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MOTIVATION FOR IMMIGRATION, PART #1

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MOTIVATION FOR IMMIGRATION, PART #1

Posted: 5 Nov 2001 12:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
I. Motivations of Original Colonial Ancestors

A. THE ENGLISH

1. Social and economic dislocation, caused in part by pressure on feudal system by inflation resulting from vast amount of new gold and silver introduced through Spain.
2. Political rivalry between a recently strengthen England and Spain.
3. Richard Hakluyt's "Discourse of Western Planting" provides an intellectual rationale for colonizing both in Ireland and the New World.
4. Religious upheaval in England encourages various groups to leave.
5. The success of Francis Drake leads Englishmen to perceive of the New World as a land of instant riches, thus serving as a catalyst for colonization.
6. Development of joint stock companies provides economic base for colonization (think the Jamestown-Virginia Stock Co., Pocahontas timeframe).
7. Failure of the Spanish Armada gives English greater confidence.

B. THE NON ENGLISH

1. Blacks introduced, first as indentured servants, then as slaves, after 1619.
2. Dutch and Swedes are incorporated as New York and New Jersey become English colonies.
3. Huguenots (French Protestants) permitted by English to settle after forced to leave France.
4. Lowland Scots settle in northern Ireland, then shortly after 1700 come in large numbers to the English colonies, settling on the frontier and becoming known as the "Scotch-Irish."
5. Germans, largely from the Palatinate, settle on the frontier at same time as the "Scotch-Irish" and become known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch."
6. After 1750, significant numbers of Highland Scots are permitted to leave Scotland to settle in the English colonies, with the promise they will never fight against the (English) Crown.

II. MOVEMENT OF ANCESTORS AFTER MAJOR MIGRATION

ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN

A. Rather static habits of most settlers in the English colonies throughout the Colonial Era.

1. Most colonists rarely moved more than 20 miles in their lifetime, except for Scotch-Irish who moved often.
2. New England religious and social attitudes discouraged much movement, often required considerable preparation before moves were sanctioned.
3. Southern settlers who came from England found themselves oriented toward England economically, socially and politically, and by 1776 more than 85% were still within thirty miles of the Atlantic coast.
4. "Pennsylvania Dutch" though settling most of the frontier from NY South, rarely moved after selecting a permanent home.

B. Surge of interest in the West leads to settlement in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Ohio Valley after 1750.

1. Exploration shows great desirability of these areas.
2. Establishment of military roads such as Forbes Road and Braddocks Road opens the Ohio Valley during the French and Indian War, after 1754.
3. Development of Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road open Kentucky.
4. Utilization of the Indian trails of the Great Valley of the Appalachians brings settlers from Virginia and Maryland to Tennessee, while North Carolinians use the river valleys of the Holston, Nolichucky and French Broad to the same part of eastern Tennessee.

C. Revolutionary War encourages western settlement.

1. Removal of Indians from desired land often justified as part of war effort.
2. British policy which often discouraged settlement west
of Appalachians no longer operative.
3. Individual states, especially Virginia and North Carolina, encourage settlement to solidify their claims
before 1778.
4. Land speculation rampant.
5. Western land utilized for land bounties given to Revolutionary War soldiers.
6. Treaty of Paris of 1783 ending the Revolutionary War almost doubles the area claimed by the US when Britain agrees to a Mississippi River boundary.

D. Western Movement escalates during the early national period.

1. Legislation such as the Northwest Ordinances of 1784 (deciding that the West will be admitted as states equal to the original 13 colonies), 1785 (providing for the surveying and orderly sale of western land) and 1787 (providing specific steps for establishment of territories, then
states) encourages settlement.
2. Challenges to US claims to land north and west of Ohio River by Britain, and in the far south by Spain leads to heightened American interest in Ohio and the "Yazoo Strip."
3. The clearing of Indian and British claims to the Ohio Country by the Treaty of Ft. Greenville and Jay's Treaty in 1795 and Pinckney's Treaty, in which Spain not only recognizes the American interpretation of the Yazoo
controversy, but guarantees Americans the right to navigate the entire Mississippi River erased many of the impediments to settlement in these areas.
4. Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin 1793, making the growing of upland cotton commercially feasible at a time when European technological development has led to a major demand for a new source of fibers, greatly affects the nature and level of western settlement.
A) Southerners with land find a ready sale for it, at unheard of prices, which gives them the funds to go
elsewhere.
B) Even though land suitable for growing of cotton will usually cost between $15 and $50 per acre, many settlers from the Old South cling to the traditional pattern of going almost due west, because of the great profits that can be made from raising cotton.
C) Many southerners break the traditional pattern of settling almost straight west of where they had lived before and go instead clear up the Ohio River Valley, settling in southern Ohio, Indiana or Illinois.
This is largely because:
1) Slavery which almost everyone thought was dead, was revitalized because of the need for dependable cotton cultivators, many left the south because of an aversion to slavery;
2) Some left because they didn't like blacks, and because the Northwest Ordinances forbade slavery, they chose to go there;
3) Most who left the South and went to the Ohio Valley probably did so because they were guaranteed that they could obtain what they considered to be exceptional fertile land at no more than $1.25 per acre.

5. Abrupt departure of many people from New England between 1800 and 1810.
a) Appeal of rich land in upstate NY, now free of most Indian claims.
b) Appeal of land in Ohio Valley, especially northern Ohio c) People moving from New England to Ohio Valley begin raising sheep and agriculture products, making it difficult for New Englanders with their generally poor soil, to compete.
d) Embargo Act of 1807 destroys the New England shipping industry and the New England economy sags considerably.
e) Much of the traditional New England resistance to individual distant settlement is fading.
f) The introduction of steamboats, which make upriver navigation of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers practical, further enhances the economy of the area west of New England.

6. The LOUISIANA PURCHASE of 1803 almost doubles the land of the United States, establishes new opportunities for Americans in the far west, and entices many young men to settle, grow cotton, trade, trap and explore.

Continued in next post.

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