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Were Irish considered white?

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Andrew Dean

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Were Irish considered white?

Were Irish considered white?
Altogether, all the evidence we have point towards the Irish being considered less than white. They weren't quite considered black, but they weren't close to being white either. I can see why some people would say they were white because they could indeed own land and they had rights, but their rights weren't always respected. Also, they were able to find work other than being an indentured servant or being slave such as working in factories and other places in big cities. To conclude, the main reasons the Irish weren't considered white was because they weren't christian, they were catholic. And they were often used as substitutes for slaves. They overall weren't respected or looked upon as equal to white.
One main reason why the Irish weren't considered white was because they were catholic. since they were catholic this raised concerns about whether or not the Irish would remain loyal to the Government. Catholics were mostly loyal to the Pope of Rome, so many Americans thought they wouldn't obey the U.S. government. Back then, there were sometimes specific standards you hate to meet to be considered "white" and being christian was one of them. As mentioned in an excerpt from a 'know-nothing' newspaper, the Irish hated protestants. The 'know-nothing' party officially names the American party, was an anti immigrant party that hated the Irish immigrants, so you could see why they basically made a hate flyer towards the Irish.
One of the biggest migrations America has ever experienced happened around the 1840's. The Irish came over to America for new opportunity but mostly because of the huge potato famine they were experiencing at the time, A famine is when a certain food has a disease and it cannot be eaten. Irish relied on potatos as a main source of food, so many packed their things and sailed to America. Though, the Irish weren't exactly welcomed when they arrived. They were blamed for crime, and developed slums in cities. They were also blamed for disease, prostitution, and alcohol abuse. So, where the Irish considered white in the 19th century? all evidnece says no. Mostly because the Irish were catholic. This raised concern that the Irish would be more loyal to the pope, rather than the U.S. government. Also, the Irish were used as substitutes for slaves around the 1800's so they were looked as almost equal to black slaves at the time.
By: Andrew dean, Jay Turner, Thomas Rowden
To follow up, another reason the Irish weren't considered white was because more often than not, they were used as substitutes for slaves. As said by David R. Roediger in 1991, gangs of Irish immigrants worked in ditching and draining plantations, building levees, and sometimes clearing vast amounts of land. It was also said by a southerner that if a black slave was knocked overboard doing labor, it would be a loss. But if an Irish man were to fall over, no one would lose anything. So you can see that Irish workers were sometimes looked upon as less than slaves in the 19th century, because of the fact they did slave work. Also, Irish women made up the majority of the population of prostitutes. So they didn't get much respect either in the 1800's, and were looked upon as less than other women.
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