By David Conway
Examines the historical past of immigration to Britain, and notes that the small numbers occupied with the previous allowed for the neighborhood tradition to be triumphant. present tendencies of huge scale immigration may perhaps switch that.
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Extra resources for A Nation of Immigrants?: A Brief Demographic History of Britain (CS58)
The several Saxon kingdoms from whose union England was formed began their process of confederation in the ninth century. Instead, from early on in the ninth century, Danes had begun to overrun and settle in Britain. They managed to carve out for themselves an extensive area of north east England, located above an imaginary line between London and Chester, known as the ‘Danelaw’, within which their authority held sway from the late ninth until the eleventh century. The genetic similarity between Saxons, Danes, and Normans makes it practically impossible on the basis of genetic evidence alone to distinguish between their respective descendants.
In some ways, each of these is more striking than that from Ireland, despite being smaller in size. While Irish immigrants came to Britain from motives similar to those which had prompted all previous immigrants to Britain— namely, a desire to better their economic circumstances— those who came as part of these two other immigration streams were motivated otherwise, at least initially so in the case of one of them. Both, therefore, constitute novel historical phenomena. Since the end of World War Two, each of these immigration streams has outgrown in size that which still continues to flow from Ireland, but even in their smaller pre‐War incarnation, each has considerable historical importance in its own right.
They initially took up residence in 33 A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS? London, subsequently being joined there by spouses and children. Later, these Jewish financiers and their families, together with others from Normandy, spread throughout England, establishing small communities in nearly every major commercial centre. As well as financing royal activities, they began in time to extend credit to several other prominent figures, among whom were several Norman bishops, the construction of whose cathedrals in England Jewish capital helped to finance.