OCR GCSE History: Migration to Britain c.1000 to c.2010

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A2:1 Migration to Britain c.1000 to c.2010

This thematic study focuses on patterns of change and continuity in Migration to Britain over a long period of British history, c.1000–c.2010. This includes a broad sweep of time in which British social, cultural, economic and political life has been shaped by continually changing patterns of migration.


  • Population diversity in England before 1066; the impact of the Norman Conquest;
  • Resistance to the Normans in William’s reign.
  • Jews in England: their first arrival in 1066 and their treatment and experiences until their expulsion in 1290.
  • Immigrants in England during the Middle Ages: the lives and impact of resident ‘aliens’; their treatment by the authorities and the population generally; the extent to which they integrated.


  • Africans in sixteenth-century England: reasons for their arrival; their experiences.
  • The foundation of the East India Company and arrivals from the Indian subcontinent – lascar and other Asian merchant seamen, child servants and ayahs, including how they arrived and their lives in England.
  • The growth of African communities in Britain: reasons including the Royal African Company and the trade in enslaved Africans, loss of the American colonies and the expansion of the British Empire.
  • The readmission of Jews in 1656 and their experiences;
  • Religious refugees – the arrival of Protestant refugees from the 1670s including the Huguenots and the Palatines: their reasons for emigrating, their reception, their impact, and the extent of their assimilation.
  • Impact of the Industrial Revolution on migration: Irish and Scottish internal migrants to England; the impact of migrants on political movements including the Abolition movement and the Chartists;
  • Eastern European Jewish immigrants, their experiences and impact.
  • The process of naturalisation and denization: government legislation on immigration and nationality, including the Naturalisation Act of 1870.


  • The continued growth of diverse port communities in the early twentieth century.
  • Government legislation in the first half of the twentieth century: the reasons for, and impact of, the Aliens Act 1905, the Status of Aliens Act 1914 and the British Nationality Act 1948.
  • The arrival of Jewish refugees in the 1930s; different attitudes towards Jews in Britain in the 1930s; the experiences of migrants and their descendants during the two world wars; the experience of Poles who settled in Britain after the Second World War.
  • Commonwealth migration after the Second World War: the varied reasons for this immigration; the impact of immigrants; the experiences of immigrants; the resulting debate over immigration – political racism and antiracism; the impact of race relations legislation and immigration controls including the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act and the 1981 British Nationality Act.
  • Immigration as a political issue c.1990–c.2010: the debate over a ‘multi-cultural society’; attitudes towards, and treatment of, political refugees and asylum seekers; the issues raised by EU ‘open borders’.

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