Immigration as Peril and Promise – January 13
I. Migration in Canadian History
Biggest serge of immigration is during Laurier period to WWI
•Migration takes many different forms: immigration, emigration, net migration
(difference between immigration and emigration), internal migration, sojourning
(come and leave – work to make cash and leave), backdoor immigrants (people
who came to Canada, but their intention was to go to the United States), and push
and pull factors (pushed out of one place, and pulled into another)
•Migration is rarely as simple as moving from one country to another. Usually
migration is a series of steps (complex set of movements that take place over a
single lifetime, or over generations). Often times, internal migration can be one
step towards emigration and immigration (intertwined multiple steps). Many
migrants come and left (ex. sojourn).
II. A Nation of Emigrants
•Canadians are often more anxious to leave Canada then they are to stay.
Essentially, more are leaving then coming.
•Vast majority of emigrants go to the United States
•In 19th C over 1million Canadians lived in the United States. If they had not left,
then there would be a 20% increase in Canada’s population
•English-Canadians often migrated over the border not far from their present
establishments. They largely migrate for land.
•Difficult to track, because they integrate well into American society
•A big chunk are also French Canadians who generally migrate to New England
*coastal cities) as they are driven by bridging industries (ex. textiles)
•In many New England communities there are large concentrations of French-
Canadians (ex. Fall River and Lowell, Massachusetts). They set up what we
would call “cultural institutions” (i.e. Franco-phone Catholic Churches, bilingual
schools, French-Canadian newspapers, etc). This is in many ways an extension to
French-Canada. Because the railway is so dense in this area, people easily pass
back and forth
•Like many immigrants they face discrimination in New England. They typically
had the worst paid jobs in the factories that they worked in, subject to derogative
•Carrol D. Wright: Immigration official; Refers to French Canadians as the
Chinese of the eastern states, by which he means the most degraded
III. Immigration Boom, 1896-1913
•Outward migration continues during the Laurier period, but net immigration
increases because there are so many more immigrants coming in.
•Why the change? One possible explanation was because of a government policy
change. They moved to promote Canada as an immigrant destination. They spend
a lot more time and money trying to attract more immigrants