British emigration and the construction of Anglo-Canadian privilege
This chapter discusses the concepts of Britishness, white settler society hegemony, and British superiority in pre-Second World War Canada. A large corpus of literature on the construction of whiteness has taught historians to think carefully about the power of seemingly normative categories of identity. The chapter shows how British emigrants and their supporters worked, consciously and unconsciously, to create perceptions of social distance from other immigrant groups. The Anglo-British identity that migrants laid claim to (or were assigned by imperially oriented observers) in order to secure more comfortable travelling conditions was fundamentally a gendered identity. The perception that people of British origin effectively made Canada an Anglo-British nation has also been heightened by the fact that British emigration has been routinely studied in isolation. Moreover, histories of Italian migrants are included in Canadian immigration history readers, where comparisons are made explicit.
Interpreting a migrant’s letters from Australia, 1926–67
Archived letter collections written by migrants from the British Isles, often reflecting on journeys, reception and experiences tend to be limited to the nineteenth century. The collection adds up to 74 pieces, running from 18 April 1926 to 13 July 1967. This chapter presents the letters to Emiline Mary Viccars, nee Dawes, usually known as Maidie by her sister Grace. There are only four letters to Maidie, all from Grace, and all in 1945. The letters of these years are indicative of the tough economic times suffered by most of the new settlers, with low prices for their produce. But there is a further problem when the historian of migration endeavours to employ extracts from letters to answer large issues concerning, in this case, settlement, assimilation, Englishness and Australian identity. These letters appear to show an English migrant woman navigating between her past and her present, as all migrants do.
This chapter focuses on a small number of individuals who remained in Zambia after Independence, and tries to capture their motivations for staying on. The settlers who stayed on in Africa after Independence have not received much scholarly attention. The post-independence period saw a number of whites take on prominent roles within the political or judicial spheres, often as members of African political parties. The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum's (BECM) oral history collection contains a small number of interviews which touch either directly or indirectly on this issue. The BECM oral history collection informed a series of interviews conducted in Lusaka in April 2005 and August 2006 with a small number of individuals who stayed on in Zambia after Independence. Several themes emerge strongly from the testimony of the Lusaka interviewees. The first of these is the question of home and identity, which are inextricably linked.
Late twentieth-century British emigration and global identities – the end of the ‘British World’?
A. James Hammerton
British emigration has undergone significant changes since the heyday of the immediate post-war emigration schemes to Commonwealth countries of settlement. 'British Diaspora' is used to describe the outflow of British citizens, notwithstanding some of the persuasive reservations about its applicability which have been advanced cogently by Stephen Constantine. British migrants adopt the varieties of global and European identities with varying degrees of enthusiasm. As early as the 1950s the eager young British sojourners who seized the new, usually assisted, migration opportunities to embark on long-term working holidays around the world were as often women as men. Indeed, many female occupations, such as nursing, physiotherapy, clerical work and hairdressing, were uniquely mobile and in high demand. The brief portrait sketches of young women migrants since the 1980s illustrate some of the ways in which Europe has become inter-twined with the migrant mentality.
Integration policy in Britain and France after the SecondWorld War
Eleanor Passmore and Andrew S. Thompson
This chapter explores the origins of the concept of multiculturalism by comparing official rhetoric about 'new' Commonwealth immigration during the 1950s and 1960s with the social policies introduced by the government. Multiculturalism concept is provided for the welfare of West Indian, Indian, Pakistani and later Bangladeshi immigrants. The chapter provides an overview of immigration trends in Britain 1945-62, before comparing and contrasting British and French approaches to integration. It provides the government immigration policy in Britain, drawing out the tensions that existed between domestic political pressures and the management of Commonwealth relations. The chapter focuses on the introduction of restrictive immigration legislation and the measures introduced to integrate 'new' Commonwealth immigrants and tackle racial discrimination, and the interplay between them. It describes the contemporary British immigration policy comprising border controls, the promotion of integration and anti-discrimination legislation.
