Monday, February 12, 2018

Post-Colonialism Applied to Anti-Immigrationists

My sister in law is taking a grad course on post-colonial theory.  The analysis of settler - resistor dynamics seem to get stuck in a series of perpetual feed-back loops.  Adjudication seems influenced by intersectional concerns.  I'll admit to having next to no academic knowledge in this field.

The one question that did seem interesting (more for the sake of obscurity than anything else) was a time comparison of when settler - resistor population percentages reach equivalency at various historical periods.  Being interested in understanding why today's society is balkanizing I thought it would be interested to what might come from a fermi-level quantitative analysis of modern immigration levels to North American colonization levels.

This is obviously not done to "justify" anything. These are the types of idle questions numeric minded people who are bored engage in. Occasionally something interesting comes out.  Usually nothing does.  I do reject the sacralization (taboo space) now occurring for such questions.  I do, however, recognize they may be best discussed in academic spaces.  There are lots of ways to erroneously assume way more that can be concluded (which may be very little due to differences in modern and colonial era polity sizes).

From 1965 to 2015 (50y interval) on the order of 72 million out of 324 million americans are immigrants.  (Including immigrant descendants…).  This is 20% of the population.  If you just account for foreign born you get 45 million (14%).  I have no idea how accurately this accounts for 11+ million illegal immigration, but I would suspect so.

At what point did European settlers reach 20% of North American population in the following zones
-east of Appalachia and between tundra and Mexico
-east of Rocky Mountains and between tundra and Mexico
-north of Mexico

Pre-contact North America indigenous population may have been on the order of 10 million (2 to 18).  At what point did colonizers reach 2 million?
This is revolutionary war era.

There was also a 40 to 80 percent population decline after contact.  For simplicity I’ll assume a 60% non-rebounding population disaster.  That implies a post contact population of 4 million.  At what point did colonizer reach 0.8 million?
This is the era of the first Great Religious awakening (George Whitfield era)

Let’s make some Fermi-question assumptions about indigenous population distribution and assume 
east of Appalachia and between tundra and Mexico - 30%
east of Rocky Mountains and between tundra and Mexico - 60%
north of Mexico - 100%  (this implies coastal & mountain population of 40%

St. Louis was established in 1764 but only had a population of 925 in 1799.  Ohio European settlement took off after the Revolutionary war (1775-1783), so let’s simplistically assume significant extra-Appalachia expansion to occur 1790.  This will let us concentrate European colonizers to the east-appalachia area prior to this date.

So at what year did the colonizer population reach 20% of the east-Appalachia indigenous population?
30% of 4 million = 1.2 million
20% of 1.2 million - 0.24 million.

Colonizer population reached this by about 1700. 

At what year did the colonizer population reach 20% of the east of Rocky Mountains and between tundra and Mexico indigenous population level?
60% of 4 million = 2.4 million
20% of 2.4 million = 0.48 million

Colonizer population reached this by about 1730.  
This is just before the first Great Religious awakening (George Whitfield era)

The European colonizer population east of Appalachia reached current immigrant penetration percentages by about 1700.  Thus an extremely simplistic and crude estimate suggests current immigration colonizer dynamics to match that in 1700 North America.  This is just after the Salem witch trial era.

The European colonizer population east of Rocky Mountains and between tundra and Mexico reached 20% of the indigenous population by about 1730.

This particular post-colonial inspired analysis suggests that American’s who consider themselves wholly tied to North American heritage may feel population dynamic tensions similar to early 1700’s native populations.  Of course this comparison has little true comparison since modern immigrants are not engaged in purposeful genocide of native populations.  Nonetheless this might suggest that post-colonial theories may provide some insight in understanding the mindset of far-right anti-immigrationists.

Assimilation rates of modern immigrants should significantly effect these numbers.  Probably at least 3/4 of immigrants assimilate nearly completely.  Thus the modern "immigration" rates probably need to get reduced by a factor of 4 or so.

Polity size probably really affects things too.  Many indigenous groups were at Chiefdom sized polities.

As already mentioned, observations of genocide significantly affect any match up.

I suspect the "I hate whites" open border cosmopolitans also affects things.  I imagine this demographic might make up about 20% of the current population.  In terms of settler resister framing, this group would be an out-group from the resistors. They would likely be considered colonizers / settlers.  There may be some multiplicative effect for "allegiance changer" dynamics, but who knows.  Thus there may be a factor of 0.4 (two 20%'s) effect.

So you really can't take anything here as a true comparison.  That is after, all, why it is a thought experiment....

Factor of 10
Lets take some of those caveats, and assume the colonial settler impact is a factor of 10x bigger than modern immigrants (I would guess an order of magnitude of a 100x would be more likely).

For an east of Appalachia estimate, I looked for settler population of 0.24 million.  If we look for 10x less, we're after a settler population of 24 thousand,  That would have occurred at about 1640.  That seems more reasonable.   That would have been during the height of the French Iroquois wars where the nascent kingdom sized Iroquois nation started to finally hit back, and the various European colonists started to unify as confederacies.

Illegal immigrant numbers

Immigrant numbers

Indigenous population numbers

Colonizer population numbers

North America Timeline (extremely simplistic)

1 comment:

  1. Germany currently has 82M people. Recent immigrant flux is 2-3M. Total 1st & 2nd gen immigrants are 22%. of total population. Probably safe to assume 3-10M are not assimilated. 4/82 = 5%.

    NA settler population hit 5% of east of Appalachia indigenous population at about 1660.
    (5% of 1.2 million = 60k)

    NA settler population hit 5% of North American indigenous population at about 1690.
    (5% of 4M = 200k)

    Interesting from a post-colonial perspective. Not relevant to any discussion about the pro's or con's of immigration unless you assume NA - indigenous - colonial dynamics.....