A Nation of Immigrants?: A Brief Demographic History of by David Conway

By David Conway

Examines the historical past of immigration to Britain, and notes that the small numbers serious about the previous allowed for the neighborhood tradition to succeed. present traits of enormous scale immigration may perhaps switch that.

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Extra info for A Nation of Immigrants?: A Brief Demographic History of Britain (CS58)

Sample text

Therefore, in considering how far Britain may be said to be a nation of immigrants, it is necessary to consider how much immigration each of them has received from places other than different parts of Britain.  This is so for several reasons.  651. 40 FROM THE REFORMATION TO THE SECOND WORLD WAR Secondly, until comparatively recently, little foreign immigration into Britain has come about through foreign settlement in Wales, Scotland, or Ireland. Most foreign immigrants have always chosen to settle in England.

This was something, however, that only began in the following century during the reign of Alfred’s son, Edward 27 A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS? the Elder, and that of his grandson, Athelstan, and was subsequently developed much further by the Normans and Angevins. The institutional foundations of England that were laid down during the reign of Alfred are several.  So far as concerns his contribution to creating a unified English culture, Alfred was instrumental in the creation of a national vernacular English literature within the southern half of Britain.

In some ways, each of these is more striking than that from Ireland, despite being smaller in size. While Irish immigrants came to Britain from motives similar to those which had prompted all previous immigrants to Britain— namely, a desire to better their economic circumstances— those who came as part of these two other immigration streams were motivated otherwise, at least initially so in the case of one of them. Both, therefore, constitute novel historical phenomena. Since the end of World War Two, each of these immigration streams has outgrown in size that which still continues to flow from Ireland, but even in their smaller pre‐War incarnation, each has considerable historical importance in its own right.

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