1750–1900 Industrial & Imperial Migrations



The mass immigration of this period was a result of Britain’s wealth and power, achieved by the exploitation of the world’s resources and its people through imperial expansion, the slave trade and industrialisation. Britain needed workers on plantations, in merchant ships, building transport links and keeping the factory system going. Forced by poverty, famine, enslavement and unemployment, people came, settled and, over time, intermixed with those already here. One outcome of imperialism, however, was that immigrant communities had to endure the rise of racist ideology that portrayed colonised people as inferior and even subhuman. Meanwhile, Britain’s economic freedoms attracted foreign entrepreneurs and its growing political freedoms enabled a safe haven for refugees and political exiles from across the world…

Migration stories: 1750–1900

arrow 20TH & 21ST Century Migrations 1900–2000s