Professor Drummond's two pioneering studies, British Economic Policy and the Empire 1919-1939, 1972, and Imperial Economic Policy 1917-1939, 1974, helped to revive interest in Empire migration and other aspects of inter-war imperial economic history. This book concentrates upon the attempts to promote state-assisted migration in the post-First World War period particularly associated with the Empire Settlement Act of 1922. It examines the background to these new emigration experiments, the development of plans for both individual and family migration, as well as the specific schemes for the settlement of ex-servicemen and of women. Varying degrees of encouragement, acquiescence and resistance with which they were received in the dominions, are discussed. After the First World War there was a striking reorientation of state policy on emigration from the United Kingdom. A state-assisted emigration scheme for ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen, operating from 1919 to 1922, was followed by an Empire Settlement Act, passed in 1922. This made significant British state funding available for assisted emigration and overseas land settlement in British Empire countries. Foremost amongst the achievements of the high-minded imperial projects was the free-passage scheme for ex-servicemen and women which operated between 1919 and 1922 under the auspices of the Oversea Settlement Committee. Cheap passages were considered as one of the prime factors in stimulating the flow of migration, particularly in the case of single women. The research represented here makes a significant contribution to the social histories of these states as well as of the United Kingdom.
Research on soldier settlement has to be set within the wider history of emigration and immigration. This book examines two parallel but complementary themes: the settlement of British soldiers in the overseas or 'white' dominions, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, between 1915 and 1930. One must place soldier settlement within the larger context of imperial migration prior to 1914 in order to elicit the changes in attitude and policy which occurred after the armistice. The book discusses the changes to Anglo-dominion relations that were consequent upon the incorporation of British ex-service personnel into several overseas soldier settlement programmes, and unravels the responses of the dominion governments to such programmes. For instance, Canadians and Australians complained about the number of ex-imperials who arrived physically unfit and unable to undertake employment of any kind. The First World War made the British government to commit itself to a free passage scheme for its ex-service personnel between 1914 and 1922. The efforts of men such as L. S. Amery who attempted to establish a landed imperial yeomanry overseas is described. Anglicisation was revived in South Africa after the second Anglo-Boer War, and politicisation of the country's soldier settlement was an integral part of the larger debate on British immigration to South Africa. The Australian experience of resettling ex-servicemen on the land after World War I came at a great social and financial cost, and New Zealand's disappointing results demonstrated the nation's vulnerability to outside economic factors.
government’s practical encouragement for emigration specifically
to Empire destinations. This element is one of the main themes selected
for emphasis in the chapters which follow. There were precedents for the
involvement of the Imperial authorities in the processes of emigration.
Indeed, some of those most enthusiastic about state-supported Empiremigration between the wars took inspiration from eighteenth-and early
Single female migration and the Empire Settlement Act, 1922–1930
Female migration was an immediate
priority of the Oversea Settlement Committee (OSC), the British
government body dealing with Empiremigration from its establishment in
1919. Before the war, the migration of single women to the dominions had
been extensively assisted both by private women’s migration
societies and the dominion governments themselves. With the findings of
Through a study of the British Empire's largest women's patriotic organisation, formed in 1900 and still in existence, this book examines the relationship between female imperialism and national identity. It throws light on women's involvement in imperialism; on the history of ‘conservative’ women's organisations; on women's interventions in debates concerning citizenship and national identity; and on the history of women in white settler societies. After placing the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) in the context of recent scholarly work in Canadian, gender and imperial history, and post-colonial theory, the book follows the IODE's history through the twentieth century. Chapters focus upon the IODE's attempts to create a British Canada through its maternal feminist work in education, health, welfare and citizenship. In addition, the book reflects on the IODE's responses to threats to Anglo-Canadian hegemony posed by immigration, World Wars and Communism, and examines the complex relationship between imperial loyalty and settler nationalism. Tracing the organisation into the postcolonial era, where previous imperial ideas are outmoded, it considers the transformation from patriotism to charity, and the turn to colonisation at home in the Canadian North.