Earning a Living Abroad
British and Irish migration to the Continent, while not as marked as in the seventeenth century, continued to be of some importance. There was also a reverse flow of continental Europeans coming to Britain and Ireland in search of work and opportunities. Then, as now, the movement of people was controversial. It brought forth an outpouring of national sentiment, directed against both incomers and departing compatriots. But it also demonstrated that some of the British and Irish had little difficulty in thinking and acting in ways that transcended national loyalties. This chapter looks at contemporary opinions on migrants — negative and positive — and tries to recover the views of migrants themselves. Expatriate merchants have left the best record in this respect, and the attitiudes of one such merchant, William Dalrymple of Cadiz, are examined in some detail.
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