From the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the middle of the eighteenth century a protracted controversy took place over whether foreigners ought to be encouraged to come to settle in England. The debate was usually couched in terms of whether aliens should be offered naturalization in England. The word naturalize was sometimes used not in a technical legal sense, but in the first sense given in Johnson's Dictionary: ‘to adopt into a community’. In its stricter sense, the question was whether a cheap and convenient way should be offered to immigrants to acquire the rights of native-born English subjects. It was thought by both its advocates and its enemies that such an offer, by means of an act of general naturalization, would encourage a large influx of foreign protestants. The issue was debated repeatedly in parliament. Over a dozen attempts were made to pass an act for a general naturalization between the Restoration and the final passage of such an act in 1709. The act of 1709 was repealed only three years after its passage, but several more bills for a similar statute were introduced towards the middle of the century. The naturalization controversy is more easily followed, however, in the pages of the tracts, pamphlets, treatises, and broadsides, both in favour of and in opposition to a general naturalization, that tumbled from the presses throughout the period, and most profusely in the 1680s, 1690s, and 1700s. The debate aroused the interest especially of the growing ranks of those who, after the Restoration, interested themselves in trade matters.