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 desirous about the earlier allowed for the neighborhood tradition to be triumphant. present developments of huge scale immigration might swap that.

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

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12 Within half a century, however, it had fallen drastically as a result of the arrival to its shores of a most unwelcome new visitor.  It quickly reduced its population by a third and it remained low for the next century‐and‐a‐half. It has been estimated that, in the early part of the sixteenth century, Britain’s population was not much above half of what it had been at the start of the fourteenth century. ’ 13 Part of the reason Britain’s population failed to grow for over a hundred and fifty years following the Black Death of 1381 was a recurrence of outbreaks of similar diseases.

This was accomp‐ lished during the reign of Alfred’s great grandson, Edgar.  It might easily have become absorbed, both culturally and politically, within some Scandinavian confed‐ eration. That this never happened was, arguably, as much the result of fortune than of anyone’s design. Edgar’s son was the hapless Ethelred the ‘Unready’.  Known as ‘the Confessor’ on account of his piety, this king Edward died in 1066 by which time Normandy had fallen under the rule of William, a grandson of its former Duke, Richard I.

A survey of the Y chromosomes of 1,772 British men failed to find any of similar type to that most frequently found 46 FROM THE REFORMATION TO THE SECOND WORLD WAR among African men, contrary to expectation had there been a substantial pre‐War immigration to Britain from Africa.  Most of these initial Far Eastern immigrants to Britain came there in one or other of two capacities.  The former were crew‐members of ships of the British mercantile fleet who had been taken on in India or China and then laid off after their ships had arrived in British ports.

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