Drift: to move smoothly or easily in a way that is not planned or guided
Wander: to move around or go to different places usually without having a particular purpose or direction
(From Merriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary)
Is there any difference between these two words? Are they completely interchangeable in the following context(drifted about England)?
“When economic depression hit the woolen trade in the late 1500s, thousands of footloose farmers took to the roads. They drifted about England, chronically unemployed, often ending up as beggars and paupers in cities like Bristol and London.”
From “The American Pageant” by Thomas A. Bailey