The Emigration Business

Marjory Harper and Stephen Constantine

in Migration and Empire

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199250936
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191594847 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series

The Emigration Business

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Decisions to migrate, by UK and all other empire migrants, were heavily influenced by information (and sometimes misinformation) about destinations, both from personal sources and from entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, public authorities and governments. In a competitive market, migrants were attracted, selected and often assisted by professional agents employed by colonial governments. The imperial government, having become decreasingly involved during the 19th century as an agency— except in regulating shipping and selecting officials and some professional people for overseas service— became a more substantial operator following especially the passage of the Empire Settlement Act in 1922. The volume of migration and migrants' experiences were also affected by improvements in the safety and quality of transport and the relative reduction in cost, including eventually by air.

Keywords: agents; air transport; assisted passages; colonial governments; Empire Settlement Act; entrepreneurs; imperial governments; philanthropists; recruiting; shipping

Chapter.  14268 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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