Seeing themselves as members of a nation of immigrants, Americans tend to underplay their part in emigration. Americans may know about the repatriation that gave rise to Liberia in the early nineteenth century, but the extent and variety of movement from the United States to elsewhere is overlooked. Much is taken out of the equation by its being a case of movement to territories that became part of the United States or already were, notably to the West, but also to Hawaii and Alaska. Yet many Americans went abroad elsewhere, not just to contiguous Canada and Mexico but also across the sea.

Return migration to Europe was a factor from the start, particularly to Britain: think of Puritans to Interregnum England in the 1650s, the significant Loyalist diaspora in the 1780s, and others later for the full range of factors that encouraged migration, from need to inclination and all the variants...

 

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