Reintegrating agency, regulation, and the economy into histories of child emigration from North West England to Canada, 1860-1930.

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In this article we bring the records of Liverpool-based child emigration agencies into conversation with the archives of ‘Home’ children held at Libraries and Archives Canada, the Archives of Ontario (Toronto), and the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto Archives. Our aim is to provide the first study to consider why the North West emerged as the British centre of child emigration during the period 1860 and 1930, and examine the shared emigration infrastructure between its institutions and agents with those in Canada, through which we hope to advance comparative transnational research into child separation as a feature of welfare systems since the late-nineteenth century. Our key claims are: 1) that children and their families DID challenge, resist and question the system, though not always expressed through their limited ability to give consent to emigration; 2) that the purported welfarist impulses of child emigration schemes were frequently in tension with the everyday administrative and financial concerns that characterised exchanges over child migrants between state and institution, bespeaking a broader economy of child emigration schemes that has thus far been under-examined in the scholarship.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalHistory Compass
Early online date23 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Nov 2020