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Settlers voluntarily and involuntarily came to America in
the colonial time from England, Ireland, Africa and many other states. They
were Anglicans, Catholics, farmers and artisans hoping to make their
fortunes.  However, others like African
slaves and “gallows birds” arrived against their will. One can wonder if slaves
and “gallows birds” immigrants, but the fact that most people who were enslaved
came from Africa while “gallows birds” were wrongdoers from different states
makes them immigrants. For instance, Britain sent fifty thousand convicts to
America in the eighteenth century. In the colonial times, about half of the
Europeans and all the Africans were not free, so, the free immigrant was in the
minority. This allowed for the existence of indentured servants who had to work
for four to seven years to gain lawful settlement rights benefiting the large
planters. Religious and economic motives were also key in immigration as some
escaped from religious persecution and others wanted to spread the gospel.

According to David Cressy, most of
the immigrants were male, young, single, and ignorant due to the expense
involved in moving families across the Atlantic. Ordinary workmen with moderate
social status formed the core of migration to New England. The events of the
people struggling to stay in America bring out the notion that they found it a
better land just like their forebears, who came in America for “freedom”.

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Daniels seeks to debunk the concept that African immigrants were meant to be
enslaved. He says they were “someone’s property.” He also exposes the falseness
of difference in religion, which affected how people migrated; in fact, some
regions like Virginia did not accept Catholic immigrants in the town even
though they needed numbers in their economy. Ravenstein’s law of push and pull
factors talks of people moving over short distances. Oppressing factors such
war, insufficient food, and high taxes push people away and good opportunities
pull the people to attractive places. The people moving are in turn replaced by
other immigrants from distant places. He also uses the concept of chain of
migration to indicate how people can migrate to a place just because people of
the similar culture existed there.

In conclusion, movement of migrants of different cultures in search of opportunities
made America to be diverse. Finally, they accepted each other’s differences and
worked together. This is reflected in their current polished economy.

 

 

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