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Lecture 3

HIS312H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Britishness, The Famine, Chain Migration

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Ian Radforth

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Lecture 3 9/29/2015 8:45:00 PM
Migration from Britain, 1800-1865:
Wartime Migration, 1800-1814
Newfoundland’s resident fishery
Scots in Nova Scotia and PEI
Upper Canada: Glengarry Scots
The great Migration, 1815-65
Canada = one destination for British emigrants
Who were the immigrants?
Push and Pull factors
The transatlantic passage
A period of growing immigration from Britain to Canada
This migration was crucial in making much of Canada British
o Canada called “British North America”
o Influx solidified British cultural presence
Predominant outside Quebec
o Upper Canada (Ontario) emerged as the leading province
The province that developed the most the most
dynamic center of the economy
Went from a frontier backwater to a heartland
Two periods:
o Wartime, 1800-1815
o The Great Migration, 1815-1865
Wartime Immigration, 1800-1815
Napoleonic Wars in Europe, 1793-1815
War of 1812 in North America, 1812-1814
Discouraged migration****
o Danger of wartime travel
o Riskier for people to move about in ships when there were
enemies out there trying to attack and disrupt the voyage
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o Young men could be oppressed into the army, so avoiding
travel was good
Some Exceptions:
o Migratory fishery smaller, resident fishery grew
o Population increased from 20,000 to 35,000
o English and Irish immigrants
Nova Scotia and PEI
o 8,500 Scots pushed from Highlands and Western Isles
Highland Clearances
Where the owner of the estate plans, were found
to be more lucrative about getting peasants away
from their land
Pushed up the rent of the tenant farmers
o Poverty on arrival
Came with almost nothing because they were forced
out; paid for their tickets, arranged for their arrival
o Hard struggle to farm
Hard to establish farms in the rugged country
o Success in maintaining culture
Kin ties, Catholicism, Gaelic language
Thought it was successful because they were able to
maintain their culture it provided cohesion in their
These communities were very distinctive
Figure: The brig “Hector” which carried Scots to Nova Scotia
Upper Canada:
Most immigrants were Late Loyalists
Glengarry Scots
o Highlanders from Glengarry Scotland
o Pushed by the “Clearances”
o Emigration to preserve kin networks and community
o Self-finance, group movements: 9 sailings of 2,000 settlers
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Sold their lands, farming goods pooled their money
together for safe ships and captains in order for safe
sailing to the far end of Eastern Canada
o Settled in Glengarry, UC on St. Lawrence River
o A distinct, Gaelic-speaking community
Had a mix of protestants and catholics; this area
maintained a distinct Scottish community
The Great Migration, 1815-1865:
6 million emigrants from Britain
o a significant social phenomenon in Britain
o a big impact on the receiving countries, like Canada
immigrant arrivals having reached their oversea destinations;
spent weeks on a ship crossing the North-Atlantic
The Great Migration’s wide impact
4 million to U.S.
1.5 million to Canada
nearly 1 million to Australia and New Zealand
British North American population grew 6 fold: 600,000 to 3.5 million
38% to Upper Canada (Ontario) = biggest province
Reinforced Britishness
Spurts of immigration:
1831-1836 generally prosperous immigrants
1846-1851: Irish potato famine immigrants
Who came to BNA?
Arrivals at Quebec: 60% Irish; 20% English; 20% Scottish
o Economic backgrounds:
Well-to-do: second sons and half-pay officers = leaders
The poor = labourers and struggling pioneers
Struggled to establish
Middling ranks: farmers and shopkeepers
Invested savings and labour
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