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Bernard Bailyn, "The Peopling of British North America. An I Essay

B. Bailyn's book introduces us to the history and motives of early emigration of British
people to North America, which was part of „the westward transatlantic movement of people
– one of the greatest events in recorded history."
The author shows that in the period between Seven Years War and the Revolution
there were circa 15,000 people coming to North America every year. Almost all of them
(excluding slaves) settled in the south of New England. Due to this fact the landlords in
Britain in 1773 became so apprehensive that they considered a ban on all the immigration to
Coming back to emigrants, there is made a distinction between people coming from London
area and the other group coming form northern British provinces. The former are labeled as
metropolitan and the latter provincial. The distinction is made, as these factors are considered
to be crucial for the way the emigrants would enter into American life.
The man of metropolitan pattern is typified by a young man in his early twenties, acting
individually. He is single and heads to live in colonies alone. Usually he had to get into debt
in order to have money for the journey, which then is going to be paid off by four years of
bonded labor. In this pattern of migration there are few children and families to be found. His
destination were mid-Atlantic colonies: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia.
The man of the other pattern was a man with his family, not only wife but also small children.
The pattern is called provincial. Among these people there were relatively few who became
indentured servants to pay off the debts. Commonly these people well able to rise enough
money to retain freedom in the colony. The provincial migration is considered to have
contributed to the growth of American economy, as they were eager to take the advantage of
new opportunities. They were mostly those whose destination was the frontier. The …

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