Irish in America

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Irish in America America is a melting pot of different cultures, religions, ideas and identities, a country which over the years has been molded, shaped and changed by its people. There are many historical factors that gone into creating the country as we know it today, but none so influential as the immigration of millions to “the land of opportunity”. The millions of people who came to the United States in hopes of finding a better life greatly affected the course of American history, bring the the country new cultures, customs and beliefs . Irish-Catholic immigrants, “. . . the first great ethnic ‘minority’ in American cities,”(1) had a substantial influence on the industrialization, labor movement and politics of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the beginning, life was not easy for the numerous Irish - Catholic immigrants who fled the Great Potato Famine of 1845 and, “. . . Protestant ascendancy, British colonialism and turbulence in their own country. . . “(2) Because of their lack of funds many Irish immigrants landed in less expensive Canadian ports, and then walked down into the United States.(3) Not only was the ocean voyage difficult, but once reaching the United States, most immigrants found that they were not welcomed with open arms, but rather pushed away because of their religious affiliations. Catholics found themselves the minority and targets of discrimination.(4) Settled Americans saw the new influx of Irish immigrants as a plague, dirtying their streets and neighborhoods, filling their jails and sanitariums, creating public disruption. “Negative stereotypes imported from England characterizing the Irish as pugnacious, drunken, semi-savage, were common and endured. . . “(5) A... ... middle of paper ... ...ll abilities and Jack Dempsey (1895-1983) for his punch.(31) One can learn much from the Irish, about pride, prejudice, commitment and perseverance. We would all do well to acknowledge what the Irish have done for America and what the Irish gave up for America. Bibliography: Bibliography 1) Hansen, Marcus Lee. The Immigrant and American History. 1940, Harper and Row Inc., New York 2) Maldwyn, Allen Jones. American Immigration. 1960, The University of Chicago Press, USA. 3) Sowell, Thomas. Ethnic America. 1981, Basic Book Inc., USA. 4) Dulles, Foster Rhea. The United StateSince 1865. 1959, The University of Michigan Press, USA. 5) McCaffrey, Lawrence J. Textures of Irish America. 1992, Syracuse University Press, New York. 6) The Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America. 1995, Gale Research Inc, Detroit, MI.

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