  • In 1955, a passenger group for a bus company in Bristol passed a resolution that “coloured” workers should not be employed as bus crews, even though they could work in lower paid positions in the canteens.
  • Inspired by the refusal of Rosa Parks to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the United States in 1955, a group of activists decided on a bus boycott in Bristol.
  • Paul Stephenson was their spokesperson.
  • It took several months but on 27th August the colour bar was finally ended.
  • It was on the same day that Martin Luther King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington.
  • The boycott was influential in passing anti-racist laws in 1965.

Task 5: Summarise[edit | edit source]

Summarise in 2-3 sentences what happened during the boycott and how you think migrants would have felt at the time.

Part 6: The Race Relations Act 1968[edit | edit source]

  • The Race Relations Act 1968 was the second of three laws related to race in Britain.
  • This law made it made it illegal for someone to be refused housing, a job or access to services (like a mortgage) because of their ethnic background.
  • The law came in because there was a lot of anger and discrimination shown towards black and Asian immigrants who had come to Britain to work after World War Two.

Task 6: Quiz[edit | edit source]

Watch this clip from the BBC on the race relations act and do the quiz

Part 7: The Rivers of Blood Speech 1968[edit | edit source]

  • A inflammatory speech by Enoch Powell, a politician, calling for an end to immigration.
  • The speech made Powell one of the most talked about and divisive politicians in the country
  • It led  to his dismissal from the Shadow Cabinet by Conservative Party leader Edward Heath.
  • However, according to most accounts, Powell’s view on immigration was so popular that it may have been one of the main reasons the Conservative Party was able to unexpectedly win the 1970 election.

Task 7: The Speech[edit | edit source]

This clip from the BBC examines the speech in detail. While aimed at school children teachers should watch it ahead of time for any unsuitable content

Plenary task: Short answer writing[edit | edit source]

Answer the following writing prompt. There is a scaffold to help you if you need it.

Have migrants been welcomed in Britain since 1900?

Overall, migrants in Britain since 1900 ……………..….….. For example ………………..……………………………………...…..

Similarly……………………………………………………………………. On the other hand,

You must use at least one of these words:

  • Somewhat
  • Mostly
  • Varying degrees
  • Entirely
  • To a large extent
  • To a lesser extent

Extension: Can you identify any key turning points where the situation changed for migrants?

Chapter 5 What was it like for migrants in Britain from 1750-1900?[edit | edit source]

Teachers' notes: There are slides accompanying this chapter here

Part 1: Starting off-What was the Industrial revolution?[edit | edit source]

While this textbook isn't about the Industrial Revolution it can be very helpful to have some background context.

Task 1: Access one or all of these resources to give you some background context[edit | edit source]

Part 2: What is the Industrial Revolution known for?[edit | edit source]

  • The Industrial Revolution - people move out of the countryside and into factories
  • Britain being a world leader in being industrialized & modern
  • Wealthy upper classes with huge mansions
  • Women wearing fancy dresses
  • Very poor people working in factories
  • Queen Victoria
  • New inventions

But what’s often missed is where all this wealth which industrialized Britain came from.

Part 3: Colonialism & Slavery[edit | edit source]

  • Much of Britain’s wealth and power came from slavery and colonialism
  • Many families became extremely wealthy through trading enslaved people and exotic goods
  • Recently, this less comfortable history is being acknowledged more.
John Raphael Smith, 1752–1812, British artist, The Slave Trade, 1791 Inscription: in plate below title: "London Published February 7 1791 by J. R. Smith King Street Covent Garden"; and to either side: "Lo! The poor Captive with distraction wild / Views his dear partner torn from his embrace! / A different Captain buys his Wife and Child / What time can from Soul such ills erase?


Part 4: Britain & the world in the 18th & 19th centuries[edit | edit source]

  • From the 15th-19th century 12 million people were transported against their will from Africa to the Americas.
  • Britain had plantations in the West Indies.
  • Britain’s Empire was vast and growing.
  • You will look at slavery and Empire in more detail in subsequent textbooks.
  • By 1800 around 60 per cent of British trade went to Africa and America
  • Ships sailed from the three main ports on the west coast of Britain: Glasgow, Liverpool and Bristol.
  • Bristol and Liverpool became very wealthy as a direct result of involvement in the slave trade.
  • Other ports, especially Glasgow, profited indirectly from the slave trade, they did this through the linked tobacco trade and in other ways as well.
  • Thousands of jobs and wealth were created in Britain supplying goods and secondary services to slave traders.

Task 2: Widening our knowledge base[edit | edit source]

Explore the many direct links between Empire, slavery and the industrial revolution on this BBC Bitesize resource here.

Plenary task: Primary source analysis[edit | edit source]

Examine the paintings and complete the exercises on slides 5 to 14 here

Chapter 6 Was Britain a safe haven for refugees?[edit | edit source]

Teachers' notes: There are slides and worksheets accompanying this lesson here

Part 1: Starting off[edit | edit source]

Imagine the government has told you that you can no longer practice your religion safely. If you don’t have a religion, or if you’re unsure, imagine if you’re forced to follow the same religion as everyone else. Think carefully about the risks associated with each option!

Do you:

  1. Fight back?
  2. Change your religion?
  3. Hide your religious practices?
  4. Move to a country where you can do what you want?

Part 2: Defining refugees with examples[edit | edit source]

A Refugee is defined as: A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

Task: Can you think of any examples of refugee groups coming to the UK for safety?

Now check your answers by going to this page from the United Nations, do any of the groups and totals surprise you?

Part 3: The Huguenots 1685 - 1700[edit | edit source]

100,000 French Protestants, known as Huguenots, had to flee to Britain so they could practice their religion freely. This was because Catholics were persecuting* them. For example, in 1572, 30,000 Protestants were killed. Many were skilled craftsmen**, such as weavers, clockmakers and hatmakers. They were mostly welcomed in Britain and they contributed their skills. However, a few English craftsmen** who were afraid that the Huguenots would take their jobs. By the end of the 1700s they were fully part of the community. This was one of the biggest ever movements of people coming to Britain.

*persecute – attack someone because of their race, religion, or political beliefs

**craftsmen – workers who have a particular skill

Task: Reading more about the Huguenots[edit | edit source]

This BBC article has more about the Huguenots. What evidence is there from the article that the Huguenots did find a safe haven in Britain? What evidence is there that they didn't?

Part 4: Jewish refugees 1665[edit | edit source]

In 1665, Jewish people were allowed to settle in England if they converted to Christianity. They were escaping from the Netherlands because they were being attacked for being Jewish. This groups of refugees introduced fish and chips to the UK.

Part 5: Polish Refugees 1939-1950[edit | edit source]

250,000 Polish refugees settled in the UK to escape the Nazis in World War Two. Many fought for the British army. They were given special treatment. The government passed a law called The Polish Resettlement Act in 1947. This allowed them to come to Britain and helped them find jobs. They contributed a lot by helping to rebuild Britain which had been damaged after the war.

Part 6: Hungarians 1956[edit | edit source]

In 1956, Hungarians tried to get rid of the Russians who were in control of their country. Russia stopped the Hungarians by using violence. Around 2,500 Hungarians were killed. Britain and Russia did not like each other. 21,000 Hungarians escaped from violence in Hungary. The government helped them to find jobs and within months, more than 75% were in work. This was probably one of the best treated refugee groups in Britain.