Immigration and National Security in George Washington’s Day

After reading today’s news, it seems strange that Americans and other countries used to actively encourage immigration. In the eighteenth century, it seemed obvious to the leaders of Western countries that population was a key to a nation’s strength.

In fact, there is a complaint in the Declaration of Independence that King George III “has endeavored to prevent the population of these states.” Nine of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were immigrants.

You can read an interesting article by Livia Gershon about immigration in the eighteenth century at:


Delbert Ritchhart March 9, 2017 at 12:09 am

Totally different times. I don’t think we should be against immigration. We are just against the lack of any controls on immigration. Each country should be able to set rules about immigration and then enforce those rules. We need immigration. Just on our own terms!


As to “has endeavored to prevent the population of these states.” in the Declaration, if memory serves, the King was trying to stop those of European descent from crossing the Appalachians so that he could keep the peace with the native tribes, and he wouldn’t have to pay more to support them. May be wrong, but that’s what I recall.


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