The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction presents Bernard Bailyn’s views on what shaped our country. It focuses on the patterns of immigration that occurred over multiple decades in North America. He concentrates on not only patterns of migration, but also the effects that settlement and change had on early America.
Throughout Baillyn’s three essays he argues four propositions:
First, The peopling of British North America was an extension outward and an expansion in scale of domestic mobility in the lands of the immigrants' origins, and the transatlantic flow must be understood within the context of these domestic mobility patterns. Ultimately, however, its development introduced a new and dynamic force in European population history, which permanently altered the traditional configuration. (p.20) To sum this up, he’s saying that this migration was an outgrowth of culture from a previous culture formed by early modern Britain.
The second proposition;
Examination of the settlement and development patterns for the whole of British North America reveals not uniformity, but highly differentiated processes, which form the context of the immigrants' arrival. The fortunes of the arriving newcomers must be seen against this varied and shifting background. (p.49) This is just saying that migration was not one unified process, but a combination of separate, independent migrations.
After the initial phase of colonization, the major stimuli to population recruitment and settlements were, first, the continuing need for labor, and, second, land speculation. There were, as a result, two overlapping but yet distinctly different migration processes in motion throughout those years. Both linked America to Europe and Africa in a highly dynamic relationship and together account for much of the influx of people. But they drew on different socio-economic groups and involved different modes of integration...