The Great Migration Mass Migration to Canada from the British Isles 1815-1850
When and who? The Great Migration wave was a large scale immigration wave to Canada from the British Isles. It lasted from about 1815-1850…
Why? (Push Factors) • Napoleonic Wars Ended in Europe • Soldiers were coming home • Post War Baby Boom! • Industrial Advances (Industrial Revolution) = longer life expectancies • Due to a mass amount of people coming home, jobs were hard to find • All of these factors lead to overcrowding in cities and high unemployment rates in Europe.
Why? (cont) The Industrial Revolution After Before The shift from a self-sufficient lifestyle, to a mass production, factory lifestyle. First occurred in Western Europe in the early 1800’s.
The IR cont. The I.R. contributed to mass emigration because…. There was MAJOR land loss- The Monarchy of the UK wanted land that was previously privately owned to be used for large scale manufacturing.
Who? • Scottish Farmers were forced off of their lands by “enclosures” (large farms) and evictions. • Known as the “Scottish Clearances”. • They were being forced off of their land to make room for large scale Sheep (wool) farms due to the Industrial Revolution.- large scale manufacturing.
Irish Potato Famine • Crops failed two years in a row! • Famine swept the country side. • It is estimated that about 90,000 Irish fled during the famine, with over 15,000 dying during the trip over….. caused many Irish to immigrate in the 1840’s. The Potato famine was a root disease of the potato crop (major food staple of Ireland).
The Pull Factor: The British Gov’t Solution • Immigration to BNA was heavily promoted by the Gov’t • With the creation of Upper and Lower Canada in 1791, there was a desire to push the colony further West, and to make the French a minority within the colony. • By accepting large #’s of English Speaking Protestants, both objectives would be achieved • The French had concerns and saw this as a direct effect to diminish their culture within the colony of BNA • ‘Sell the idea of moving to BNA as a new exciting life opportunity’ • Let them settle Canada’s backwoods
Why? (Pull Factors) British North America (BNA) was a British colony with British traditions and language. Aid was given by the Gov’t Indentured servant possibilities Cheap land
Voyage Over Horrible The ships were often called “Coffin Ships” Sickness was common, typhus, cholera… Many arrived destitute and ill.
Problems faced Winters were particularly harsh as industry jobs were fewer in the winter Discrimination (especially towards the Irish) Cholera and other diseases
How many? • It is estimated that between 1815 and 1855, over a MILLION people had emigrated from the British Isles into the colony… • However, between 1820-1830 it’s estimated that half of the newcomers were traveling to the USA and not Canada. • In New Brunswick, at times, 100% of the healthy male immigrants crossed the border to the USA • Of those who did stay in BNA, many traveled inland in search of farmland = Kingston, Ont.
Scared Canadiens…. • Many Canadiens did not welcome this new influx of English speaking immigrants….Why?? • French Canadiens feared that the influx of British settlers would threaten their position in the colony. • If English people became the majority, what would happen to their French language rights etc that they fought for in the Quebec Act of 1774??? • One response in Lower Canada was a social policy called “The Revenge of the Cradle” by which French-Canadiens were encouraged to raise large families to keep their population growing.
The Famine Year: 1847 Irish immigrants carried diseases with them on the ships Ultimately, 17000 Irish immigrants died. Others carried the disease out into the colony
Why is this important? … • Vast areas of British North America were opened up to settlement • Thriving towns appeared • New industries were started • The immigration from 1815-1850, affirmed the British character of the colonies outside of Quebec • http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=10165