By David Conway
Examines the heritage of immigration to Britain, and notes that the small numbers serious about the prior allowed for the neighborhood tradition to be triumphant. present developments of enormous scale immigration could switch that.
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Extra info for A Nation of Immigrants?: A Brief Demographic History of Britain (CS58)
It quickly reduced its population by a third and it remained low for the next century‐and‐a‐half. It has been estimated that, in the early part of the sixteenth century, Britain’s population was not much above half of what it had been at the start of the fourteenth century. ’ 13 Part of the reason Britain’s population failed to grow for over a hundred and fifty years following the Black Death of 1381 was a recurrence of outbreaks of similar diseases. It also appears, however, that, during this time, many people there simply became increasingly reluctant to marry, or at least to 37 A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS?
The genetic similarity between Saxons, Danes, and Normans makes it practically impossible on the basis of genetic evidence alone to distinguish between their respective descendants. However, Saxons and Danes are both thought to have made a significant contribution to Britain’s demography, especially in certain parts of the country. By this time Wessex was the only Saxon kingdom that had not been overrun by Danes. As well as temporarily managing to repel a Viking invasion of his kingdom, Alfred succeeded in absorbing and integrating within it such Vikings as by then had chosen to settle there.
But this king Harold was not allowed to reign for a day without having to face challenge for his crown from rival claimants one of whom was William, Duke of Normandy. William based his claim to the English throne upon his assertion that, some years earlier, Harold had sworn fealty to him as overlord, after being shipwrecked off the coast of Normandy and falling captive to William, a version of events that Harold always denied. William, however, succeeded in persuading the Pope of his version of events who himself was less than happy with the degree of independence from his ecclesiastical authority that the church in England had lately been showing, and who therefore had reasons of his own for wanting a form of regime‐change there that would bring its church closer to Rome.