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In An Essay Of 1000 Words, And Utilising The Secondary Sources Provided, Critically Discuss How Each Of The Primary Sources Below Might Help Up Us

1006 words - 5 pages

Erickson suggests that many primary sources ‘were characterised by consistent and blatant bias, whether for or against migration’ , however a large number of these primary sources also show elements of the push-pull theory. The push-pull theory is a theory that is based on the idea that there are economic factors that encourage migrants to leave from their country of birth and migrate to a new country that offers more economic gain. In the case of John Fisher’s letters , Francis Speight’s evidence given to the committee and the shipping list of assisted migrants arriving in Melbourne in 1853 , historians are given many reasons for why migration occurred. For instance in John Fisher’s ...view middle of the document...

Between 1815 – 1930, 7.3 million people migrated from Ireland . This was due to many economic reasons, the Irish famine being one of the main motives for migration at this time. Even those who owned land and could afford to buy food would leave as they were heavily taxed and could make no profit while living in Ireland. This is also shown in the shipping list, as mainly skilled labourers were leaving during this time . Reasons such as lack of food, lack of fertile land available and less taxes are all economic reasons for migrants leaving their home countries and having the opportunity to buy land cheaply in other countries was a strong motivator to leave. However, although this helps to understand push-pull theory it does not test the limitations of it or of the sources.

There are also many limitations of push-pull theory and of the sources. As Erickson states, economists have had many debates over the validity of the push-pull theory and found it to be lacking however “When econometricians introduced a friends and relatives variable into their equations, they found it to be at least as significant as economic push or pull” . One of the greatest limitations to push-pull theory is that it is based on economic values. There are many other factors that influence a person’s decision to move to another country. Although many free migrants would have weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of migration before committing to the idea , these would not have been entirely economic decisions. Another large factor would be chain migration. Fisher repeatedly stated that he wished for his family to come out and eventually his brother-in-law came out to join him . As evidenced by the shipping list, the majority of migrants came out as families during this time . If they would not have been able to do so, it is unlikely that they still would have migrated. Another great limitation of any primary source is that it is heavily biased based on the opinion of the person that is writing it. For instance Fisher’s...

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