By David Conway
Examines the background of immigration to Britain, and notes that the small numbers interested in the previous allowed for the neighborhood tradition to be triumphant. present developments of huge scale immigration may perhaps swap that.
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Additional resources for A Nation of Immigrants?: A Brief Demographic History of Britain (CS58)
Originally, the East India Company had simply operated as a trading company, after it had been granted a monopoly license to trade in the Far East by Elizabeth I. It was, however, during the reign of Charles II that the company acquired its first territorial foothold in the Indian sub‐continent. This took the form of the trading outpost of Bombay that Charles had received as part of the dowry that accompanied his Portuguese bride, Princess Catherine of Braganza. The company grew in size and influence enormously from the mid‐eighteenth century onwards which was when the ayahs and other Indian personal servants of its returning 47 A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS?
Britain’s population, however, did begin to stage a recovery early in the sixteenth century: From 1525 the demographic brakes were at last released, and the stagnant British population accelerated into rapid growth. 14 This sudden spurt of population growth during the Elizabethan period, however, was not sustained for long into the seventeenth century. Until 1750, population growth in Britain remained very slow, as Andrew Hinde observes in his recent demographic history of England: Population growth rates in England during this period were modest.
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.
A Nation of Immigrants?: A Brief Demographic History of Britain (CS58) by David Conway