Essay about Early American Life of Irish and German Immigrants

Essay about Early American Life of Irish and German Immigrants

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During the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century the rise of immigration centered around two specific ethnic groups. Irish and German immigrants provided a large portion of immigrants that were entering the United States between the 1820’s and 1920’s. Both ethnic groups invested in making the journey to the United States for several reasons, however some immigrants were not given much choice. Economic opportunities attracted both ethnic groups into making the migration to the America, however others came because they felt dislocated or threatened in their own country. Choosing to come to America for these two groups was a similar decision but with their similarities came differences as well.
The force that brought Irish immigrants can be described in two ways, both negative in the way of the Famine Years and the control of Protestant England. On the other hand, Irish immigrants were able to use the United States as a chance for economic opportunities as well as a chance to be free to practice their Catholic faith. The economic events that helped fulfill the need for Irish workers were thanks to the Industrial growth of the United States. The Transcontinental Railroad was completed by the continuous harsh labor that was done by Irish immigrants. The Eastern half was largely built by Irish men that were hired by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. The chance to make a life and put some money in their pockets was an attractive situation for struggling Irish immigrants. The inevitable factor for Irish immigrants to leave their homeland was the effects of famine that was occurring among the rural population of Ireland. Ireland depended heavily on potato crops, but as the crops failed they diminished the hopes of surviva...

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...tir. Here at last is something in the doings of man that corresponds with the broadcast doings of day and night. Here is not merely a nation but a teeming nation of nations. Here is action united from strings necessarily blind to particulars and details magnificently moving in vast masses. Here is the hospitality which forever indicates heroes….” (Major Problems, 151)
The diversity of the United States began before the vast majority of Irish and German immigration, however without the attractiveness of the United States such ethnic groups, America would have never become the land of immigrants.

Works Cited

Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: a History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. New York: Perennial, 2002. Print.
Gjerde, Jon. Major Problems in American Immigration and Ethnic History: Documents and Essays. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. Print.

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