This argument always baffles me because it makes little sense. Historic immigration in this country largely (but not exclusively) took place as an outcome of conquest and the conquerers would then mix with the natives. But that process generally took decades, or in the case of the Romans centuries. And there were fairly disgintuishable gaps in time between each wave of conquering. Of course trade brought immigration, but that was primarily focused around port areas at least until the industrial revolution got underway and immigrants were brought in to supplement employment gaps. To a lesser extent religion brought immigration as a result of persecution elsewhere - for example the Jews - or in earlier times through missionary work to the British Isles by Christians from other areas of Europe. Historically, though, the process of immigration has been gradual and periodic and the outcome has been integration and assimilation.
However, since the start of the industrial revolution - but particularly over the last 20 years - the rate of immigration and the sheer numbers and ethnic diversity of immigrants has simply taken off, and we will experience another wave when the next batch of countries join the EU. Over the last couple of decades we have hardly had time to adjust to one group of people joining us when in come another. And yet there are areas of the country, like where I live at present, where immigration has hardly had an impact at all. Here in St Helens our biggest ethnic minority group is the Poles, and they number a whopping 600 (out of a total population of 180,000). However, that 600 are virtually all newly arrived Poles, as opposed to Poles who settled in the UK following the Second World War, and so the suddenness of their arrival caused temporary difficulties for local services (nobody in St Helens spoke Polish, for one thing!). Other than the Poles, St Helens has a smattering of Chinese (and always has had), Asian and African-Carribean peoples. But I think St Helens is still something like 98% white British. Contrast that with, say, Peterborough which has known massive immigration over the last 20 years - to the point where one of its primary schools now has no child speaking English as their first language - and really how people can morph the last 20 years of immigration in particular into the rest of history as if it has always been thus is beyond me. There must be some deliberate denial going on.
Well the Romans conquered the place, althoug many of the people who did that, formed th garrisons, te administrations and settlers weren't actually from Rome.
The Normans did, but they already had strong connections with England.
The Vikings didn't. They did a bit of raiding, banditry and pillage and that, and then they settled here.
The huguenots came here to escape persecution
so did the jews-but copped for it in any case. The only way they could get a foothold was in banking and finance-tis was because the Roman catholic church forbade 'usury' thus establishing tradition and sadly a stereotype of jews and their relationship with money. It was forced on them. They still live in conclaves of their own to a great extent.
and so on: far and away te vast majority of people and peoples who have settled here have not done so through conquest. far and away the majority of peope who have settled here have enriched the country and contributed to its prosperity.
edit: you appear to forget the UK's history of conquest and settlement in many countries of the world.
Edited by l'angelo mysterioso, 27 February 2013 - 03:22 PM.