The genesis of international mass migration

The British case, 1750-1900

By Ngair May Naffin

The genesis of international mass migration


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3148-5
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: July 2018
  • BIC Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration, Humanities / General & world history, Humanities / British & Irish history, Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, Society & social sciences / Migration, immigration & emigration, History, Modern History, Migration, immigration & emigration, General & world history, European history, HISTORY / World, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain


Why did very large numbers of people begin to depart the British Isles for the New Worlds after about 1770? They were the vanguard of mass economic migration, the carriers of new global labour forces, agents of dispossession and settlement, of family dreams, of individual aspirations, of imperial strategies. But it was new in scale, and it was a pioneering movement, a rehearsal for modern international migration. These first mass inter-continental stirrings began most of all in the British Isles.

What activated these great exchanges of humanity, the precursors of so much modern population transfer and turmoil around the globe? This is a question in the middle of most genealogies and central to the making of the modern world.


1 The migration mystery
2 Islands of exit
3 Before the discontinuity and the start of modern times
4 West Sussex and the rural south
5 The discontinuity
6 The North American theatre
7 Migration in Shropshire and the English Midlands
8 Agrarian turmoil and the activation of mass mobility
9 West Cork and North Tipperary
10 The Australasian case
11 Upland adjustments: west Wales and Swaledale and the sequences of migration
12 Cornwall, Kent and London
13 Remote departures: the Scottish Highlands
14 The Irish case
15 The European extension
16 British emigration and the Malthus model
17 A general view of the origins of modern emigration and the British case


Eric Richards is Emeritus Professor of History at Flinders University, Adelaide

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