Have... been the main factor in... (16 marks - SPaG: 4 marks)

This final question requires you to produce a complex argument evaluating the importance of one stated factor against other factors, using the second-order concepts of cause, consequence and/or change. You should give a balanced answer that makes a judgement about the stated factor in relation to others.


Have economic reasons been the main factor in causing migration to and from Britain since Medieval times?

Explain your answer with reference to economic reasons and other factors.


You could start by discussing the factor stated in the question. You need to have a clear and sustained line of argument that runs through a well-structured sequence of paragraphs. You have to use accurate factual knowledge and understanding to support your argument about this factor.

In this case, you could argue that the Viking invasions from the 8th century were initially motivated by the prospect of economic plunder and continued tribute payments, and this was followed later by the migration of Danes to England to settle and farm land. Economic motives were also evident in the migration of Irish people to England in the 19th century when they escaped the ravages of the Great Famine, and found work in new industrial projects like the building of railways.

Additionally, you could also consider at least one other factor to compare with the one stated in the question and use your knowledge and understanding of both factors to develop a really sophisticated comparison. It is advisable to limit the number of factors that you use in this question so you can keep your line of argument clear. You should discuss the relationship between the two or more factors you have chosen. Be sure to include plenty of relevant and accurate knowledge that supports the judgments that you are making.

In this case, you could compare the importance of economic motives with religious reasons for migration. The Pilgrim Fathers left England in the 17th century to seek religious freedom for their particular approach to Christianity, and they eventually found that in the Plymouth Colony of the New World of the Americas. There was some economic motivation in seeking to build a long-lasting community in rich fertile lands, but the religious drive was stronger, which was why they refused to go to the more established Virginia Colony. 200 years later the Highland Clearances led to Scottish people leaving Britain for North America to escape poverty and build settlements in Canada.

Economic reasons were becoming much more important than religious motivation in migration from Britain, because toleration of different religious groups had grown through the 19th century.

When you have finished, read your answer thoroughly to check for any spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes.

When you answer this question, you should plan your answer carefully before you start writing it, so you can arrange your arguments and examples in a logical manner.