Few people doubt that migration has a history. Many deny that globalization has one. Most analyses of globalization are deeply invested in assertions of its newness. Even accounts that do believe in a history of globalization before the 1970s can rarely agree on when it started, what it looks like, or if that history is relevant at all. But there is majority agreement on one significant point, even if only an agreement of common omission. It is that we need not look beyond Western Europe and the North Atlantic to find the history of globalization (Hart and Negri 2001; Held et al. 1999; O’Rourke and Williamson 1996; Robertson 1992; Sassen 2006). For example, the many histories of mass migration that claim up to 90 percent of world migration moved across the Atlantic from the 1840s to 1914 are often used to support this narrow geography of the “global” (Castles and Miller 2003; Emmer 1992; Glazier and De Rosa 1986; Hatton andWilliamson 1998; Sassen 2000). Thus, even the histories of globalization offer little challenge to the idea that at least the “global” part of globalization is new. Belief in the spatial isolation of theWest and the temporal break of “newness” are mutually reinforcing. But if we try to search out the global antecedents of globalization and migration (the exam-

ple for which I have done the legwork) the picture begins to look much different. Merely by putting together information long known by area specialists, we find that by the 1850s, if not earlier, migrants from Africa, Europe, and western and eastern Asia were meeting in places as distant as the Caribbean, Australia, and the steppes of Central Asia. From the islands of Polynesia to the mountains of Norway, and from the Alaskan gold fields to the Mekong Delta rice paddies, no part of the world was untouched by migration. Peak migration rates from China, India, the South Pacific, and the Middle East were easily as dense as peak migration rates from Europe, and movements into the frontiers of southeast and northeast Asia were as numerically significant as those into the Americas. And for most destinations other than the United States, it lasted well beyond the usual cut-off date 1914, until the Great Depression or longer. The first wave of modern mass migration in the industrial era was a truly global phenom-

enon, part and parcel of the expanding global industrial economy.Migrants who traveled long and short distances to the factories of Chicago, Manchester, and Tokyo were dependent on resources produced by those who traveled to the tin mines and rubber plantations of Malaya, the sheep ranches of Australia, and the iron and coal mines of Manchuria. All of these ate food produced by migrants who opened the cattle and wheat fields North America, the rice paddies

of Southeast Asia, and the soy bean fields of Manchuria, not to mention those recruited to work the sugar plantations of Cuba, the tea plantations of Assam and Ceylon, and the coffee plantations of Brazil. These raw materials and manufactures were gathered, transported, and sold by yet more migrants who carried goods and money up and down distant rivers, into and out of dense forests, setting up shop in dusty rural towns and crowded urban ghettos. Many of these resources were used to create an ever-expanding transportation infrastructure of roads, railroads and steamships that generated more migrant labor for construction and operation, who in turn facilitated the movement of yet more migrants, resources and manufactures to more destinations. It was a snowballing process that caused world migration rates to grow even faster than world population (McKeown 2004: 167). But something funny happened on the road to global integration. Even as global trade and

migration intensified in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and even as the organization and cycles of migration grew increasingly similar around the world, the patterns and destinations became increasingly segregated. More Africans moved only to Africa, Indians and southern Chinese to Southeast Asia, and Japanese, Koreans, and north Chinese to northeast Asia. Only the Europeans retained much of their earlier globe-spanning mobility, although the great bulk still moved to the Americas. Global integration grew hand in hand with the globalization of borders. These included not only the national borders that were increasingly sites of regulation and migration control, but also those macro-borders between East andWest, civilized and uncivilized, First and ThirdWorlds, or white, black, and yellow races that, while much less concrete than the national borders have had even more potent effects on the social and cultural organization of the world. These macro-borders have shaped our histories of globalization and global migration. The

segregation of migration into regions makes it easier to obscure those migrations beyond the Atlantic, to imagine those regions as having been outside of globalization rather than as the products of globalization. This is not only a case of bad memory and research. The very ideas and institutions that created this segregation also produced this memory. Indenture, empire, exclusionary migration laws, images of the coolie, contrasts between tropical and temperate regions, and international law rooted in discourses of “civilization” are among the many processes that produced ideas of Asians as an ignorant, impoverished, distant, earthbound, and tradition-bound peasantry residing in economically and culturally backwards areas that were isolated from the interactions, progress, and dislocations of modernity that shaped the North Atlantic. This spatial segregation makes it possible for globalization history to reside in that timeless epoch of the “new.”By obscuring the interactions of the past, the historical institutions and reach of globalization can be restricted to the narrow geographical space of the North Atlantic, from which it is always expanding to embrace a virgin world (McKeown 2007). The rhetoric of newness has inspired sparkling and evocative globalization prose at least

since Marx and Engels proclaimed that, “All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of venerable prejudices and opinions are swept away. All that is solid melts into air … [as] the bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian nations into civilization” (Marx and Engels 2001 (1848): 13-14).Whether the effects of globalization are seen as positive or negative, they are usually depicted as an unprecedented transformation, transcending borders and differences that have never been transcended before. The rhetoric of newness is a key foundation of the politics of globalization, repeated with every generation over the past century and a half. It insists that new institutions and reforms are needed to meet these new challenges. It denies the extent to which the world as we know it was created through earlier global interactions. It obscures the extent to which the reforms and institutions proposed to

deal with these challenges are often just intensifications of the very same institutions that over at least the past two centuries have created the world of differences and intercourse in which we now live.