Search results

You are looking at 11 - 20 of 21 items for

  • Author: Eric Richards x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Eric Richards

Shropshire and the English Midlands provide instructive examples of mobility induced by rapid economic and demographic change, redistributing and dislocating its population in certain key districts. Precocious industrialisation came to Shropshire by the 1770s and performed its dynamic and disruptive functions in classic but localised form. In adjacent Staffordshire there were parallel developments, though the course of industrialisation was more comprehensive and cumulative than in Shropshire. Farmers and the rural community in Shropshire had faced turbulent times as parts of the county experienced the impact of industrial growth and then relative decline. Contemporary perceptions emphasised the common reluctance of rural folk to migrate, and still more to emigrate. Highley was a middling rural parish losing a large proportion of its people, mostly young folk, who migrated short distances; they were predominantly male, and followed the decline of agriculture and its reduced use of labour.

in The genesis of international mass migration
Eric Richards

The turmoil in the agrarian and demographic foundations of life reached across the British archipelago. They were on display most critically in Ireland where, in 1821, the population was more than half that of England and three times greater than Scotland's, and also growing very rapidly. The emigration question was interconnected with the way in which the labour supply for the industrialisation of the British economy was achieved. The state of mobility and the transfer of labour out of rural England was becoming much clearer by mid-Victorian times. The beginnings of modern mobility were essentially rural, the origins are found in country cottages and villages, and along the very long and tortuous paths which, for a minority, led to the emigration ships. Only later did mass emigration become an overwhelmingly urban and industrial phenomenon.

in The genesis of international mass migration
Eric Richards

West Cork was an outstanding and clear-cut version of the wider Irish experience, before and after the Famine. North Tipperary was not the most famine-ravaged part of Ireland, but it became the most turbulent. By the 1830s, Ireland was already becoming a primary supplier of emigrants to the great and insatiable needs of the United States. Emigration from south-west Ireland in the decades between 1770 and 1830 followed a clear sequence in the rural transformation. First came the amassment of population without any appreciable relief by migration. Much more significant was the emigration of Richard Talbot in 1818 from Tipperary to Upper Canada. T.J Elliott discovers the pathways and passages to America of the Protestant emigrants: using methods of family reconstruction and historical biography, he connects both ends of the 'migration corridors'.

in The genesis of international mass migration
Eric Richards

The transition to mass emigration by the 1830s coincided with the extension of the British emigrant flows to their furthest extremity, the Antipodes. Australia became a new theatre of migration which reflected the new circumstances of expatriation. The Australian case was famously different from, and began more than a century later than, the great transatlantic migrations from the British Isles. The Australian immigration story was improbable from the start when, in 1788, it began as an extremely remote penitentiary for outcasts from British gaols. The eventual despatch of 160,000 convicts to the Australian colonies between 1788 and 1867 barely merited the name of an emigration system. Like the other Australasian colonies, New Zealand conducted its own assisted immigration policies: many of its immigrants indeed came via Australia, especially during the New Zealand gold rushes of the 1860.

in The genesis of international mass migration
Abstract only
West Wales and Swaledale and the sequences of migration
Eric Richards

Wales, in common with many locations in the British Isles, had a mixed career during the economic and demographic upheavals of the late eighteenth century. Rural west Wales was especially prominent in the emigration account; it also vividly manifested some of the classic conditions making for mobility. Increased mobility in rural Wales was marked also by particular episodes of emigration which entered the folk memory. The demographic and economic career of the upland Swaledale region in the North Yorkshire Pennines demonstrates with unusual clarity several typical sequences within the long-term decline of its rural population. The Swaledale economy remained dominated by agriculture, and productivity increases were impressive, especially in dairying. Swaledale was a classic case of rural change associated with migratory adjustments to demographic and economic pressures, and was a regional variant of the common experience in rural Britain.

in The genesis of international mass migration
Eric Richards

Emigration from Cornwall outstripped all other counties in England and Wales in the late nineteenth century: it was at the top of the league table of per capita emigration. The international adjustment by the Cornish migrants was framed by the income differential which had decisively widened under the impact of the much more successful copper mining operations overseas. Cornish emigration showed that the effects of mining decline were written on top of the conventional processes of rural decline as the industrial economy of Britain expanded, sucking away much of the demographic revolution. Cornwall and Kent were two variants of the general responsiveness of rural England to the opportunities of emigration and the imperatives of population shifts. Kent was a more purely rural county, with little mining activity, but adjacent to London.

in The genesis of international mass migration
Abstract only
The Scottish Highlands
Eric Richards

The Scottish Highlands and Islands were furthest from London, remote from the trade routes and commerce of the nation, the last region to experience a battle of great military forces. The Highlands present a clear-cut case of emigration as extrusion, of a poor population propelled outwards by force majeure. The Highland story was punctuated by recurring and dramatic episodes of exodus by emigration, but most of the intermittent and sporadic outflow was within Scotland. Even in wartime, emigration from the Highlands continued, usually associated with landlord policies to rationalise their estates, as in the early Clearances in Sutherland in 1806-1807. Famine was a conclusive symptom of land hunger and low productivity, vulnerability and a misshapen community, in the 1840s emigration accelerated, urged on by landlord assistance, pressure and coercion, and the availability of philanthropic, landlord and colonial assisted passages.

in The genesis of international mass migration
Abstract only
Eric Richards

This chapter deals with Ireland's place in the more generic context of the origins of migration from the British Isles. The first crescendo of mass international migration came in the mid-1840s and was disproportionately Irish. Population growth, famine and emigration in the Irish case are commonly regarded as tied together inextricably. The spread of the potato facilitated economic expansion which included 'a huge movement of population from east to west with new communities growing up in previously little populated areas'. The potato failure in 1846 produced catastrophic levels of mortality and then massive migration. The evacuation of rural Ireland eventually issued forth into a flood of emigrants across the Irish Sea and across the Atlantic. Whatever the ideological assumptions, the readjustment of agriculture in Ireland, especially in the decades of the Great Famine, was radical and ruthless.

in The genesis of international mass migration
Eric Richards

Across much of Europe in the late nineteenth century there was a fundamental problem, notably in those zones where industrialisation had had little impact and where the agricultural sector confronted declining returns to labour. Population growth was evidently occurring in a transforming context of agrarian and industrial change, which carried the ultimate causes of mass migration. The absorbent capacity of European cities and towns was the critical factor in the long run. The scale of intra-European migration was extraordinary: Europe's industrial cities attracted foreigners in vast numbers. The Canadian historian Norman Macdonald declared that the great diasporic European phenomenon was a migration with 'many roots, chiefly the adverse conditions in the Old World and the appeal of the New'. By the late nineteenth century, emigrants were streaming out of most parts of Europe.

in The genesis of international mass migration
Eric Richards

The life of Robert Malthus (1766-1834) spanned the decades in Britain of the rapid transition towards mass international migration. In 1826/7, in his famous explication before the Emigration Committee of Parliament, Malthus argued that the ineffectiveness of emigration as a permanent remedy was a consequence of the 'vacuum effect'. He proposed a series of apparently inescapable tendencies regarding the causes and consequences of population growth, which were generally 'dismal'. Malthus' best-known propositions about emigration related to the utility or otherwise of emigration as a means of relieving the pressure of population on subsistence. There exists a debateable let-out clause for Malthus, located in his doctrine concerning the longer-run. There was less rigidity and less pessimism in Malthusian doctrine than is conventionally understood. The most favoured explanation of the demographic order relates to the escape from 'the Malthusian trap'.

in The genesis of international mass migration