Running home from Australia
Intercontinental mobility and migrant expectations in the nineteenth century
in Emigrant homecomings
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The history of Australian immigration has a number of distinctive features which bear upon the question of returning home, much of it to do with the tyranny said to have been exercised by its distance from the homelands in the British Isles. This chapter concentrates on the nineteenth-century segment of the Australian story, the time when the return movement became significant. Assisted migrants to Australia, generally speaking, expected to emigrate for good: they had neither the funds, nor the anticipation of future income, to indulge the expectation of returning to the original homeland. Some emigrants were absurdly triumphant about their new life in the colonies, scorning the idea of return. Rising colonial incomes and the improvement in transport facilities between Australia and Britain were elements in the increasing mobility.

Emigrant homecomings

The return movement of emigrants, 1600–2000

Editor: Marjory Harper

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