The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania

By Wayland F. Dunaway | Go to book overview

3
Emigration of the Ulster Scots to
Pennsylvania

In the two years which followed the Antrim evictions, 30,000 Protestants left Ulster for a land where there was no legal robbery, and where those who sowed the seed reaped the harvest. FROUDE

THE EMIGRATION of the Ulster Scots to the New World is one of the significant movements of history, not only on account of its volume but because of its far-reaching effects upon American life. i. Beginning in the last decade of the seventeenth century, it continued uninterruptedly throughout the whole of the eighteenth century and well into the nineteenth, nor has it ever ceased. Its greatest relative importance, however, was in the eighteenth century from about 1717 until 1775.


CAUSES OF EMIGRATION

The causes leading to the emigration of the Ulster Scots, while partly political and partly religious, were chiefly economic, although there was a growing sense of oppression due to a combination of these causes. Having by their energy and skill redeemed Northern Ireland from its physical and moral degradation and transformed it into a prosperous community, their reward at the hands of the English Government was a series of political, economic, social, and religious persecutions, resulting in a wholesale emigration to America, particularly to Pennsylvania. Never a submissive people, they decided to seek a new home in the

____________________
i.
The Ulster Scots comprised about 90 per cent of the Scots in Ireland in the eighteenth century. The remaining 10 per cent, scattered elsewhere over the Island, are, for our purposes, included in the term "Ulster Scots," commonly employed to designate them.

-28-

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