An Overwhelming Demand for Skilled Workers
An overwhelming demand for skilled workers and vast amounts of unclaimed land created a perfect economic opportunity for lower class men and women to succeed. These factors made colonial America into a pull country, attracting millions of foreigners who were born into the lower class of their own country. The American Dream was real and feasible for immigrants of the 17th and 18th century lower class.
The economic hardships that lower class workers of Europe faced could be erased when these men came to America. Gabriel Thomas, a Welsh Quaker, said in his “An Account of Pennsylvania” in 1698: “…poor people of all kinds, can here get three times the wages for their labor than they can in England or Wales.” A perfect demonstration of supply and demand is shown in this passage. In Britain there are many skilled workers thus the employers do not have to give them a high pay. If the worker quits because of low pay the employer can easily find another worker to do the job. However, in the colonies a shortage of workers allows workers to demand higher pays. A college textbook written by Oscar T. Barack Jr. also cites Bacon’s Rebellion as an instance in which opportunities for the lower class were shown. The farmers and indentured servants asserted their dominance towards the ruling class, a feat that would never have been seen in Britain.
Poor tenant farmers who had been driven out of Britain in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s also were presented with an economic opportunity in the colonies. In an excerpt from “Letters from an American Farmer” St. Jean de Crevecoeur says when speaking about land availability: “…He does not find, as in Europe, a crowded society, where every place is overstocked. There is room for everybody…” In 1750 the estimated population of the American colonies was about 1,170,800 people. These colonist were spread out over about 360,000 Square Miles. Britain’s population in 1750 was 6,517,035 and these