North America was the earliest and the greatest theatre of oceanic emigration in which the methods of mass migration were pioneered. The European re-peopling of America stretched over four centuries from the earliest years of the seventeenth century but for the first 200 years it was dominated by emigrants from the British Isles. Emigration was fundamentally an expression of demographic conditions which had shifted decisively over the time span. The pursuit of a general view of the emigrational relationship between the two sides of the Atlantic is strewn with difficulties of interpretation. Indenture systems had been widespread in the recruitment of eighteenth-century emigrant. Indenturing through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was the primary vehicle of British and Rhineland emigration to North America. The ending of indenturing was essentially connected to the great change in the supply and demand circumstances underlying the evolving emigration systems.