By David Conway

Examines the heritage of immigration to Britain, and notes that the small numbers all for the previous allowed for the neighborhood tradition to succeed. present traits of enormous scale immigration could switch that.

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Extra info for A Nation of Immigrants?: A Brief Demographic History of Britain (CS58)

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A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS? These Gallic troops had quickly assimilated themselves culturally to the Romans after their own homelands were conquered and subdued by them.  In time, many of these Britons also came to adopt Roman ways and serve within the Roman regime as ‘Roman citizens’. However, during the entire period in which Roman garrisons were stationed in Britain, the number of Roman citizens who had come to Britain from Rome or anywhere else within the Roman Empire only ever formed a small proportion of Britain’s overall population.

Their number started to grow considerably from the mid‐seventeenth century onwards, after Oliver Cromwell acquired Jamaica and English ships began bringing African slaves there to work on its sugar plantations. This stream of African immigrants was to dry up towards the end of the eighteenth century, when slavery and the trade in slaves began to become widely abhorrent to British sensibilities.  A recent article4 in the European Journal of Human Genetics reports that seven white British males, who share a rare surname derived from a village in East Yorkshire but who are apparently unrelated, have the same rare type of Y chromosome that is seldom found outside West Africa where it is typical.

He achieved this by initiating and vigorously supporting an extensive programme of translation into the vernacular of such national‐consciousness‐raising texts as Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, as well as by instigating a literacy programme designed to maximise familiarity with this literature by the inhabitants of his kingdom.  By then, all that was further needed before the emergence of England as a unitary state was complete was the incorporation of Northumberland. This was accomp‐ lished during the reign of Alfred’s great grandson, Edgar.

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