The Great Migration

When "they" came

How did this happen?

In the late 18th and early 19th century, there occurred a transition in parts of Great Britain's previously manual-labor-based economy towards machine-based manufacturing. It started with the mechanization of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal. Though the Revolution began an era of expanded economic growth and higher standards of living, it was at the same time met with rapid population explosion. A slow rise in quality of living standards throughout the past two hundred years allowed more children to survive and made childbearing more economic. As well, jobs that were previously done by poor peasants could now be done even more cheaply by machinery. This led to the loss of many jobs. The combined effects made it difficult for some to find jobs, leading them to look to the colonies in the Americas for work.

Why did they migrate?

Because the Industrial Revolution began in Britain, people were losing jobs and wanted to move away so most settlers were English speaking British. Sixty percent of these immigrants to Canada were British. This made them the largest group in Canada. The Irish came to escape the Great Potato Famine.

How did this Impact Canada?

The Great Migration had profound impacts on Canadian culture. At the beginning of the great Migration, the Canadians, Canadians of French descent, outnumbered those of British descent. By the end the British Canadian population was more than double that of the French Canadian population. The British Canadians also expanded into Lower Canada, which caused problems among the French Canadian citizens. As they expanded in Lower Canada, they also brought the fatal disease cholera with them, which killed off many Canadians.

Why is this event so historically significant?

This event is historically significant because of how most of the immigrants made up Canada's future population, I would say this event lead up to the Act of Union and made Canada's main language.


"Great Migration of Canada." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 June 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.