Nation of Immigrants?
A Brief Demographic History of Britain

By David Conway
April 2007
Distributed By Coronet Books
ISBN: 9781903386583          
104 Pages, 5 ½” x 8 ½”
$19.50 Paper Original

Since 1997, Tony Blair’s Labour government has effectively abandoned restrictions on immigration into Britain that have been in place since 1905.  It is now taken as fact of life that there will be constant large-scale immigration into Britain. 

Defenders of the government’s position argue that Britain is a mogrel nation, resulting from hundreds of years of immigration, and that we are all either immigrants or descendents of immigrants.  According to this view, there is nothing to worry about.  In this study David Conway shows that, until very recently, Britain’s immigrant population and their descendents comprised a relatively small proportion of the total population. 

Earlier waves of immigration – Huguenots in the seventeenth century, Jews in the nineteenth century – were comparatively small in number and time-limited.  Immigration took on larger dimensions in the second part of the twentieth century, and is now at a level that is altering the national demographic profile.  The relatively high level of social harmony Britain has enjoyed results from the fact that earlier waves of immigrants, being small in number, had to adapt to the prevailing culture. 

Now the culture and the nation are in danger of fragmenting as large immigrant populations decline to integrate.  If Britain is truly destined now to become, for the first time, a nation of immigrants, it may be that in the process it ceases to be a nation at all.

Sociology; Immigration

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