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Short Teaching Module: Borderland Migration and Communities in Twentieth-Century West Africa

Cross-border mobility has created borderland cultures and led to the development of vibrant communities that in some cases have stretched across several states.

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Map and Population Table for British Gambia, 1915-1918

Many people in West Africa fled across colonial boundaries to avoid military conscription in the late 19th and early 20th century. For example, during World War I, tens of thousands of people left the French colony of Senegal for neighboring British Gambia and Portuguese Guinea-Bissau.

A page of the 1891 census, showing columns filled with handwritten names, ages, and other census information.

Census of England, 1891

The census of the United Kingdom was the tenth census and was taken on April 5, 1891.

Construction drawing of a social housing high-rise in La Duchère, 1960.

Social Capital in World History: Lyon and Pittsburgh as Examples

Lyon, France, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are connected by the thread of social capital, or people power.  This essay situates social capital as an non-financial asset possessed by people who have little wealth, but who use a variety of strategies to facilitate community improvements.

Les Minguettes in Vénissieux, south of Lyon, 1969.

Social Housing development in France

In addition to La Duchère, other social housing developments in greater Lyon included Les Minguettes in Vénissieux, where 9,200 units for 35,000 residents were constructed between 1966 and 1973, and the 8,300-unit Mas du Taureau, built between 1970 and 1980 (in addition to La Grappinière, with a

Plans for La Duchère, in western Lyon, c. 1960.  Lyon Municipal Archives, Lyon, France.

Plans for Social Housing in France

Most of the new housing was constructed on cities’ fringes, or on adjacent farmland just outside the central city, by a quasi-public company known by its French initials SCIC (Société central immobilière de la Caisse des dépôts, or Central Real Estate Company of the Deposits and Consignments Fund

The mayor of Lyon, France, Louis Pradel, drives a bulldozer to initiate construction of social housing in La Duchère, in the city’s western edge, 1958.

The mayor of Lyon, France drives a bulldozer to initiate construction of social housing

The headline reads, in English, “Aboard a bulldozer, Mr.

Clip from Pittsburgh's North Hills News Record in 1993 with the headline "“PCRG challenges financial institution lending practices."

Pittsburgh News Coverage of the Community Reinvestment Group

"PCRG challenges financial institution lending practices,” Pittsburgh, Dec. 22, 1993.

Picture of the 1988 headline in the New Pittsburgh Courier “Bank Gives Boost to Black Areas"

Pittsburgh Newspaper Article “Bank Gives Boost to Black Areas”

“Bank Gives Boost to Black Areas,” New Pittsburgh Courier, Pittsburgh, July 2, 1988.

Several pages taken from the Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty

Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty

In the twenty-first century, we are used to post-Westphalian norms of inter-state equality and noninterference. These norms, however, did not apply to interstate relations between the Qing empire and its tributary states.