Migration and Empire by Stephen Constantine

Migration and Empire

Stephen Constantine and Dr. Marjory Harper
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A unique comparative overview of the motives, means, and experiences of three main flows of empire migrants from the nineteenth century to the post-colonial period: UK migrants to white settler societies; non-white entrepreneurs and workers, relocating within Britain's empire; and empire immigrants coming into the UK, especially after 1945.

Publisher Description

Migration and Empire provides a unique comparison of the motives, means, and experiences of three main flows of empire migrants. During the nineteenth century, the proportion of UK migrants heading to empire destinations, especially to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, increased substantially and remained high. These migrants included so-called 'surplus women' and 'children in need', shipped overseas to ease perceived social problems at home. Empire migrants also included entrepreneurs and indentured labourers from south Asia, Africa, and the Pacific (together with others from the Far East, outside the empire), who relocated in huge numbers with equally transformative effects in, for example, central and southern Africa, the Caribbean, Ceylon, Mauritius, and Fiji. The UK at the core of empire was also the recipient of empire migrants, especially from the 'New Commonwealth' after 1945.
These several migration flows are analysed with a strong appreciation of the commonality and the complex variety of migrant histories. The volume includes discussion of the work of philanthropists (especially with respect to single women and 'children in care') as well as governments and entrepreneurs in organising much empire migration, and the business of recruiting, assisting, and transporting selected empire migrants. Attention is given to immigration controls that restricted the settlement of some non-white migrants, and to the mixture of motives explaining return-migration. The book concludes by indicating why the special relationship between empire and migration came to an end. Legacies remain, but by the 1970s political change and shifts in the global labour market had eroded the earlier patterns.

Review
Migration and Empire is both thoroughly engaging and very readable. I recommend it to anyone wanting, not only to understand a central element of our heritage, but also the current migration streams to this country. Michael Drake, Family and Community History The scholarship is splendid, with wide-ranging temporal and spatial coverage and original research. David Northrup, English Historical Review This book marks something of a landmark in surveys of migration within the British Empire ... a quite staggering scope and depth of research ... a model for survey texts, innovative in its own right; it should be indispensable for teachers, students and scholars for years to come. A. James Hammerton, H-Soz-u-Kult

Author Biography

Marjory Harper is Lecturer in History at the University of Aberdeen.

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Migration and Empire

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