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Irish immigration to america
Transcript of Irish immigration to america
known as the Irish Potato Famine
Began in 1845 and ended 1852
2/5 depended on potato crops
forced to leave Ireland, poor and starving, to find work in America
boarded ships and sailed across the Atlantic to the United States
immediately went into the lowest class of society
75% Irish immigrants went to New York
NYC more able to take in immigrants due to size
1847- 52,000 Irish came to the city
did not have to deal with prejudice dealt with in Boston, but had to face con artists
con artists would appear to the Irish as fellow Irishmen speaking Gaelic, offering comfortable homes at a fair price. The rooms would be realistically be vermin-infested, and the Irishmen would be roomed with 8-10 other Irish people, and at a higher price. They would stay there until they ran out of money, then their luggage was confiscated and they were thrown onto the streets.
Con 2: con artists sold railroad or boat tickets that were either worthless or over-priced. Sometimes, aboard the boat or train, the Irish were forced to pay more or else be thrown overboard.
650,000 immigrants in all went to New York during the famine period
the number of Irish Catholics in America caused a spike in the Catholic religion, and an outbreak of violence from American Protestants
Americans saw a threat in our political independence if the number of Roman Catholics increased, strengthening Papacy in America
Boston- mob of Protestants burned down a Catholic convent
Philadelphia- rioted against Irish Catholics in 1844; Irish created their own mobs in defense. In 3 days, 2 Catholic churches and hundreds of Irish homes were burned, along with some deaths among the Irish
Rioting ended with a hearing in NYC that sent over armed Irishmen to protect their churches
Archbishop John Hughes warned New York's mayor that if the another church was burned, the Irish would burn all Manhattan
3rd political party was formed to prevent
any Irishmen from becoming naturalized
Lived all cramped together in small spaces without any regard to decency; extremely unsanitary
caused high spike in disease
60% of children born died before their 6th birthday; adults died 6 years after arrival
Irish in Boston
majorly popular city for the Irish immigrants; very unwelcoming of the Irish
Bostonian people were mainly decedents of English Puritans and very proud people; could tell of ancestors on the voyage of the Mayflower
Irish's arrival described as an unwanted "social revolution"
1847- first big year of immigration into Boston; 37,000 Irish Catholics came to Boston
settled into enclaves strictly for Irish
victims to landlords giving them 9/11 single room housing, no water, sanitation, or ventilation, very closed in.
one large three story house divided room by room could serve living space to a hundred irish families
Irish housing was at a high demand, so they'd all live huddled together in places anywhere from old leaky shacks to warehouses.
Irish immigration to America
Civil War to the Rescue
Alcoholism, begging, assault, prostitution, etc. was very common, even in children
Originally, Irish were known for their law-abiding manners, honesty, and kindness.
could only apply for unskilled jobs (cleaning stables unloading ships, pushing carts, etc.)
rivaled with working class Americans
employers hung signs saying "No Irish Need Apply"
City Life for the Irish
Irish had a love for social activity from gossiping to jokes and puns to just enjoying the company
1850-Irish made up 43% of the foreign population
Poorest of all immigrants in America
prejudice against the Irish took it's toll, and fueled bad habits
press made comics of the Irish drunk and brawling in the daily newspaper, and referred to them as "aliens" loyal only to their Catholic leaders
Civil War began and any prejudice against the Irish did not seem so important
Over 140,000 Irish joined in the Union army, others enlisted in the Confederate army
Irish units like the All-Irish 69th New York Regiment fought with Americans at Bill Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg.
earned the new reputation for dependability and bravery
Fredericksburg- Irish units at the Confederate army repeatedly
After the Civil War
Irish worked in the building of America
ran factories, built railroads, worked in mines
organized the first trade unions
first strikes for higher wages, shorter hours, and a safer working environment
women worked for wealthy families as cooks and maids, and lived in the houses they worked
this living was luxurious to the Irish, so the women were cheerful, kind, and hardworking
Irish saved money to send back to Ireland to bring over Irishmen or offer help
from 1850-1900, $260 million from America to Ireland
Irishmen in the larger cities became eligible to vote
Famine descedents later joined political parties, and elected to city councils
Boston- James Michael Curley was elected Mayor
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected President of the United States.
great-grandson of Patrick Kennedy, an Irish immigrant in 1849
First Roman Catholic president
John Kennedy's election was America's full acceptance of Irish Catholic Americans
Irish descendents left the working class system