Irish Essay

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During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Irish rapidly flowed into the United States. The Irish immigrated in different waves and for various reasons, only to be greeted with significant barriers when landing in America. The Irish were essentially pushed out of Ireland because of the awful economy and the great potato famine. Upon arriving in the United States, the Irish had a difficult time with jobs, discrimination, housing, and money in the populated urban cities in which they settled. Having a rough life in the New World, the Irish still managed to leave a powerful legacy and an influence still visible today. The Irish immigration wave to the United States before 1845 consisted mostly of the Protestant Irish. They came to America to escape the religious restrictions and the lousy economy. However, during this time period the Catholic Irish also began to migrate over to the New World. This was because Ireland had been treating the Catholics very poorly, especially with the Penal Laws in place. The Penal Laws, beginning in 1691, prohibited Irish Catholics from starting a profession, getting an education, voting, holding public office, buying land, owning any kind of weapon, or owning a horse of greater value than five pounds. The Catholics were driven to poverty and had no political power to pull themselves back up the economy. These Irish, poverty-stricken, were crowded into poorly run, disease-infested workhouses, known as poor houses, that had been built around the Irish countryside to hold these people. It is estimated that about 1 million Irish Catholics immigrated to the United States in this specific time period. The most well known influx of Irish immigrants came to America during the great potato famine in ... ... middle of paper ... ...ntry, but also positive traditions and influences. The most famous Irish holiday celebrated in America, today, is Saint Patrick’s Day. This holiday celebrated on March 17th displays the culture and heritage of the Irish. The Irish immigration has also brought famous figures, such as the painter Georgia O'Keeffe, and novelists Edgar Allen Poe and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Henry Ford, a successful leader in the vehicle industry is a man of Irish heritage. The most celebrated Irish American sports figure is George Herman “Babe” Ruth who dominated the American baseball league and is remembered as a baseball legend. These famous events and people have helped the nation to thoroughly respect the Irish. Irish immigrants traveled to the United States with so much courage and managed to get by all of the harshness of the new world, leaving a major influence in the country.

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